Dale Christmas

"Sarah Rhodes seemed the obvious choice when I was looking for a singing teacher at the beginning of my student career at the University of Hull. Her impressive professional biography leapt off the page. From our first session together it was evident that I had made the right choice. Immediately apparent is Sarah's warm and friendly personality, which instantly put this nervous young undergraduate (and presumably everyone else) at ease and welcomed him into her home. Sarah's teaching studio is a large and stylish room which is extremely well-equipped and the bookshelves are teeming with musical books of every conceivable variety. Many of her opera scores are marked with notes from leading conductors, which highlights the level of Sarah's professional career. More important than these details however, is the very fact that Sarah teaches from home. My singing lessons afforded me a most enjoyable escape from the University campus, which can, when the academic workload is very high, feel somewhat like a tomb. Being able to leave all the stress of my degree behind for a few hours and get away from the vicinity of the University was a real pleasure. This coupled with Sarah's delightfully infectious personality made my singing lessons the genuine highlight of the week. 

Most important of course, are Sarah's skills as a teacher. Her central approach is one which addresses vocal technique, and she has an acute ability to detect technical errors and correct them with the greatest of ease. Indeed her palate of revelatory analogies (which she uses to make her point clear) is simply astounding. Sarah's expertise, however, is by no means limited to technique: she is an extremely intelligent musician whose interpretational guidance, linguistic precision and practical working knowledge are nothing short of inspirational. Furthermore, Sarah's experience on the professional opera stage makes her quite an authority on the physical delivery of performance, as anyone who has experienced her direction will doubtless testify.

I can honestly say that Sarah's musicianship and vocal expertise have been simply invaluable to my musical development. Even more important than this, however, is the friendship which has resulted from the lessons: a friendship which was forged almost instantly thanks chiefly to Sarah's extremely personable nature and completely genuine 'no nonsense' personality."

Lizzie Hawes BA (Hons) ALCM

"I began lessons with Sarah in my first year at the University of Hull, studying for a joint honours in Music and Drama. As a nervous undergraduate I attended my preliminary consultation lesson apprehensively, but this expected anticipatory fear was quickly abolished due to Sarah’s humour and professionalism. She is a natural teacher, which is shaped by her fabulous biography and knowledge of repertoire, not to mention her astoundingly beautiful voice. Sarah has a unique ability to adapt her methods of teaching to her individual pupils, creating imaginative analogies; thus making her an ideal teacher irrespective of ability or experience.

During the first year of study Sarah focused on technique, rectifying and ironing out faults and ‘bad habits’ I had already accumulated. The following years focused on tone, resonance, interpretation, language and delivery. As a joint honours student I really benefitted from Sarah’s attention to the visual requirements of performance. She has a meticulous eye for detail, preparing every millisecond; and thus achieving highly polished programmes.

During my time studying with Sarah, I was also fortunate in being able to see her perform on multiple occasions, which was no less than inspiring. Sarah has transformed my voice, performance abilities and approach to singing, she is not only a fantastic teacher but also a great friend who has inspired and fuelled my passion for music.

I highly recommend her to everyone who shares this enthusiasm for singing."