Christmas Singing and Recording Workshops

BY POPULAR DEMAND all singers are invited to join us for exclusive vocal workshops at Jim's favourite recording studio, for a special Christmas themed day of singing and recording

Sunday 10th December 2017

10am - 1pm or 3pm - 6pm

 

All Singers Welcome!

The Workshop:

We are so excited to announce the first ever James Hawkins Music Christmas A Cappella and A Ca"POP"pa (see what we did there?) Singing & Recording Workshop on Sunday 10 December.

Join the talented choir director and music producer, Jim Hawkins, fresh from the finals of Britain's Got Talent and at his favourite recording studio, to sing and record several Christmas songs in a very original way.

The feedback from our last workshop was phenomenal, thrilling and inspiring.

It will a new group of singers meeting and singing together, but we are a welcoming bunch, so feel free to attend alone or with friends - you'll be well looked after either way.

And you'll come away with four tracks performed by you so you can delight your family, friends and office colleagues with a ready-made album you can proudly play at every Christmas party you attend from now on. Whether you enjoy the challenge of the A Cappella session and/or the fun Christmas party atmosphere of the afternoon A CaPOPpa workshop - OR BOTH! - there's something for everyone.

Why record?

This is a workshop that brings together Jim's passion for finding untapped potential in the amateur voice, and using the recording and production process to facilitate this. Jim loves to teach and demonstrate to singers who are not professionally trained how good they can sound together.  Through teaching and now the process of making recordings, singers at any stage of their journey can learn, achieve a boost in confidence, and inspiration, as well as have a fantastic, memorable experience.

Here are two sessions to choose from and during each session we will rehearse, sing and record four different songs over a three-hour period.

The Sessions and the Songs!

These will operate on a first-come, first-served basis and there is AN EARLY BIRD PRICE of £60 per person for one three-hour session. You are of course more than welcome to attend both!

Early bird pricing ends on 1st July when the price will increase to £65.

A glimpse of our last Recording workshop at Abbey Road Studios

The cost of the recording workshop includes:

  • All musical scores*
  • Pre-recorded audio resources to help you learn your part in advance*
  • All final recordings made will be yours to keep and made available exclusively to you approximately a week after the recording session**
  • Sessions are open to those aged 16 or over only.

 

Session 1: 10am – 1pm

This morning session is for anyone who enjoys the challenge and beauty of singing a cappella and will include the following songs:

  • Carol Of The Bells
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • Christmas Lullabye
  • We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Session 2: 3pm – 6pm

This afternoon session is for anyone who enjoys singing the classic Christmas pop songs and will include:

  • Merry Christmas Everyone
  • Mary's Boy Child
  • We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  • Merry Xmas/War Is Over

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why record?

The recording environment has one very unique and important aspect, which helps us improve at a faster rate. This is the simple ability to play back our performance for instant feedback.

Working with Jim and our play-back we can produce much more fine-tuned feedback and specific feedback to enhance everything, from an entire performance, or single small fragments of bars. So we’ll be able to make improvements and keep improvements and raise the standard our singing overall.

Why Abbey Road Studios?

Abbey Road’s Studio One is one of the largest and best recording facilities in the UK. It has the space and acoustic designed for this style and scale of performance. It is a world-leader in sound recording and we can guarantee an honest, undoctored play-back, which gives us the most honest representation of our singing. It also has its historical legacy, which adds to enhancing our performance – the prestigious environment promotes a higher standard of performance. (Just as if we were wearing our best clothes to a job interview or performance).

Do I need to be able to read musical scores?

No, not at all. In advance, by e-mail we will send you audio recordings of the part you choose to learn along with copies of the musical scores. You’ll have plenty of time to listen and learn the part by ear. Plus Jim will assist you throughout the session and especially through any tricky bits. In our experience we find people enjoy having a musical score as a guide. Even if you don’t read music, you can follow a line up and down with an audio track to help you. We find it’s a wonderful stepping stone to learning how to read music in the future.

