– vocal tuition for individuals and groups

CCA Choruses:
-The Lost Sound Choir
-SoundSense Training Choir

The Contemporary Choral Academy

Discover what this organisation based here in the Southwest can offer you - more

Do you know how to sing safely?
Learn which muscles you should and should NOT be using! Plus the crucial importance of good breathing, and how to monitor the physicality of singing in your own body - more

The Lost Sound Chorus
• Singingandbreathing - Choir Skills/Harmony singing course
One BIG Sing - Community Choir

The Lost Sound Chorus

– Youtube clips are now posted up on the Lost Sound Chorus facebook page - Become a friend of the choir on Facebook and keep in touch with upcoming gigs, see more photos etc

SINGER SEARCH: We are looking for more singers to join us. Particulaly low female tenors and male tenors. We want to increase the sound in our choir for new songs. They are big songs and we need enough singers for 7 parts! If you'd like to come and see if you could join us - Call Sandra 01364 643105 to book.
Keep up to date with our facebook page.

Over the last 6 years Sandra Smith has coached many different choirs of diverse styles and experience, from youth and adult mixed choruses to all male and all female groups. She has of course watched and listened to many more.

There is a one particular sound, a true, resonant ring, that is an elusive quality in choral singing – it takes a special group of people to sing in a way that is truly unified and resonant, and it’s that sound that lights up an audience with the sheer quality of the singing. Tuning, timing, articulation and vowel shape all play a part in creating it.

It is rare, but it’s attainable – and Sandra wants to create it!

When an embodied voice sings with honesty and emotion, people really listen and are deeply moved. It is a sad fact that if we lose the power to project ourselves both vocally and personally, our audiences lose the ability to listen. The Lost Sound chorus works with developing both vocal and listening skills.

With the Lost Sound Chorus, Sandra is exploring the dynamics and the relationship between the different vocal ranges that are embedded in exciting choral singing.

How can we blend our voices in an exciting, integrated way?

How can each singer be both truly autonomous and sing collectively?

How do we balance the different characters of male and female, and bring out the authentic qualities and strengths in both?

What's in a name?
The name 'Lost Sound' relates to the quality of singing that is archaic and deep in our ancestry – and sings regardless of the style of the music. It’s the sound behind the singer! It is a quality of pure, full-bodied, conscious singing that seems to be on the decline in today’s overly microphoned world. Even many of our young people have lost the ability to naturally project their sound in a positive, free way. Schools are increasingly dependant on amplification for their students to be heard. What’s happened to our vocal power?
The name also clearly relates to each individual chorus member's commitment to finding their own 'lost sound' on a personal and choral level, and each singer has experienced the development of many different aspects of their sound-making through our training. (See quotes to the right >>>)

Interested in joining us?

Joining 'The Lost Sound Chorus' is by audition and is dependent on where we have spaces in the choirs sections. Find out more about us and how we work by coming to one of our Choir Skills Workshops prior to auditions.
singingandbreathing Choir skills course and Community choir are open to all singers. Both these offer the perfect training opportunity to prepare you to the level required for the Lost Sound Chorus as well as other local choral groups.We will only take singers who are open to ‘discovery’. Voices we are happy to train-minds are harder to change!
ecome a friend of the choir on Facebook and keep in touch with upcoming gigs

All singers work within these guidelines:
• We rehearse every Tuesday evening (7.30-9.45pm), and extra rehearsals will be commonplace leading up to performances.
• We require excellent attendance for rehearsals (a maximum of 3 absences per term) and that you will continue to learn and practice the pieces at home.
• All singers pay subscriptions to take part in rehearsal sessions and to be part of the chorus. The 'subs' are payable in half-term installments, which will work out at about £8 per session.
• We are only interested in singers who work easily as part of a team and who are happy to fit the vision we have for the chorus and its sound.
• The ability to easily sing in tune and in harmony is essential.
• The choir is for adult members only, i.e., over 15 years-old.

– email or phone to find out more

Choir Skills/Harmony Singing Course

Sandra is busy revising these classes - look out for one day workshops

A mixed voice choir course - we need basses, tenors, altos and sopranos

A course for singers or people working with music (workshop leaders) who want to improve their voices. Particulaly useful for preparation for auditioned choirs and those wanting to sing in quartets and small ensembles and close harmony backing. This is a very user friendly course packed with singing exercises, top tips, feedback and information!

We will cover: -

  • Blending of voices,
  • Synchronization
  • Getting accurate tuning of chords
  • Dynamics
  • Interpretation
  • Expression
  • Vocal and Breathing techniques

The following video helps explain how we breathe

There seems to be keen interest in this explorative workshop format, where there is time to discover and experiment as we learn. It is ideal for anyone wanting to make a first step (or those needing a 'refresher') before going on to join one of the many local choirs and choruses in the area.

