Loading Events

Maddy Prior Song Week

Monday 20 Mar 4pm — Friday 24 Mar 10am, 2023

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.

Course Enquiry

  • Halsway Manor will not share your details with any third parties.


Full board per person (tuition, activities, all meals & accommodation):

  • £400– single ensuite room
  • £365– sharing an ensuite room
  • £365– single non-ensuite room
  • £330 – sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (tuition, activities, all meals):

  • £240

Non Resident (tuition, activities, all meals except breakfast):

  • £225

We are delighted that Maddy Prior MBE and her daughter Rose-Ellen Kemp BSc (Hons) in collaboration with Christina Shewell return for another song week dedicated to the voice. The course will be for singers of all levels who want to work to build confidence, progress and improve their singing, and learn about voicing and the voice itself.

Maddy and Rose-Ellen have been teaching people and their voices at their own teaching centre, Stones Barn in Cumbria for many years. Christina is an experienced theatre voice teacher and coach, and speech and language therapist; her special interests include the way that the spoken voice affects the sung voice, links between emotions and voice, and how ‘freeing our voice’ is good for our well-being.

Working both altogether, and in smaller groups, you’ll have fun learning practical techniques to improve and maintain the voice, gain knowledge of vocal anatomy and physiology and hear some interesting insights into the current voice research. In the smaller groups you have the option to work individually with one of the leaders, with the supportive audience of your fellow group members. You will also – of course – enjoy some group singing for the sheer love of it.

A programme, timetable and music/lyrics sheets will be available nearer the time. We will also be joined by a pianist and music theory expert this year who can assist with learning the pieces and to quickly answer any queries you may have about the written music.

Each evening participants can gather in the bar to put these new techniques into practice during informal sing-around performances; these are hugely enjoyable and a chance to extend your confidence.

On the final evening, our excellent pianist will accompany us during at the Thursday evening concert, but during which Maddy and Rose-Ellen will be mainly performing songs as a duo. The course participants will have by then have learnt 5 pieces to sing together, conducted by Maddy or Rose-Ellen at the concert. Christina always has some great poems and readings about voice to add to the mix too.

Past participants have found the course to be an absorbing and fulfilling singing experience.

“Exceeded my expectations – brilliant!” 2018 participant

Who’s it For?

All levels and styles of singer! We believe everybody should sing if they want to. This includes:

  • Professionals and amateurs
  • people who love to sing and want to sing better
  • those who are interested in the technical aspects of the voice and singing
  • those who feel they are terrified of singing/people who want to sing but were told they couldn’t
  • people who haven’t sung in a while
  • people who easily lose their voice after a short amount of singing
  • people who think their voice has been affected by aging.

We will give you a lot of support, information, encouragement and YET MORE support to get your singing up to the next level from where you currently are.

“Three fantastic tutors, it was a honour!” 2018 participant

The Team

Maddy Prior MBE is one of the best known voices from the English folk revival, with a career spanning over fifty years. A founding member of Steeleye Span (since 1969) she has toured the world and continues to tour and record with them today. Maddy has recently graduated from The Complete Vocal Institute in Denmark after completing a 3 year course to become a singing teacher. She was the key note speaker at the Folk Expo in 2016. She was awarded the MBE for services to folk music, has a gold pin from BASCA, is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cumbria and, in 2015 was honoured with the Gold Badge Award from the English Folk Dance and Song Society. As an interpreter of traditional music as well as a songwriter, Maddy has been cited as an influence by many successful artists. She established Stones Barn in Cumbria as a centre for courses in music, poetry and performance which she runs in partnership with daughter Rose. She also founded the highly successful Stepping Stones Festival, now in its 7th year.

Christina Shewell is a very experienced speech and language therapist, highly specialised in voice (issues involving the larynx for speech), and is also a qualified voice teacher, with a long experience in both training, and mending the voices of singers, actors and other public speakers. As an academic, Christina has been a staff member of both the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and University College London, and is fascinated by the meeting point of art and science in voice. Her book, ‘Voice Work: Art and Science in Changing Voices’ (2009) is extensively used by singing teachers, spoken voice coaches and those working with voice problems. Teaching all around the world she cover many aspects of voice, including a simple way of analysing what we hear in a voice, to better understand and care for it, and more recently, the links between neuroscience, voice, psyche and everyday well-being. She has a Masters degree in linguistics, and has been honoured by a Fellowship of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, and an honorary senior lectureship at University College London.

Rose-Ellen Kemp began touring alongside her parents as a child. She started performing as a solo artist at age 15 and continued touring Europe and the UK for the next 10 years playing many prestigious shows, festivals, TV and radio sessions. Rose-Ellen signed to Bjork’s record label One Little Indian Records for a time and released an E.P. and three critically acclaimed albums. Her music encompasses many genres including; progressive rock, classic rock, choral, drone-metal, doom-metal, stoner rock and sludge, all with a solid grounding in the melody of the English folk tradition. Rose-Ellen is known for her uncompromising writing style and extremely far-reaching vocal ability. She is able to demonstrate large variation of tone, intensity and texture. Rose-Ellen has been a vocal tutor teaching mainly vocal technique since 2003. With a view to being better able to assist singers to establish greater self-esteem through enhanced self-expression, she studied at Newcastle University. During the 4 years studying on the Speech and Language Sciences BSc (Hons) course, Rose-Ellen expanded her knowledge of voice and communication pathologies as well as other relevant subjects; head and neck anatomy and physiology, psychology, neurology, phonetics, phonology, linguistics and child development. Rose-Ellen has also recently completed Singing For Lung Health training.

“I got so much out of it, the information about the voice that was taught was very useful and manageable. I will book singing lessons when I get home!.” 2018 participants