Our Story: Pop-up School of Vocals

Pop-up school of vocals is Elena Dana’s initiative to encourage professional vocalists, actors, songwriters and musicians to share their knowledge on vocals with local communities and to remove access barriers by introducing affordable or subsidised workshops in a fun loving atmosphere. The school offers drop-in group singing workshops, masterclasses, courses and exclusive showcases devised for an adult learner of all levels and abilities.  

The first pop-up school was set up in 2014 in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, as a result of Elena’s teaching training as a music educator at the British academy of New Music. The school was a weekly, four months long venture, and featured the founder of She choir, Ellie Estbrook.

Years on and those who took part were very fond of the project and always asked for more! Hence, a year and a half later, during the winter & spring of 2016 & 2017, the second pop-up school introduced a series of Masterclasses dedicated to Jazz, Blues, Ballads, Romani & Balkan genres. With acclaimed songwriters, musicians and performers Norma Jean MartineAdam BridgesAllegra ShockMeg Cavanaugh and Dunja Botic.

the school was held at the legendary Premises Studios, London, UK.

The 3rd school was dedicated solely to Jazz Vocals and was run on during the summer of 2018, in Scotland, across the city of Edinburgh, featuring acclaimed jazz singer Lorna Reid, vocal coach Nicholas Franck, and a musician & a lead vocalist from a swing band Radio Pachuco, Sophie Adams. Our last showcase, in Edinburgh, to mark the end of this run, was held on Tuesday 18th Sep 2018 at the Bar Brig.

The 4th, 2020 School of Vocals has started early and is dedicated to jazz vocals and dramatic arts! We have launched our first DramVocals© workshop of its kind in Edinburgh, Nov 2019, featuring an incredibly talented Chrissie Thornton who was discovered through her outstanding performance in an inspirational musical “Made in Dagenham” dedicated to equal rights. The video footage from this workshop is now available on our Patreon page here

A series of DramVocals workshops have now been launched in The Hague, starting with every second and fourth Saturday in January & February 2020.

Joining us for the first workshop of the year is a renowned jazz musician Niels Tausk teaching us about jazz phrasing and more! The Second workshop is Joined by a young and talented Jazz vocalist Kakia Fesa. Third workshop is shared with Lisanne Pronk.

Vocal Jazz Courses devised and organised by Elena Dana, are shared with amazing Joran ten Kroode, Kakia Fesa and Meriç calisan.

The courses are still LIVE and kicking and are available to book via www.singjazzinternational.com with a new teacher on board – Ali Afleck!

Edinburgh Council Courses

With the much appreciated help from the Edinburgh Council we were able to offer heavily subsidised Jazz Singing courses in the heart of the city of Edinburgh from January to May 2019. The courses were sold out and during the duration of twenty weeks in total, the courses covered essential vocal training technique and introduced a new jazz standard each class. The courses featured a visiting teacher Sophie Adams and a visiting pianist Valentine Kulikov who were kind enough to offer their time and knowledge to the groups on voluntarily basis. 

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