People

Published: July 2, 2020 | Updated: July 2, 2020

How Rachel is teaching the world to sing – and a message from 1965 for these troubled times

By Andrew Diprose, editor

The news headlines were awash with hatred, violence and division.

At her Bournemouth home Rachel More watched, and listened, in despair.

Then, on the spur of the moment, she picked up her phone to record what she does best.

Singing.

In this case, the 1965 Burt Bacharach and Hal David song ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love.’

Her video on social media, posted at the height of the global demonstrations three weeks ago, has now been viewed thousands of times.

Hundreds have liked, shared and commented.

Rachel, a professional singer and vocal coach, said: “The song had been whirling around in my head for days and seemed to encapsulate a message for our times.

“I posted it up on a whim not really sure how it would land but, as with so many things I do in my life, I followed my gut instinct.

“To say I’ve been staggered by the lovely comments, likes and shares is an understatement.

“It truly warms my heart as it reiterates the importance of music, and the arts in general, in our lives.

“Sometimes songs say more than words.”

For Rachel, who has sung from an early age, the reaction to her video is further evidence of the importance of music.

She gave up a well-paid City job to follow her dream of being a singer.

But it was while working as a vocal tutor for the Coda Music Trust that her future career path was set.

Rachel said: “I was teaching people of all ages and abilities.

“Many hadn’t sung since their childhood.

“I made it my mission to uncover hidden singing talent. After all, it’s really an extension of speaking.

“One particular lady, aged 74, had not sung since she was two or three.

“She was so nervous and then she started singing.

“Oh, my god. I could not believe what I was hearing.

“It was the most incredible, beautiful voice.

“That lady went on to sing at her 75th birthday party.

“She had the most incredible, bluesy voice and even recorded a CD.”

Rachel, who is married to Richard, a university lecturer, and has two sons aged 16 and 13, established herself as a vocal coach and singing mentor three years ago.

Her ‘Singer Uncovered’ programme is particularly aimed at 40-something females who lack the confidence to sing.

Rachel said: “It’s all about discovering your voice and experiencing the joy of expressing yourself.

“You learn how to get the most out of your voice so you can sing and speak more effectively.

“We also find the types of songs that suit you best so you can sing even more freely with confidence.”

Like many Rachel has had to adapt to life under lockdown with her tuition moving online.

Her free Facebook group has gained hundreds of followers while the live singalongs have attracted attention from across the globe.

“I’ve got people in countries ranging from America, Italy and New Zealand to Australia, Spain and France,” said Rachel.

She added: “I absolutely love what I do. It really is a case of making a living out of something you do as a hobby.

“Music is a great connector and leveller, bringing people together and touching the emotions in a way nothing else can.

“For many music has kept them going during the lockdown.

“It is so fundamental to life and it’s a joy to be able to bring my love of music to others.”