 

Will we have time to practise as a group before the recording session?

There won’t be a separate group rehearsal ahead of the recording session. But you will be sent complete audio recordings of each song part, and the musical score as a guide, well in advance of the recording day for you to rehearse individually. (These will be released no later than 3rd April 2017 or, if you book a place after that date, within 48 hours of booking your ticket). During the recording session, Jim will lead you through the songs in warm up and there will also be plenty of opportunity to record and re-record parts of the songs in isolation, if some tricky bits catch the choir out!

Must I have attended the JHM workshop first time around?

We welcome everyone who loves to sing! You don’t need to have attended before. Simply choose the session with the songs you like the best, or if you can’t decide, do both 🙂

Are there disabled facilities and access?

Please let us know if you have special requirements for access or facilities before booking and we will check with Abbey Road Studios to make sure we can accommodate you comfortably.

Am I able to request a refund if I can no longer make the event?

No, we do not offer refunds. However, you are free to arrange for another person to take your place, and/or sell on your ticket if you need to. You may use our Facebook page to advertise any spare tickets if you wish.

Can I take photos and videos on my mobile phone or other device on the day?

Yes, you can. We have purchased a full licence for us to record video and take photographs from our sessions. Please take note of the IMPORTANT INFORMATION section at the bottom of this page about how you may use this footage.

Can I bring a non-singer as a guest?

No. This is not a public performance. Abbey Road Studios is a working studio, and this Workshop is not a tourist experience or studio tour. Tickets are available only to people who will be fully participating in each recording session. If you have special needs and require a helper, this is an exception, so please let us know and we will make arrangements with you.

Is there a dress code for the workshop?

No. You can wear whatever you’re comfortable singing in, as long as it’s decent 😉

Will the 3-hour session include a break?

No. Please prepare to be singing and recording for the whole three hours. Every minute counts and we’re going to be as professional as possible.

You will of course be able to use facilities before and after the session and we won’t stop you leaving the session if there’s urgency.

Is there car parking available?

No. There are no on-site car parks available. However, there are public car parks in the local area, but these can be very expensive. See this website to find a space. If you drive, perhaps you could consider a car-share to spread the cost, otherwise we recommend that you use public transport to plan your journey.

What time shall I arrive and where do I go?

After booking your ticket, we will send you an itinerary of the Workshop session nearer the time. This will include specific instructions for arrival and meeting points etc.

May I purchase a ticket on behalf of someone else?

Yes, you can. This is useful if you want to buy a Workshop place as a gift for a loved one, or if you want to book tickets on behalf of a group. It’s probably best not to make this a surprise gift though, as the attendee will need to practise and learn their vocal parts before attending.

The booking form asks for the name(s) of the person(s) attending the workshop, if it is different from the person booking the ticket. You will also be asked what voice part the attendee(s) will sing. The e-mail confirmation includes the E-ticket and is sent to the person buying the ticket, so you will be responsible for sharing those details with the attendee(s). Similarly the correspondence regarding preparing for the Workshop, with links to musical resources, will be sent to the person buying the ticket, so we ask you to share that to the person(s) attending.

Workshop details:

  • Music Producer, arranger and choral director: James Hawkins
  • Venue: Abbey Road Studios, 3 Abbey Road, London, NW8 9AY
  • Date: Sunday 10th December 2017
  • Cost per person per 3-hour session: £60.00 (booking fee and V.A.T. included)

 

Important information

*All musical resources, both audio and scores, will be made available to fully paid up participants no later than 10th November 2017. Sharing these resources with any third parties is strictly prohibited.

** Date of delivery of recordings will be subject to mixing and digital preparation and may take longer than one week after the recording session. JHM reserves the right to deliver final recordings later than one week after the recording session and within a two-week period. In the unlikely event that JHM experiences unforeseen technical problems with the recordings, the delay will be longer and JHM will promptly communicate a new delivery date to all participants informing them of the expected delay period.

