Tutor: Pauline Down
Pauline is a voice teacher, singer and composer living in Cardiff. She is a founder member of the Natural Voice Practitioners’ Network and currently leads 3 community choirs plus regular training, professional development and mentoring for other singing leaders. She also leads singing retreats and holidays and individual and small group sessions for building confidence and vocal skills. A pioneer in the Arts in Health field, Pauline has extensive experience of delivering arts projects and trainings in care homes, hospitals, day centres and special schools as well as Arts in Health training courses hosted by adult education colleges, local councils and arts in health
organisations. She has a particular interest in using the arts to promote mental health. One of her community choirs successfully offers support and connection for veterans and family members living with PTSD.
Having delivered singing and arts projects in care homes that specialise in dementia for many years as well as mentoring other musicians during their care home residencies, Pauline has devised CWTCH which is an especially composed vocal harmony song cycle using words spoken by residents in care homes whilst taking part in arts activities. The piece has been successfully shared with residents from a care home and a day centre in Cardiff and in dementia specialist care homes in North Wales.
She started out in fringe and community theatre, both as performer and musical director and has more recently developed a passion for the world of storytelling and performs with Michael Harvey as part of the storytelling duo Adlais. Her love of improvisation and the heightened listening and connection that it requires has caused her to devote time to exploring and refining how to facilitate spontaneous vocal choreography with groups of singers. There is something deeply refreshing and satisfying about discovering the freedom to be able to release inhibition and sing intuitively in response to other voices and Pauline delights in weaving opportunities into her workshops for these joyful spontaneous singing moments.
One of the main highlights of Pauline’s year is the singing and culture holiday that she leads at La Maison Anglaise in partnership with the wonderful staff there. The care with which the staff organise trips and authentic cultural experiences and look after guests is outstanding and Pauline looks forward to the challenge each year of offering a singing experience that fits meaningfully into the mix.
“I really loved your singing week & have been raving about the uplifting experience to all the friends I’ve been in contact with since. The range of songs, your teaching style, the others in our group, La Maison Anglaise, the staff, the food, the ambience, the cultural experiences, the singing in various places all contributed hugely to the success of the week, enabling me to feel energised & enriched. THANK YOU. “
“I’ve just listened to Pauline’s sound files of us singing at Claudio Bravo – they sent shivers down my spine and brought tears to my eyes…. Thank you all for being such warm and generous companions and to you Pauline for introducing us to such beautiful songs, then coaxing us into such a harmonious group.”
“I have been singing to the recordings I made during our trip to ease the integration into normal life. However, I feel life may never be normal again after my amazing experiences in Morocco. I would like to thank every one of you for your friendship and camaraderie during our trip…. The sounds we created under Pauline’s expert guidance and tuition will last in my memory forever as a reminder of the most humbling yet fascinating holiday.”