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 Practitioners 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’m in the process of setting up Voices Welcome, a charity working with asylum seekers and 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!”