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 the National Archives?

The National Archives may sound like a strange place to visit to record a pop-up choir, but it has a brand new, large and acoustically treated events space, perfect for recording large groups of singers. As well as the room being well designed for this style and scale of teaching and performance, James Hawkins Music is now fully equipped to record choirs on location. This set up will give us an honest, undoctored play-back and a clear representation of our singing. The National Archives is also a stunning setting, and its brand new decor will lend a touch of class to the day helping to promote a higher standard of performance.

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.

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 one month beforehand or, if you book a place after that date, they will be available to download from your confirmation email immediately). 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 🙂

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.

Is there car parking available?

Yes, there is a large, free visitors car park at The National Archives, in Kew. Follow Sat Nav instructions to Bessant Drive and follow signs to the Visitors Car Park.

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.

Are there disabled facilites and access?

Yes, The National Archives is equipped with disabled access and facilities. See more information here. If you have any specific questions about The Events Space, please let us know before booking and we will check with the venue to make sure we can accommodate you comfortably.

Is there a dress code for the workshop?

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

Can I bring a non-singer as a guest to the workshop?

No. This is not a public performance. 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.

The National Archives is open to the general public, however, and a guest can make a visit to the rest of the facilities if they wish.

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.

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”