Still Singing Today – all down to good singing tuition!

Alan Leith (actor and singer)

facebook-John-Oxley-2015I was recently in contact with an old student of mine from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School – Alan Leith.

It was a short note to introduce my new website to him but, mainly to say I found an old recording of me singing Ombra Mai Fu, assured that this will bring back memories of Alan’s time spent at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

I went on to ask him if he still sang, because most of the old students of that era still do today, which I think is fantastic. I always remember Alan having a good tenor voice in his youth and presumed it is still with him, and encouraged him to sing along with me via the website. Well I was so pleased to hear back from him…I would like to share some of his comments…

alan leith actorblood brothers poster 1983Dear John, Great to hear from you and listen to you singing so well! Yes, I did join in! I loved my singing lessons with you John and they’ve kept me in good stead ever since.

I’ve performed in many musicals over the years ( including the premier of Blood Brothers as Mr Lyons in 1983) and sing with 2 local choirs now. One for the classical stuff and one for popular song…

Many thanks John, All Good Wishes, Alan

Can singing help asthma sufferers? Here is some proof!

Singing and Asthma suffers…

asthma uk logoOn my Blog you will see an article regarding the NHS using singing for people who suffer from Asthma. However, I recently read another article on Facebook from Asthma UK.

…They published a new report which shows that unsafe prescribing and overuse of inhalers is putting the lives of more than 120,000 people with asthma at risk. Adding not to worry, because here is a guide

Again I found it to be very interesting. The NHS article I refer to is promoting how singing is helping asthma suffers with their breathing where they are not relying on the inhalers so much.

Here is my story about an asthma sufferer who became very famous!

facebook-John-Oxley-2015During the 1960’s,whilst I was teaching singing at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School a new teenage student arrived, but immediately I discovered she suffered from acute asthma and this created problems as she was unable to sustain the breath required for singing.

However together we continued working on vocal technique and over time there was a slight but noticeable improvement…I could go on but the rest is history, the lady I refer to became a household name and throughout her illustrious career played many roles in the entertainment industry winning numerous awards in acting and ‘singing’.

The lady is Jane Lapotaire, who went on to sing the lead role in the musical play Piaf (in the UK and on Broadway). Below is a video from Youtube demonstrating her wonderful character portrayal of Piaf (live):

I hope you liked this and enjoyed the singing and acting as much as I did. If so please share with your friends and family. Below is a video of Jane receiving the Tony award for best actress in Piaf.

Is Singing good for Asthma?

Shaun BattRecently I typed this question in to Google, and there were many results. However I was very interested to read that the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust use singing on a weekly basis to help their patients with severe breathing problems. The reason I found this so interesting is that John Oxley often spoke of his singing lessons improving the breathing of his students at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School – especially one student in particular who suffered from acute asthma and then went on to win the Laurence Olivier and Tony awards – London and Broadway for playing Piaf.