Ciara Baxendale life before RADA at Little Voices and her future career

Ciara Baxendale

We were really privileged to conduct this week’s past pupil profile with Ciara Baxendale, one of the first Little Voices pupils from 2007 and now one of the youngest students studying at RADA. She offers advice and words of inspiration for up and coming actors/singers at Little Voices.

Where are you now? (eg. college/uni/career and location in the world)

I am currently living and working in London, having completed the foundation course in Acting at RADA in March 2014.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I would like to continue acting for as long as I can, and would like the opportunity to work professionally on the stage, as so far I have mainly worked in Television and Film. I am also interested in producing, and would like to create my own films in the future.

When did you first join Little Voices?

I joined Little Voices when it first began as one of the first ever pupils in 2007 How did you/your parents hear about Little Voices?

I heard about Little Voices from my school, Westholme, where I had singing lessons and my teacher recommended that I try one of the classes.

What made you attend and stay with Little Voices?

I loved the lessons and formed a close-knit bond with the members of my group. I was always encouraged by the teachers, which boosted my confidence and encouraged me to stretch myself in performance.

How do you think Little Voices has helped you – is there a direct correlation between what you are doing now and your attendance at Little Voices?

I definitely think Little Voices helped me by giving me confidence, especially singing in front of others. I have had several auditions where I have had to sing and I would have been a lot more nervous without my training from Little Voices, which encouraged me to sing front of others, and to perform the song, not to just sing it!

What did you love about your lessons?

My favourite thing about lessons was preparing for exams. I know it sounds odd but I actually really enjoyed taking LAMDA exams and reading the examiners comments so I would know what to improve on next time around, and I loved getting to learn lots of different songs from all the musicals and having the chance to play lots of different roles!

Can you give a one line quote/advice for those wishing to follow in your footsteps?  (what they should absolutely do to reach their dreams?)

If you truly want to reach your goal, you will achieve it. Success comes from belief in yourself, don’t listen to anyone who says that you can’t do it.

 

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Entrepreneur of the Year Nomination for Jane!

Jane Maudsley (MD of Little Voices) nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year 2014

Jane Maudsley (MD of Little Voices) nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year 2014

Entrepreneur of the Year for Performing Arts Business Woman

Performing Arts businesswoman and opera singer, Jane Maudsley, has been nominated for the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Later this month Jane will travel to the ICC in Birmingham to see if she is successful in receiving this National Award from the host of the Awards ceremony, Alistair McGowan.
Jane is the co founder of Little Voices and started the performing arts business 7 years ago in Blackburn, Lancashire. Little Voices focuses on expert guidance and traditional teaching methods in singing and acting, delivered in small group lessons of a maximum of 8 pupils to maximise student development. Two years ago Jane franchised the business across the UK to help passionate individuals with an interest and expertise in the performing arts to run successful businesses in a supportive and knowledgeable network. She now boasts locations in West Kent, Dorset, London, Peterborough, Greater Manchester, The Fylde, Preston, Yorkshire and of course the flagship locations run very successfully in Blackburn and the Ribble Valley.
Jane commented: “I am thrilled that I have been nominated for this award. I love what I do and bounce out of bed every morning so eager to get to work! It is an honour to be in this category and it is an award that I would treasure and feel is representative of the entire team of Franchisees, Tutors, Parents and Pupils that have enabled my success with Little Voices. There is no ‘I’ in team and we have the best support network ever. I will only accept the best and hence why our vision for the future is to be the only performing arts organisation that parents consider when they are looking for high quality training in the UK,” she said.

Little Voices is elite training for those children who wish to build their confidence or head for a life on the stage! They pride themselves on caring for each and every child and nurturing their talent and confidence so that they are well prepared for life. They boast a 100% pass rate in all of their exams and excel with Merits and Distinctions year after year.

Jane is a professionally trained Opera Singer and will also be singing at the ICC at the closing ceremony of the Entrepreneurs Convention. It will be a huge accolade if she can also secure this award!

For more information about Little Voices lessons for your son/daughter or the business opportunities that Little Voices offers please contact Jane directly on 01254 207516 jane@littlevoices.org.uk

100% Exam success for the SEVENTH year running

A few of the pupils with their certificates!

