Meet Erin Blackie of Jaanz International Singing Academy in Camberwell
Article posted: August 10, 2021
For generations, children and adults have been able to channel their passion for singing at a respected singing school in Camberwell.
The Jaanz International Singing Academy, located in the heart of Camberwell Junction, offers vocal coaching to anyone looking to develop or improve their singing skills.
The school caters to one-on-one coaching and group coaching, and offers students a range of opportunities including performance, competitions, collaborations and networking.
Advanced level vocal coach Erin Blackie, who leads the Camberwell studio, has been with the company for more than 20 years.
She started out as a student in 2000 before she became a vocal coach in 2005, and is now one of the school’s senior coaches.
“I first came to the school as a professional singer but wanted to work on certain techniques. I was invited by David Jaanz to attend the Master School where I further developed my personal style,” Ms Blackie said.
She now teaches the Jaanz technique of emotion centred singing, which is something the school has become renowned for.
A singing school for all levels, all ages, all goals
Ms Blackie said the singing classes were suited to people of all levels, all ages, and all goals – anyone who loves singing and is eager to learn.
People come to the Jaanz International Singing Academy for many different reasons – some want to learn how to sing for the first time, some want to improve their existing technique, while others simply want to fulfil a personal interest or hobby.
“Not everyone is here for a career. Some people come to do singing lessons purely for enjoyment, or as an outlet for stress relief, or because they want to sound good at karaoke,” she said.
“Some people just like the idea that they’re going to sound good doing a song and want to be able to reach that point. But there certainly are people who are professional and continue to develop their techniques.”
The Jaanz International Singing Academy takes holistic approach with their students, and they encourage uniqueness through tailored coaching.
“It’s all about the singer and what they do best, and bringing that out in them,” Ms Blackie said.
The school also has a big focus on encouraging its students, rather than making it a competitive environment.
“Confidence is such a big part of singing. Most people have some sort of need to work on that because it isn’t that natural to get up in front of a huge crowd and share your inner most feelings through song. And a big part of what we cultivate here is developing those skills and developing that confidence and motivation in people,” Ms Blackie said.
Finding community through song
For students at the school, it’s not just about singing. Many of them enjoy making like-minded friends and finding a community with a common passion for music.
To foster this community, the Jaanz International Singing Academy holds an annual weekend camp where about 150 people attend to connect and share their love of singing.
The weekend incorporates singing workshops, personal development and mindset coaching, and vocal technique training.
“We also do some really inspiring sessions [at the camp] with David Jaanz. He is a huge motivator – he’s so encouraging, so supportive, so enthusiastic. That’s a huge part of the culture at the school,” said Ms Blackie.
Students get to meet and work with special guests, songwriters and other students across the school, and leave feeling inspired and energised to take the next step in their singing journey.
Connection to the singing world beyond the classroom
One of the biggest appeals of joining Jaanz International Singing Academy is the many performance opportunities that the school offers its students.
Ms Blackie said students are invited to participate in a performance every month to ensure they get access to regular practice.
“We believe you don’t get really good at being a performer by just doing a concert at the end of the year. Regular practice is better for building confidence and experience,” said Ms Blackie.
Even throughout lockdowns, the school maintained this frequent performance aspect online to continue giving students the chance to practice regularly.
The school also connects students to competitions, where they contend against other singers and have their singing skills assessed by judges. Ms Blackie said one of her students recently won top place in the Boroondara Eisteddfod.
Students that go through the Jaanz International Singing Academy are renowned for winning and placing in finalist positions at prestigious singing competitions. They are the only singing school to have won all three major TV competitions – The Voice, X Factor and Australia’s Got Talent.
Collectively, their students have won more than 30 ARIA Awards, have represented Australia at Eurovision and Junior Eurovision, and signed recording, publishing and touring deals nationally and internationally.
The school has helped its students to achieve top scores for VCE Music Performance and secure leading roles in musicals.
Ms Blackie said regular events and group singing classes also gives students networking opportunities, with many of them collaborating outside the classroom to perform and work on music.
External companies often contact the Jaanz International Singing Academy to let them know about upcoming auditions and competitions, and often connect students to performance opportunities.
For every student who comes to the school, Ms Blackie hopes they get “a good feeling and a sense of achievement, whatever that may be”.
“We really want our students to be in a place where they feel good about themselves.”
Visit the school
Suite 6, 493 Riversdale Rd, Camberwell
Phone: 0401 128 518