Tom Bathgate is an Advanced Level Certified IVA Instructor and has been teaching voice lessons for the last 10 1/2 years. As well as being a singing teacher, Tom is one of the nine Founding Directors of the Institute for Vocal Advancement and serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Marketing for the organisation.
Before he opened his vocal studio, he also ran a web design and marketing business.
Tom has performed all over the UK and Europe as an Irish Dancer. His dancing has seen him perform in front of crowds of up to 100,000 people. He’s appeared on BBC 1 Saturday night prime time TV with the dance troupe and still enjoys the odd jig every now and again, when time allows it!
Growing up his musical influences included everything from Michael Jackson to Simon & Garfunkel, and musical theatre to classical. He started piano lessons at the age of 11 and sang in various choirs throughout High School:
“I love singing and find it very difficult to put any music on and not sing or hum along with it.”
What’s your favourite part of being a voice teacher?
Working with my students in their lessons, I love watching them progress as singers, growing in confidence and getting to where they want to be. It’s one of the best jobs in the world! I mean, for someone who loves to sing what could be better than spending all your time working with singers? I love problem solving, getting in there and fixing those tricky voices.
What is your vision for Your Voice Studio (YVS)?
To me YVS is an open, professional, transparent and ethical organisation, where everyone involved is working towards the same common goal; furthering vocal education in Edinburgh and beyond.
There are so many different techniques, and people saying contradicting things about singing. But, whilst that will always be the case in life, there are so many people out there that make a lot of money out of not actually knowing how the voice works or how to help singers, and that bugs me.
Don’t get me wrong, the voice is a highly complex instrument that changes on a daily basis. It takes hard work, dedication, constant education, study, research and practice to be a good singing teacher. It’s a never-ending process and whether we have been doing it for six months or 25 years we never stop learning.
My goal is to clear some of that static that surrounds vocal education, and make it easier for singers to get the help they need. I LOVE singing, I wake up and sing from the minute I get in the shower, to pretty much cleaning my teeth to go to bed. There is nothing I do that I won’t try and sing with at the same time, which of course has lead to quite a few shirts and jumpers ending up in the wash from being covered in toothpaste!
Music is in my blood, I live and breathe music and singing, it’s my life and passion and I am so fortunate to be able to work in the field I love.
Every day when I sit behind the keyboard to teach, my goal is to help other singers who have that same passion and love as me to find their true voices and to sing better.