ACM London was awash with excitement during Freshers’ Week when powerhouse vocalist Carleen Anderson officially closed the week’s events by delivering a practical and incredibly inspiring masterclass session.
After a short introduction by the Young Disciples and Brand New Heavies singer where she revealed that the legendary James Brown was her Godfather, she got straight down to business. Throughout the class, Carleen shared her top vocal techniques and demonstrated them with student volunteers. Kicking off with a vocal warm-up, she had students bent over, growling deeply, and slowly raising their arms and pitch until they had their arms in the air, screaming.
One of the main techniques Carleen kept coming back to was one where she asked the vocalists to imagine the sound travelling from their ankles, right up to their foreheads and she encouraged them to use their whole body to create a powerful sound. When sharing her top tips, she urged students to practice, to find their own sound and to look after their voices.
When asked about singing in the studio, Carleen urged students to work with the engineer to get the best sound they possibly can, and she shared a story about seeing Marvin Gaye laying on a sofa while doing a vocal take to get the best sound. She told students she prefers not to hold the microphone, even when performing live, as she said this enables her to use her whole body to perform.
As the masterclass drew to a close, one student asked Carleen to perform a song. She then took to the piano and did an incredible off-the-cuff performance of Oasis’s ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. Students were completely blown away and eagerly stayed back to chat to her after the session had ended.
Carleen got everybody involved and on their feet during the session – from practicing warm-ups to having students singing whilst lying on the floor – and everyone in the audience was entertained and enlightened throughout.
“I first started doing masterclasses at ACM 15 years ago. It’s always been a wonderful school for contemporary music and for training young musicians to be out in the music world.”
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Carleen Anderson for taking the time out of her busy schedule to visit us and present such an amazing masterclass session. To see the latest masterclass content from ACM, subscribe to our ACM YouTube now.
If you’d like to be a student at ACM and attend masterclass sessions with world-renowned musicians, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.