Participants own shared rights in the sound recordings only. By paying the participation fee of £65 (or £60 early bird pricing) to JHM, all sound recording owners automatically agree to not use the recordings for future commercial or charity release, re-sale, sync licensing, broadcast, online playlisting or any other known or unknown form of direct commercial online sales.

Any mass duplication and transference of recordings to CD, Minidisc, vinyl, tape, video, USB drive, hard drives, or other known or unknown hard-copy/media is prohibited.

All sound recording owners are only permitted to display and share recordings made on December 24th 2017 using www.soundcloud.com.

All sound recording owners are only permitted to embed soundcloud links into any personal websites and are openly permitted to use recordings for promotional and display purposes only. Recordings must not be sold.

*** Recordings can be uploaded to Internet sites with MCPS clearance only, such as www.soundcloud.com.

All Singers – Recording and Singing Workshop

All singers are invited to join us for an exclusive vocal workshop at Jim's favourite recording studio, and learn about how performance can be enhanced via the process of recording.

Plus Special Guest Vocalists!

Saturday May 6th 2017

10am - 1pm or 3pm - 6pm

 

Thank you for an AWESOME DAY!

The Workshop:

All singers are invited to join us for a unique workshop at Jim's favourite recording studio, and learn about how performance can be enhanced via the process of recording.

What's more, you will be singing with the stars, as 80s icon Carol Decker (T'Pau) and the brilliant Alistair Griffin (Fame Academy) will join our choir on the day, to lead two songs. 

It will be the first time this group of singers will have met and sung together, but they are a welcoming bunch, so feel free to attend alone or with a group - you'll be well looked after either way.

And you'll come away with three tracks performed by you and the rest of the first ever 'James Hawkins Music Pop-Up Workshop Choir' to keep forever!

Why record?

This is a workshop that brings together Jim's passion for finding untapped potential in the amateur voice, and using the recording and production process to facilitate this. Jim loves to teach and demonstrate to singers who are not professionally trained how good they can sound together.  Through teaching and now the process of making recordings, singers at any stage of their journey can learn, achieve a boost in confidence, and inspiration, as well as have a fantastic, memorable experience.

This concept has been germinating for a long time so we are very excited to finally realise this vision.

There are two sessions to choose from and during each session we will rehearse, sing and record three different songs over a three-hour period.

The Sessions and the Songs!

We were delighted to welcome Carol Decker,  the fabulous vocal talent from '80s supergroup T'Pau who took the lead vocal in this session for Too Late Baby and gifted vocalist Alastair Griffin who sang lead on God Only Knows.

The cost of the recording workshop includes:

  • All musical scores*
  • Pre-recorded audio resources to help you learn your part in advance*
  • All final recordings made will be yours to keep and made available exclusively to you approximately a week after the recording session**
  • Sessions are open to those aged 16 or over only.

 

Singers with scores smiling

Morning session recordings!

Afternoon Session Recordings!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why record?

The recording environment has one very unique and important aspect, which helps us improve at a faster rate. This is the simple ability to play back our performance for instant feedback.

Working with Jim and our play-back we can produce much more fine-tuned feedback and specific feedback to enhance everything, from an entire performance, or single small fragments of bars. So we’ll be able to make improvements and keep improvements and raise the standard our singing overall.

Why Abbey Road Studios?

Abbey Road’s Studio One is one of the largest and best recording facilities in the UK. It has the space and acoustic designed for this style and scale of performance. It is a world-leader in sound recording and we can guarantee an honest, undoctored play-back, which gives us the most honest representation of our singing. It also has its historical legacy, which adds to enhancing our performance – the prestigious environment promotes a higher standard of performance. (Just as if we were wearing our best clothes to a job interview or performance).

Do I need to be able to read musical scores?

No, not at all. In advance, by e-mail we will send you audio recordings of the part you choose to learn along with copies of the musical scores. You’ll have plenty of time to listen and learn the part by ear. Plus Jim will assist you throughout the session and especially through any tricky bits. In our experience we find people enjoy having a musical score as a guide. Even if you don’t read music, you can follow a line up and down with an audio track to help you. We find it’s a wonderful stepping stone to learning how to read music in the future.

