Hello. I’m Xenia.
I’m an experienced choir leader and workshop facilitator with a passion for bringing people from all walks of life together to sing in harmony.
I use my warm and inclusive style to create playful and supportive spaces for people of all levels of experience to explore their voices and enjoy singing together.
A bit about my singing philosophy and how I teach
I am a member of the Natural Voice Network and strongly believe that everyone can sing and should have opportunities to do so.
My teaching style reflects this inclusive approach. I teach everything by ear, so it doesn’t matter whether or not you have previously learnt to read music. I avoid using musical jargon – while this works for some people, it can sound totally alien to someone who hasn’t had opportunities to learn music, and can reinforce those really unhelpful feelings of ‘I knew I wasn’t a musical person – I shouldn’t be here’. Loads of music from around the world is learnt and shared by ear and never written down, and that is how I teach my choirs and workshops.
A bit about my background:
I’ve been singing and playing the clarinet since I was little and I’m currently learning piano and guitar. My earliest musical memories are of dancing round the living room aged 3 in Mozambique, where I was living at the time, to gorgeous harmonies from the South African musical Ipi Ntombi. I’ve since worked in South Africa as an adult, and southern African harmonies hold a special place in my heart.
Aside from music, my background is in youth and community work, social action, participation, and training and facilitation. I have recently set up Voices Welcome, a charity working with refugees and using singing as a way of supporting wellbeing, integration and community cohesion.
In summer 2016, in response to the increase in hate crime, I founded Singing For Unity, a series of public singing workshops bringing people together to sing songs celebrating unity and togetherness.
“I came along tonight with my friend Julia & just wanted to say what a wonderful session it was! That was my first group singing thing since school & that was some time ago – will definitely come again!”