So, to give more people the chance to 'test the water' with this innovative choral training, Sandra has set up singingandbreathing - a choir skills training course.
This training course offers ongoing weekly sessions through a term, and does require an attendance commitment for the whole of the term. You are welcome to join us and discover how much more you can do with a little help, both vocally and chorally. We keep the songs at an accessible level. We are there to build your confidence and show you that you can do it too!

The aim of the singingandbreathing training is to build your vocal and technical awareness, and to improve the listening skills and tuning accuracy that harmony singing requires. Through various exercises you will have time to explore and play – all the while developing your understanding and experience of how and why choirs do what they do; why things works one way and not another! You can ask questions and have time to fully understand!

De-mystifying musical elements is an important process for many singers who haven’t had any formal musical training – but re-mystifying the whole music making process by re-engaging the magic can be of equal importance. It has proved to be a thrilling and evocative process for the Lost Sound singers, so there's every chance this will also be true for you!

Other areas that will be explored:
• Holding harmonies: strengthening the ‘holding’ and tuning the ‘blending’ to create the ‘ring’
• Breathing techniques
• Fully engaging with the joy of expression
• Dealing with the ‘you’ in singing – getting out of the way and letting it happen!

Whether you go on to sing World music, Barbershop, Community, Gospel (or whatever style you love!), we feel you will have so much more confidence and skills to offer after training with us.

Course dates: Please book early as numbers are limited.

'One BIG Sing' Choir
Buckfastleigh's 'very own' Community Choir

Wednesday evenings ,7:30pm -9pm, weekly, £5/session
at the Methodist Church Vestry, Chapel St.
led by Issy Garcia - singingandbreathing trained leader

A brand new choir - started by demand after our 'One BIG Sing' concert! A relaxed, very friendly place to meet new people in our community and sing some great harmonies! Easy songs taught by ear and music. Beginners VERY welcome - we have experienced singers too, so you are well supported as you learn the ropes!

Sandra coaches the choir once a month


Call Sandra for more details and/or encouragement!

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GIGS: The Lost Sound Chorus :

Oct 6th, 7:30pm - Courtney Centre, Newton Abbot

Charity Concert in aid of Tibetan Buddhist Monestry

Friday 14th Dec - 1000 voices - Exeter Cathedral. choirs from the region raise their voices for Christian Aid charities

See Facebook page: 'The Lost Sound Chorus' for NEW youtube samples

Comments from Quest
July 2010

We were totally inspired by the quality of your choir and accuracy/energy/fun and lightness" John and Janey Walter - DrumCrazy

Comments from choir members

"This is the only choir I have sung in where there is a substantial improving quality to the actual sound and attention and technique of the choir. We aren't just learning the notes, we are learning how to understand the music, how to relate to each other, how to express from the inside."

" I feel sometimes I'm never going to get the hang of this, then all of a sudden something CLICKS!"

" You hold a wonderful space of ease and excellence."

"The feeling of singing the harmony parts was very special and uplifting."

"I really appreciate your astonishing patience and acceptance of our often slow learning and total forgetfulness. I love how you manage to not have anyone feel inadequate or a pain'"

"Singing has become a very important part of my life, and gives me tremendous 'soul food' during the week. Being able to work on the basics of breathing, posture and vocal techniques in such an intensive way with you through The Lost Sound has been a terrific journey, and I have learned much along the way."

"Thanks very much for making the Lost Sound such a great experience"

"I am excited about the potential for the Lost Sound and where it is going . It has been a really good year. Thank you for your inspiration and guidance".

" I love the safe,fun, challenging space you hold. I've got used to you being delightfully bonkers and I totally enjoy the sessions -thank-you"

"The choir has been more than just a place to sing with other people: it has been a training ground for my voice! I feel I have improved in every aspect of my technique and general musicianship"

"I thnk that the relationship and atmosphere that Sandra creates in 'Lost Sound' is excellent and that the quality you have acheived is amasing. These sessions are the highlight of my week"

"I've loved it too and you guys are gorgeous!" Sandra

Sound-Sense - Choir Skills Course

The end of term saw the last years group all being able to hold their own parts in either Quartets, Trios or Duo's. A very proud moment!

Come and learn how!

Choir Skills Course

" Your upbeat 'everyone can do' teaching style is great. You teach a wide range of techniques from basics upwards in a very accessible, easy to learn way"

" I can hold my part without wavering!"

"It's a pleasure hearing the whole group sing and progress"

" The pace and depth of the work feels like a 'nuts and bolts' approach. Very sound! Overall my confidence in my ability has grown which I feel I can build on"

" I've found feeling comfortable to explore techniques and not do it perfectly, very important. Everyone is friendly and accepting."

Sandra Smith - Singing teacher and Choir coach
21 Chapel St, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0AQ
tel: 01364 643105 • email: sandra@singingandbreathing.co.uk