 

Will we have time to practise as a group before the recording session?

There won’t be a separate group rehearsal ahead of the recording session. But you will be sent complete audio recordings of each song part, and the musical score as a guide, well in advance of the recording day for you to rehearse individually. (These will be released no later than 3rd April 2017 or, if you book a place after that date, within 48 hours of booking your ticket). During the recording session, Jim will lead you through the songs in warm up and there will also be plenty of opportunity to record and re-record parts of the songs in isolation, if some tricky bits catch the choir out!

Must I have attended the JHM workshop first time around?

We welcome everyone who loves to sing! You don’t need to have attended before. Simply choose the session with the songs you like the best, or if you can’t decide, do both 🙂

Are there disabled facilities and access?

Please let us know if you have special requirements for access or facilities before booking and we will check with Abbey Road Studios to make sure we can accommodate you comfortably.

Am I able to request a refund if I can no longer make the event?

No, we do not offer refunds. However, you are free to arrange for another person to take your place, and/or sell on your ticket if you need to. You may use our Facebook page to advertise any spare tickets if you wish.

Can I take photos and videos on my mobile phone or other device on the day?

Yes, you can. We have purchased a full licence for us to record video and take photographs from our sessions. Please take note of the IMPORTANT INFORMATION section at the bottom of this page about how you may use this footage.

Can I bring a non-singer as a guest?

No. This is not a public performance. Abbey Road Studios is a working studio, and this Workshop is not a tourist experience or studio tour. Tickets are available only to people who will be fully participating in each recording session. If you have special needs and require a helper, this is an exception, so please let us know and we will make arrangements with you.

Is there a dress code for the workshop?

No. You can wear whatever you’re comfortable singing in, as long as it’s decent 😉

Will the 3-hour session include a break?

No. Please prepare to be singing and recording for the whole three hours. Every minute counts and we’re going to be as professional as possible.

You will of course be able to use facilities before and after the session and we won’t stop you leaving the session if there’s urgency.

Is there car parking available?

No. There are no on-site car parks available. However, there are public car parks in the local area, but these can be very expensive. See this website to find a space. If you drive, perhaps you could consider a car-share to spread the cost, otherwise we recommend that you use public transport to plan your journey.

What time shall I arrive and where do I go?

After booking your ticket, we will send you an itinerary of the Workshop session nearer the time. This will include specific instructions for arrival and meeting points etc.

May I purchase a ticket on behalf of someone else?

Yes, you can. This is useful if you want to buy a Workshop place as a gift for a loved one, or if you want to book tickets on behalf of a group. It’s probably best not to make this a surprise gift though, as the attendee will need to practise and learn their vocal parts before attending.

The booking form asks for the name(s) of the person(s) attending the workshop, if it is different from the person booking the ticket. You will also be asked what voice part the attendee(s) will sing. The e-mail confirmation includes the E-ticket and is sent to the person buying the ticket, so you will be responsible for sharing those details with the attendee(s). Similarly the correspondence regarding preparing for the Workshop, with links to musical resources, will be sent to the person buying the ticket, so we ask you to share that to the person(s) attending.

Workshop details:

  • Music Producer, arranger and choral director: James Hawkins
  • Venue: Abbey Road Studios, 3 Abbey Road, London, NW8 9AY
  • Date: Saturday May 6th 2016
  • Cost per person per 3-hour session: £57.00 (booking fee and V.A.T. included)

 

Important information

*All musical resources, both audio and scores, will be made available to fully paid up participants no later than 3rd April 2017. Sharing these resources with any third parties is strictly prohibited.

** Date of delivery of recordings will be subject to mixing and digital preparation and may take longer than one week after the recording session. JHM reserves the right to deliver final recordings later than one week after the recording session and within a two-week period. In the unlikely event that JHM experiences unforeseen technical problems with the recordings, the delay will be longer and JHM will promptly communicate a new delivery date to all participants informing them of the expected delay period.

