Carmella Baynie is a Grammy-nominated singer based in Sydney Australia. She's also an accredited voice and yoga teacher with over 30 years experience in the practice of yoga, voice, drama, martial arts and singing. Her ability to infuse this skillset and provide bespoke vocal training for any purpose make her a globally sort after facilitator. She has the ability to inspire clients of all standards to reach their potential.
"I am passionate about teaching people, understanding about how their voice works so that they can learn how to powerfully impact an audience. I want participants to walk away feeling confident that they can articulate themselves clearly - and to feel that their presentation skills are improved", says Carmella.
What clients say ...
“I initially started voice lessons with Carmella for personal enjoyment and to boost my confidence in singing. As a professional trainer and facilitator I have been impressed at the effect Carmella’s tutelage has had on the quality and sound of my speaking voice and in turn my ability to deliver powerful presentations. Carmella presents the elements of voice development in bite size chunks, specifically designed to nurture the natural abilities and release the true voice. It is this combination of both nourishment of existing talent, along with expert instruction and explanation of the mechanics that make Carmella’s technique engaging, effective and enjoyable!”
Brian Andrews, Personal Executive Coach, NAB
"Carmella Baynie has been working with In Yoga’s teacher training program for the past four years, teaching voice to our trainees. Carmella’s vast experience as a yoga teacher, voice coach and professional singer, culminates in a profoundly inspirational seminar that allows participants to free their voices through a series of practical exercises. Her compassion as a teacher allows students to work through any physical or emotional blockages that hold them back from experiencing the power of their voices and their own self expression. By attending these workshops our students have expressed feelings of empowerment, clarity and freedom."
Nicole Walsh, Director, In Yoga
Born Singing Workshops ...
Ever since my primary school music teacher asked me to only mouth the words of the songs, and then when my urge to emit off-key sounds was still too great, told me to leave the choir and stand at the back of the hall, my confidence when it comes to singing has been somewhat squashed.
I adore singing but find it nerve wracking, as I am never quite sure if the right note is coming out of my mouth. But reassuringly, Carmella Baynie starts this three-hour Born Singing workshop by telling us the rule of the day is to give ourselves permission to make silly sounds and imperfect noises, and to give everyone else permission too.
There are about thirty people in the room, only one of whom is a man, whatever that male to female ratio says about the instinctive desire to sing. Carmella tells us that babies are born breathing like singers, and we all come into the world with a natural impulse to make sound.
We start by pairing up with another person and choosing an animal sound. Thinking big and booming I suggest elephant trumpets, but my partner looks non-plussed at this idea, so we settle on chicken clucks. We separate and then with closed eyes and amidst a cacophony of other animal sounds have to find our mate again. I cluck like a desperate mother hen, but between lion roars, donkey brays and mooing cows can not make out my fellow chook. Luckily she finds me.
We do some gentle yoga stretches for the spine and then lie on our backs, breathing in and feeling the air filling our bellies, and then sighing on the exhalation. Carmella asks us to feel emotions like fear and joy and see how these feelings cause different physical sensations. The ability to sing, she explains, is connected to a person’s emotional state. We are born with a primary impulse to express our inner voice, she says, but we can lose that when growing up because we get programmed by adults to suppress spontaneous expression often in favour of good behaviour.
Next we all sit in a circle and with one hand on the belly do a simple yoga breathing exercise. Then rather than trying to consciously make sounds Carmella tells us just to breath sound out. With eyes closed first we hum, then make an ‘oo’ sound, and finally ‘aah’. Beautiful sounds emanate from all around the circle and I find myself with a natural desire to respond to what I am hearing. At one stage I feel as if I am calling to someone across the room as we slowly and effortlessly climb to higher and higher notes.
Carmella Baynie’s own singing career has included pop, rock, world music, classical, choral singing and also Vedic chanting. But her approach to teaching is very different from most traditional singing teachers. In addition to studying classical singing extensively she has also learnt martial arts, yoga and drama, and includes these modalities in her workshop. She sees singing as far more than just making sound, believing it can contribute to both mental and physical wellbeing.
In the second half of the workshop Carmella asks us to form four groups – percussion, bass, soprano and alto. Having no idea what my voice range is I join the altos hoping that none of the notes will be too high or too low. Each group comes up with a short musical phrase, which is repeated over and over, and magically within minutes with toes tapping and fingers clicking the group is sounding like a acapello choir.
The workshop concludes with a meditation through the chakras. Sitting in a circle again, and using a loud breathing technique called ujjayi, which not only focuses the mind, but also apparently has a cleansing effect on the body, we do a breathe awareness meditation, and then sing through each of chakras. According to ancient Indian Vedic wisdom the chakras are energy centres in the body, and the seven main ones are located along the spine. We sing a specific mantra in a certain tone for each chakra. These mantras, which originated in India and are over 5,000 years old are apparently both purifying and also bring about a sense of peace. When we end by singing a mantra for the heart. I float outside into the sunshine feeling very relaxed and happy.
Certainly all that clucking removed any inhibitions I had initially about making silly noises, and it was such a relief to know that the sounds I was making did not have to be perfect. After these three hours I realize that singing does not need to be about straining for the high notes, but rather breathing sound out effortlessly, and this discovery is liberating. The workshop gave me a taste for singing for the soul and I definitely want to do more.
Rosamund Burton, Sunday Telegraph 'Body & Soul'