Veronica Phillips, 68, from Beryl Road, Hammersmith, started offering singing classes after her son's death.
A WOMAN who took up singing after her son was killed in an accident, has started classes to help others use their voices.
Veronica Phillips, 68, from Beryl Road, Hammersmith, also wants to combat the negative effects of television shows like the X factor because they tell people they are hopeless at singing.
Singing For The Timid and Terrified is aimed at people who would like to sing but are too frightened to do so in front of people.
Veronica said: “My son Greg was instrumental in me singing. Two years before he passed away he got very involved in singing at school and church, and I slowly got more and more involved. He was my inspiration and as a thank you to him I wanted to get into singing and help others to get pleasure from it like Greg did."
Veronica discovered singing late in life after she was encouraged to use her voice and her interest soon took off.
“Many people’s fear of singing begins at school when they are told not to sing or to just mime and many of the people who attend my classes have been put down in the past.”
The class is not just for people who want to pursue a career in singing but it is for people to learn to get enjoyment out of it too.
“It is really great to get people singing and for them to feel that they can sing.”
The classes start off quietly with simple exercises like humming, as people are often very judgemental of themselves.
The most common fear is singing out of tune and instead the group make up short songs that people can improvise with and therefore there are no correct notes.
“The world is very good at judging people and saying people should shut up, which puts people down. I hate shows like the XFactor which constantly tell people they can’t sing. I know it’s television but personally I cannot watch it.
Her success rate after one class results in people being more comfortable with singing in public.
Leandra Costa, 36, lives in Stile Hall Gardens, Chiswick, but is originally from Brazil had never sung in her life due to the basic level of education she had experienced. The focus had been on reading, writing and numbers. There had been little money and opportunity to sing which is why she decided to attend the class.
“I decided to attend the singing class to work out some long buried fears I had with my voice.The group was just what I was looking for.”
As people start to feel more confident, Veronica encourages them to join another group she runs, Vibrant Voices which is slowly growing and she hopes they will be able to perform in front of small crowds soon.
Singing for the Timid and Terrified are running on May 26, June 9 and 23 at the Grove Neighbourhood Centre, Bradmore Park Road, Hammersmith at 2-3:30.