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Arbutus Music workshops


What happens at an Arbutus Music workshop?

What if I’ve never sung before? 

Do you need to read music?

How long is a workshop? 

Where do you sing?

Who attends an Arbutus Music workshop?

Is it a sing-along?

What happens at an Arbutus Music workshop?  Most workshops are one-day events on a theme or a show.   We aim to help everyone to get the best from their voices and develop their skills whilst singing music that they love and having a lot of fun in the process! 

A very enjoyable day. This comes from someone who only sings in the shower and is nervous to let out her inner voice. A very friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

A lovely day. Good company and good singing.

Lovely day. Very encouraging with the emphasis on having fun and enjoying the singing.


What if I’ve never sung before?  No experience is expected; many people find the workshops a great way to get into singing, even whey they have been told that they can’t sing!   We also welcome many experienced singers who enjoy the chance to sing with no pressures or responsibilities.

Had a great time. Frances and Christine very supportive and instructive without being patronising. Everyone very welcoming.

Escapism from every day chores.  Another fascinating experience.

Challenging opportunity to sing alto, but gave a good opportunity to really completely focus on the notes and reading of music.

Had a fabulous day even though I don't know what I'm doing! I'm pleased to take the music home.


Do you need to read music?  No!  We use a variety of ways of approaching music, sometimes introducing music by ear - which can be very challenging for those of who are more used to reading from a score!  We aim to help everyone to be confident finding their way around sheet music and to understand how to follow their line. 

Good to work on one song in detail and have choral tips as we went along. Flexible approach adapting to the needs of the group

Great day! Super introduction, fun singing, superb facilitators too. Only got slightly lost once - as a novice that was an achievement.

Good to spend so much time learning one piece. Pace good. No books daunting at first but feel we made a better sound looking at the words on the wall.


How long is a workshop?  Most workshops run for a whole day, typically 10am - 4pm.  We have also run residential events lasting several days and have led shorter workshops for other groups, for instance on their rehearsal night.

A stupendous day. Fantastic variety of music and plenty of time to explore it. What about some gospel singing? Or extemporising? Would also love a follow up sight reading day. Many, many, many thanks.


Where do you sing?
We use a wide variety of venues, typically, in the Ingatestone/Brentwood/Epping areas of Essex. As well as an array of modern village and community halls, with up-to-the-minute facilities we offer the chance to sing in some more unusual venues, from Elizabethan Ingatestone Hall, home of the Petre family, and Georgian Copped Hall (overlooking the M25) to the famous Secret Nuclear Bunker!

Top marks for venue, food and drink, company, music, musical directors, overall enjoyment, a superb day the perfect antidote to the stress of the pre-Christmas period. I can't remember when I last enjoyed myself so much. Thanks Christine and Frances for all your hard work.


Who attends an Arbutus Music workshop?  All kinds of people: men and women from teenage to 80 plus; raw beginners to some very experienced singers.   

My first workshop and I loved it. Given me the confidence to sing.

Thank you for a great day. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed singing.


Is it a sing-along?
Embedded in all of our workshops is the aim of helping people to get more from their singing through developing skills and confidence.   Every workshop begins with a warm-up; appropriate exercises and games are included throughout the day as part of the learning process for each piece of music introduced.   Areas covered include vocal topics such as posture, breathing, voice-production and range as well as more general musical and listening skills that aid ensemble singing.  So, no, it’s a whole lot more than a sing-along.   Oh, and did we mention that it’s fun, too?

This was a wonderful day. The best I have been to although I enjoyed other workshops. Found the music challenging and tricky at times which stretched my musical knowledge. Have learnt a lot today. Thank you.

A great day - so much enjoyed the opportunity to pay more attention to the quality of our singing. In places a challenge – but so enjoyable and satisfying – very well (and very energetically) led by Frances and Christine. My thanks! Each course gets better.


singing workshops


Sing the Show
The Sound of Music

Saturday 29 February 2020
10.00am - 4.00pm
St George's Church Hall, Ongar Road
Brentwood Essex CM15 9HR


Diary for 2019-20

See details of the workshops we have planned for 2019-20


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Arbutus Musicwill help you with your singing, through voice exercises, vocal warmups and with hints and singing tips to improve your technique. If you want to learn about singing and how to sing safely, we provide lots of fun and relaxed, group singing workshops, to help you get the best out of your voice.



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