DSB’s voice coach Helena 2 of 2


 Following on from the previous page…

Here’s some information about Helena, thanks to www.record-producer.com


In addition to DSB, people whom Helena Shenel has helped with their singing include Paul Young, Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel and George Michael.


This is the only photo I could find of Helena

Using the voice correctly


“I don’t teach people a style, I teach people how to use the voice and the muscles involved in singing correctly so that they don’t strain anything and get the best possible development out of their particular voice.”


Screaming heavy metal singers too?


“They are all using the same instrument. I show them how to use it without damaging it.”


Why do top singers go to her?


“To make sure that they do nothing to strain the voice. They might be going on tour or have a heavy recording schedule, and they would ask me ways of strengthening the voice and making sure that it doesn’t get tired.”


Singing out of tune


“That’s a bit difficult. A student of mine first came to me saying that he really really wanted to sing, but I had to ask him if he realised that he couldn’t sing in tune. Added to that he made a noise which was akin to something between a bull bellowing and a donkey braying – painful. We persevered for about three years and he eventually became a very good singer. It is amazing what you can do with someone who really wants to do it, but you need patience. Sometimes people can’t sing in tune because they are pushing and forcing the voice beyond what nature intended it to do. One of my most important things is that you can’t pronounce words the same way as you would speak them because you run the risk of singing out of tune.”




“Breathing should be as natural as possible. I never give people special breathing exercises. I teach them how to sing not how to breathe. You can breathe very well and be a long distance swimmer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can sing well.”


How many lessons?


“It depends so much on the individual. A young man singing with a band came to me for an hour long consultation. I told him about putting his head and neck in the right position, opening his mouth correctly and all the various things. At the end of the lesson he said “I can’t believe it, it’s absolutely amazing the difference it makes”. A few days later after a gig he told me that his voice felt so much stronger, it didn’t get tired or hoarse and the band all thought he sounded better. That was after one lesson. It depends to a large extent on whether the person has an open mind and is willing to accept my ideas. I do occasionally get a bit of resistance if people are unwillingly sent by their managers or record companies, but generally I find that people with the most outrageous public personae are really very nice people with a very good professional attitude.”




This next article is thanks to Liveatthesuite.com


Singing is good for you and can be fun, when you discover how easily it is done

Helena Shenel, internationally known singing teacher, is highly regarded as an expert in showing popular singers how to get the maximum potential from the voice withot strain. Among the famous clients she has advised are Shirley Bassey, Peter Gabriel, Lulu, Annie Lennox, George Michael, Marti Pellow, Billie Ray Martin and Sarah Washington, to name but a few.


In Helena’s own words: “I will show you how you can use your body to help you sing well and make breathing easy; how to open your mouth and sing words easily and clearly in all parts of the voice; how to extend the range of your voice and strengthen it – and how to sing quietly. Above all, I will teach you how to think about singing. This will give you supreme confidence in your ability to sing. When you practise the exercises exactly as directed you have the recipe for developing your voice without straining it.”


Helena Shenel – a Catalogue of Compliments….


Shirley Bassey – “Helena Shenel gave me back the voice I thought I had lost. She gave me high notes and a falsetto I never knew I had and above all she gave me confidence. I can’t often get to see Helena, but always have her tapes – they are my lifeline!”


Peter Gabriel – “Helena is a marvellous teacher and I very much enjoyed my lessons with her”


Sue Pollard – “Having been singing professionally for twenty years, Helena in my opinion is far and away the best teacher I have had. She makes lessons fun and she also makes sense, and through her I feel a much better performer. She also makes a mean Lemon Chicken!”


Nomis Management – “The voice coaching you have given George Michael has proved invaluable”


Jazz Summers (Manager) – “With Helena Shenel you will discover the eccentricity of your own voice”


Billie Ray Martin – “Without Helena Shenel I probably wouldn’t be singing today. I thought at one time that my constant loss of voice was permanent until I ended up with Helena who in a matter of four weeks rectified the problem”


Efua – “Learning with, and form, Helena Shenel has helped a lot, both in the studio and with live shows. On one occasion I had lost my voice completely and had to sing live on TV that afternoon. I called Helena in a panic and two and a half hours later I was singing. How? – I’ve no idea. Ask Helena!”