A few of the pupils with their certificates!

Top LAMDA Exam Success for Little Voices Blackburn

 

Little Voices Blackburn performing arts school has helped students in Blackburn to achieve outstanding results in this year’s London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examinations. In June, 156 children took exams in grades 1 – 8 with over 86% achieving a distinctions and merits, and yet again, Little Voices has maintained its outstanding 100% pass record. The students ranged from aged 4 to 18 years old.

 

Little Voices focuses on expert guidance and traditional teaching methods in singing and acting, delivered in small group lessons to maximise student development. Principal, Jane Maudsley commented: “We are thrilled that our students’ talents have been recognised through these amazing results and are so proud of all of them. It is always rewarding to be part of an organisation that helps students to achieve their ambitions,” she said.

 

LAMDA examinations are prestigious awards, from which students can gain UCAS points to help with their university applications. As part of the exam, students must perform their musical theatre piece for the examiner with confidence. Erin Keedy, Olivia Maudsley, Sadie-May Bolton and Natasha Harry-Coombes all achieved exceptional marks with a very high distinction, for their performance of Oliver!. Olivia (aged 7) said, “I loved performing the Artful Dodger in Oliver! We all tried so hard, so I’m really happy!”

 

Little Voices in Blackburn has been running since September 2007 during which time Jane Maudsley has trained students in drama and singing, helping them to achieve consistently impressive LAMDA results. In which time over 1357 exams have been entered.

 

For more information about Little Voices in Blackburn please contact Grace on 01254 207516 or grace@littlevoices.org.uk or visit the website http://www.littlevoices.org.uk

Past Pupil Mary Fulforth proves that life after Little Voices is not just about a career on the stage

Past Pupil - Graduated in 2011 from Little Voices Blackburn

Past Pupil – Graduated in 2011 from Little Voices Blackburn

This week’s past pupil profile features Mary Fulforth. We asked Mary lots of questions and it is so interesting to hear what path she is on now! The Stage was not where she wanted to be but Little Voices helped her with so many life skills that prepared her for her career as a physiotherapist!

I graduated from Northumbria University July 2013 with a BSc Hons in Physiotherapy. Then I went to France for 4 months in the alps, over winter, doing a ski season – which was amazing. And now I’m back home in sunny Lancashire working as a full time junior physiotherapist in East Lancs and I’m really enjoying it.

I’m planning on staying in this job for the next couple of years, then I really hope to jet off again to experience some other parts of the world & who knows, maybe work as a physio somewhere in the world.

I do believe I was one if the first people to join Little Voices back in 2007. I stayed for the next 3 years achieving Grade 8 with a Distinction. It has most definitely made me a more confident person in all aspects of my life. I loved lessons every Tuesday night, full of fun, laughter & doing something that we all enjoyed so much.

I would say to anybody, even those who aren’t confident enough to join a school play or sing or speak in public, to join Little Voices. I certainly wouldn’t have been in 3 of my school’s musicals had I not gone to Little Voices.

Exam success – 100% PASS RATE REMAINS

 

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West End Musical Director trains Little Voices pupils!

West End Musical Director and LAMDA examiner, Andrew Keir, came all the way to Blackburn to train Little Voices stars of the future.

Blackburn’s budding stars enjoy West End Musical Director’s workshop

Workshop picture 

On Tuesday 5th September 2014 , all the students, aged between 4 and 18 from the Little Voices Blackburn performing arts training school, enjoyed a very special workshop in Acting through Song by the West End Musical Director of Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and Oliver, Andrew Keir. As all the children are trained in acting and singing skills, this one-off opportunity to learn from someone at the top of his profession was a real bonus for them.

 

Jane Maudsley, Principal of Little Voices Blackburn and Clitheroe commented: “We were so lucky that Andrew agreed to take time out of his hectic performance schedule to come and do this workshop for Little Voices, and the children loved it and got so much out of it.  To be so close, for a day, to someone this experienced and professional, and have him share his tips, techniques, dilemmas and solutions, is invaluable to the students and we were so delighted to be able to put on the event.  There will be many more,” she said.

