Vocal Leader & Teacher
Sage Gateshead

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Sharon D

00:00:02 My name is Sharon D and I am a vocal leader and songwriter which just means I work with various age groups of people and help them to sing. I’m employed and self-employed as well. So I’ve got…run a number of community choirs and I also work in schools. So I go into schools, particularly at the moment, primary schools and work with the children, but also for the job I’m doing at the moment, work with the teachers and I do a lot of training with teachers and adults and people wanting to learn how to lead singing.

00:00:42 The best thing about my job is getting to sing and working with people. I just…I guess those are the two things that I’m passionate about and being able to do both at the same time is fantastic.

00:00:57 These are pitch pipes. They’re actually chromatic pitch pipes which means they have all the notes of the scales in them. Pitch pipes are really handy for getting a good note to start off on so that you’re not too low or too high for the children’s voices.

00:01:13 I never had singing lessons but we had a really nice music teacher at primary school who was really encouraging and inspiring so that helped. At that point when I was at school doing…and thinking about GCSE music, it was very classically based and I wasn’t particularly into classical music. So I didn’t choose to do music GCSE and therefore didn’t choose to do music A-level, so I did sciences. Sciences and maths. And I guess came from a background where parents were interested in, you know, professional careers like being a doctor and that kind of thing. I know it was always…it was always kind of expected, I guess, for me to go to university.

00:01:55 I studied electrical and electronic engineering. It happened to be the most boring degree in the whole planet but the good thing about going to university was just the kind of life experience, meeting up with other people. I was always interested in music so I joined several bands when I was at university. That kind of started me off really and I kind of learnt that the engineering wasn’t what I was interested in and the music was what I was interested in.

00:02:25 I did a PGCE which is a year teacher training and because of my sciences, I did that in physics. So I did actually teach physics for about 18 months in a secondary school which was interesting. And again, I suppose…again it was kind of playing safe in a way at that point, but what it did teach me was that, again, my real interest was music because I helped out in the music department and I helped run the choirs and things like that.

00:02:53 What that led to was coming back up to Newcastle and doing an HND in music theatre and at the same time I started working for a, you know, a kind of Saturday morning dance school and they wanted kind of vocal lessons for their dancers and it kind of just spread from there.

00:03:15 One of my highlights I guess would be I got to be the musical director on a Winter’s Tale which was a specially commissioned piece of music theatre. It was working with a cast of young people and also a band of young people and that was great and we performed it in The Round, in-hall too at the Sage, Gateshead. It was just fantastic to be involved in that.

00:03:39 I would quite like to expand my experience of song-writing, maybe into more about publishing and…or being published and I guess I would like to look back and have some fantastic performing experiences.

00:03:59 I think certainly when you’re starting out, you know, go for something that you love. There’s always time afterwards if that doesn’t work out to, you know, adjust your ideas but one of the main things about the job is that I love singing with anybody and everybody and that’s what makes it really special for me. ENDS


Sharon D is a Songwriter and Vocal Leader at the Sage in Gateshead. She describes her job as helping people to sing. Her passion is singing. But parental pressure led her to do a degree in science and become a physics teacher. This made her realise that her real interest was music, so she took an HND in music theatre. “I love singing with anybody and everybody and that’s what makes it really special for me.”

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? Job holders in this unit group perform a variety of other education and teaching occupations not elsewhere classified in MINOR GROUP 231: Teaching and Educational Professionals.
Entry is possible with a variety of academic qualifications, professional qualifications and/or relevant experience.
  • Designs and implements methods of assessing the performance of students, co-ordinates and undertakes the evaluation of assessments and awards grades of merit based upon performance;
  • Co-ordinates the activities of private music and dancing schools, training centres and similar establishments;
  • Provides private academic, vocational and other instruction to individuals or groups;
  • Teaches English as a foreign language and assists in the tuition of foreign languages.
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