Participants own shared rights in the sound recordings only. By paying the participation fee of £57 to JHM, all sound recording owners automatically agree to not use the recordings for future commercial or charity release, re-sale, sync licensing, broadcast, online playlisting or any other known or unknown form of direct commercial online sales.

Any mass duplication and transference of recordings to CD, Minidisc, vinyl, tape, video, USB drive, hard drives, or other known or unknown hard-copy/media is prohibited.

All sound recording owners are only permitted to display and share recordings made on May 6th 2017 using www.soundcloud.com.

All sound recording owners are only permitted to embed soundcloud links into any personal websites and are openly permitted to use recordings for promotional and display purposes only. Recordings must not be sold.

*** Recordings can be uploaded to Internet sites with MCPS clearance only, such as www.soundcloud.com.

The Rockabellas’ Debut Album 2015 – “Bring It Back!”

From Pledge Music through to Project Completion

Following their successful Pledge Music campaign last year, I set about producing the debut album for The Rockabellas.

Having been fully invested in the project from the start of the Pledge campaign, my role as producer covered a broad range of musical duties and I took a very hands-on approach. I was there to assist The Rockabellas in generating creative ideas as well as producing the songs and melodies they brought to me.

Buy the Album Here

Buy on iTunes

Buy on Google Play Music

The Rockabellas debut self-penned album, "Bright it Back!"
Album produced by James Hawkins Music

Composition, Arrangement and Production

The Rockabellas are known for having a vintage vibe, and I thoroughly enjoyed writing the string arrangements, brass and other instrumental parts. Then actually recording them with session pals made this album an absolute joy to produce.

The songwriting was a team effort for the first few songs, but then the girls found their stride and went on to complete the album, which is an assortment of sounds centred by The Rockabellas’ trademark close vocal harmonies.

We recorded in various studios, including my private studio in Kingston, The Bunker, and most notably, Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios.

The great George Shilling mixed and mastered the album and I’m extremely happy with the result!

Production values

I’ve selected some favourite moments from The Rockabellas’ album which you can hear below. These are backing tracks so that you can hear the musical arrangements and production layers. If you’d like to hear more of the album it’s on iTunes, or to purchase a CD copy please visit www.therockabellas.com. It’s a great feel good and fun listen so don’t miss out!

 

 

“Fall At Your Feet” String Arrangement

Jim was asked to prepare a string arrangement for “Fall At Your Feet” for a choir recording at Abbey Road Studios.

Here is the MP3 backing track produced for your enjoyment.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have a similar backing track or arrangement request.

“I Miss You”, the Missing People Choir song

Missing People Choir

The story behind the Missing People Choir

The Missing People Choir formed in summer 2014 masterminded by Clare Cook from the Missing People charity and Jim.  Its mission was to bring together the families and loved ones of the missing as a choir, to start something new, to enjoy music and singing together, and thereby raise spirits, share stories, bring encouragement and hope to the group.

Soon afterwards an idea formed that the Missing People Choir should have its own song for their Christmas performance.

Peter Boxell, whose son Lee has been missing since 1988 wrote the lyrics to the song ‘I Miss You’ in tribute to his missing son. Jim, along with professional writer and arranger, Simon Rhodes, wrote the song in the studio here initially to perform at the Missing People Carol Service at St Martin-in-the-Field on December 8th 2014.

The performance

The choir had just six full rehearsals together with Jim before the concert, some of the singers had never sung in a choir before and for the majority, this would be their first ever public performance. Nevertheless they raised their game and got over their nerves to deliver an exceptional and moving performance on the night, which touched the hearts of many people there.

Here’s quite a highlight of my year. I worked with the Missing People Charity to create a choir made up of families who are suffering the loss of a loved one. Many of the members were singing for the first time in their lives and I’m very proud of their achievement. This was a powerful experience and has reached out to a lot of people.
I invite you to support the Missing People Charity by sharing this video with your friends but most importantly, your family.
“where words fail, music speaks”