 

Student, Karen Wilkinson said “It was absolutely phenomenal to be able to learn from a man at the top of his field. He has worked with Andrew Lloyd Weber and Cameron Mackintosh, he answered all of our questions and gave us such sound advice for the future!”

 

One of the Little Voices parents commented, “It is such a pleasure being part of Little Voices which arranges these kind of workshops at the beginning of term to get the children all ready for the lessons and how they really care that our daughter receives such care, attention and quality of training.”

 

Little Voices offers lessons in singing and acting for children over the age of four. Its students have gone on to gain places in prestigious acting schools and television shows for Channel 4 and the BBC. The professional approach that Little Voices takes to tuition, together with small classes capped at six students, helps students to improve quickly and attain high standards.

 

For more information about Little Voices in Blackburn please contact Grace on 01254 207516 grace@littlevoices.org.uk or visit the website http://www.littlevoices.org.uk/blackburn

Sky Sports News for Past Little Voices Pupil

Megan CooperMegan Cooper pupil

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Little Voices Blackburn from 2007 – 2010

Where are you now?

Having graduated from Loughborough University with a 2:1 in English and Drama, I headed straight to the big city and have been living and working in London for the past 14 months. I was fortunate enough to secure a graduate role working as an Assistant Director for an education company. However recently, I have been offered a position to work full time for Sky Sports, something I have dreamed of for many years. I can’t wait to hit the ground running and learn all there is to know about sport media!

What are your aspirations for the future?

When I was eight years old I made a television screen cut out from old cardboard boxes. I used to pretend to be a news presenter and make up stories to perform to my family. Ten years on, I took on the role of Speaker in Westholme School’s public speaking team. My chosen topic was ageism in the media, which focussed on my passion for female presenters and the way they are portrayed in today’s society. Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to do something in front of a camera, and having now secured a fantastic opportunity with Sky, I hope that one day, I will be the girl behind the news desk, talking about the latest results in the world of sport.

When did you first join Little Voices?

I joined Little Voices aged 15. I can’t believe how quickly the past eight years have gone! It only seems like yesterday that I was standing around Jane’s piano singing my favourite show tunes!

How did you hear about Little Voices?

I attended Westholme School in Blackburn, which was only a short distance from the first ever Little Voices studio. I was massively into the dramatic arts at school so when I found out about the amazing opportunities and coaching Little Voices was offering, me and a few friends jumped at the chance! Attending Little Voices was genuinely one of my best experiences to date.

What made you stay and attend Little Voices?

This answer is simple. I had SO MUCH FUN! The teaching in both singing and acting was so professional and enjoyable. I learnt so much each lesson and went home feeling like I had accomplished something. My teachers Jane and Claire had such a heartfelt interest in my personal progress, and put 110% into helping me pass each exam with flying colours.

How do you think Little Voices has helped you – is there a direct correlation between what you are doing now and your attendance at Little Voices?

Absolutely. I continued to act and sing throughout my three years at university, securing lead roles in Loughborough’s annual shows. Little Voices gave me a huge amount of confidence, which has effectively helped me secure job roles in the media industry.

What did you love about your lessons?

I loved the feeling of learning a new song or performing a new scene. I will never forget my group singing ‘Look At Me’ from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’. We worked so hard on the harmonies for weeks, so when it all finally came together we were all blown away by what we had achieved. The lessons were actually quite emotional. Everybody involved put so much time and effort into creating fantastic exam pieces. It is probably why my memories of Little Voices are still so strong and ones I will never forget.

Can you give a one line quote/advice for those wishing to follow in your footsteps?  (what they should absolutely do to reach their dreams?)

I’m going to cheat a little with this question and pass on some advice given to me by two very special people, firstly by Jane Maudsley herself. Jane always said ‘you can do it Megan, you can do it’, and she was right! Always believe in yourself because if you really put your mind to something, you can achieve so much. Secondly, my Gran always told me to ‘keep smiling’. It is such a simple piece of advice but smiling really does make everything so much better. Thank you Jane and team for my wonderful time at Little Voices. Best of luck for the future!