Barbara Maria Rathbone

I believe that everyone has the ability to sing. If you have the desire there are simple mechanics that can be learned to produce a lovely free musical sound. Clinical studies in recent years have verified that the activity of singing is extremely beneficial to physical and emotional wellbeing. Furthermore, singing in choirs has increased in recent years, which adds the dimension of community to these benefits.

Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, has studied the developmental and medical aspects of singing for 30 years.  He found that the health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological:

 “Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavour.” 

I have sung at a professional level for over 20 years, and have experienced various schools of vocal technique from traditional 'bel canto' methodologies of Marchesi and Lucie Manen to Husler, to the popular and accessible Estill Vocal Training system.

I have had, as many singers have, a few moments in my singing life where I’ve had to make technical adjustments and troubleshoot an issue before it takes real hold. I know that anything can be reversed with patience and skill, so troubleshooting is my speciality. Often it is a confidence issue as a lack of confidence can lead to a holding back and from there tension becomes the real enemy of freedom. A singer needs to learn a language to instruct the body so that it can offset any tension.

If you want to learn a song, aria, or join a choir and/or if have confidence issues with your voice, come and see me for a consultation. I do not rigidly apply a particular technique and mix and match a few ideas tailored to the students needs, abilities and level. I am also gaining a reputation as a trouble-shooter for experienced singers who have encountered vocal problems. 

Barbara Maria is a member of AOTOS, the Association of Teachers of Singing.

To book a lesson, please visit my bookings page:


"I’ve been learning with Barbara for a year and it has been a marvellous experience. Barbara’s a great teacher who combines excellent theory and technique with a welcoming and adaptive style. I feel really seen and nurtured by her teaching and am looking forward to the next year!"

Leo G.

"Barbara has managed to give me my voice back!"

Ann S

"Not only has Barbara taught me to sing better, but her holistic approach has given me confidence in various parts of my life that I'd been lacking. I started working with her remotely during the second lockdown - her lessons really gave me something positive to look forward to and to work towards at a rather bleak time. As someone who has suffered from body dysmorphia in the past, learning how the body produces sound and how this sound can improved has been immensely helpful. 

Barbara has infinite patience, and gently pushes me out of my comfort zone to produce sounds I didn't think myself capable of!

Emma A.

"Having sung in choirs as a soprano long after my Sop voice had passed its sell by date ( because like the Devil, sopranos seem to have all the best choons), I decided the time had come to develop the lower reaches of my voice. Unfortunately, I seemed incapable of singing below Middle C without triggering a coughing fit! Then one day I discovered Barbara, a voice coach who lived in my area and so I got in touch. I am very pleased to say that she helped me make the transition from squeaky soprano who sounded like Minnie Mouse to a stronger richer and much better sounding Mezzo, while explaining to me how a singing voice works, how to practice and what to avoid, and all the while keeping it fun. Barbara has also introduced me to a whole new repertoire and shown me that Mezzos have some pretty knockout melodies too!"

Charlotte S.