Peter T Harrison
singing teacher & author

I was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire in 1946 and raised in East Anglia to which I have remained strongly attached.

As a chorister at Kings' College Cambridge, under the direction of David Willcocks I gained the most thorough musical education then available to a child. During my teens (the 'swinging 60's'), while I was Senior Music Scholar at Denstone College, Staffordshire, my passion for classical singing grew.

At the Royal Academy of Music, where I studied Singing, 'Cello and Piano, I had the good fortune of training with Joy Mammen. Later, except for an 18 month period of tuition in Italy, I trained with Pieter van der Stölk and Yvonne Rodd-Marling. And it was these great teachers (all of the Husler School) who inspired and encouraged my early interest in vocal pedagogy. Eventually I was given the responsibility of teaching Miss Mammen's pupils both at the Royal Academy and what was then the London Opera Centre.

In 1978 Noelle Barker, then a fellow member of the Association of Teachers of Singing, invited me onto the staff of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she was the Head of the Vocal Faculty. Workshop invitations followed - in Estoril, Prussia Cove, Madrid and Mexico City - and my work was sponsored by the Gulbenkian Foundation, the British Council and the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

In 1986 I was asked to be an advisor to the newly-forming Voice Research Society, later to become the British Voice Association – a multi-disciplinary organization devoted to the study and dissemination of knowledge about all aspects of voice (see BVA link).

In 1994, together with such pedagogical luminaries as Richard Miller and Janice Chapman I was selected as one of 7 international 'Master Teachers' at the 3rd International Congress of Voice Teachers held in Auckland, New Zealand.

2000 saw the setting up of the Estúdio de Ópera do Porto, Casa da Música, to which I was invited to be the Director of Vocal Studies. This project – the first and only one of its kind in Portugal – was terminated in 2006 for political and financial reasons. Although it offered a much needed in-depth training for Portugal's considerable vocal talent the Studio has not yet been replaced.

My book, The Human Nature of the Singing Voice, was published by Dunedin Academic Press in 2006 to universally favorable reviews. During its writing I became convinced that I should devote some energy to developing an experimental workshop in Listening (or aural diagnosis) for Singing Teachers (see section on Workshops and Lessons).

My new book, SINGING: Personal and Performance Values in Training (November 2013) is again published by Dunedin.

Over the years I have had the privilege of working with aspiring singers and professionals from 5 continents, as well as Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, Korea, the Caribbean and the British Isles, and the pleasure of seeing a number of them perform at major opera houses and concert halls. More importantly I have watched many individuals grow and deepen through their singing.

Now, semi-retired and living in Portugal, I continue as a freelance teacher and writer. By a happy coincidence my two married children live in East Anglia!


Peter T. Harrison