Blogs > Mark Black > Singing in Sunderland

Singing in Sunderland

18th July 2012

Every now and then I will open my e-mails to an opportunity which is a little different, and evokes the response  "should I do this, I'm not sure." I must add that more often than not I end up doing it! This time it was a request from Music in the Minster, which is based in Sunderland Minster, to come and have a go at singing. Not only did they say come and have a go, but that they could get me singing in 45 minutes. This appealed straight away as I'd love to be able to sing. If I had three wishes and you couldn't say, to win the lottery, it would be to be a premiership footballer, play James Bond in the movies and be able to sing and become a rockstar!

Alison Barton is a mezzo-soprano and was convinced that she could get me singing in 45 minutes. To be fair she technically did get me creating notes which weren't too bad, no words, but she did only have a short amount of time to work with me. Alison is lovely and really made me feel relaxed but some of the things she wanted me to do were strange, but did work. One of the things I had to do was put two fingers between my teeth in my mouth so I could get how far my mouth needed to be open when I sing. Also she asked me to raise my soft pallet. If you don't know where it is, put your tongue to the roof of your mouth and move it back, you'll feel it go soft about half way back. Now raising this was tricky, I didn't have a clue, but eventually did it. It was like making more space at the back of my mouth. Little by little I started to make the notes, doubting whether it really was me making those sounds.

Mark singing


There were times when I was laughing, just when you realised that you were singing, and more in an opera style. It was fun though and I'd recommend it to anyone. Was I singing...yes, there were some decent notes coming out of my mouth. Will you be seeing me on the next series of X-Factor...probbaly not! In saying that I'd encourage anyone to get involved if you love singing, and what ever level you are Alison will improve you. If you want to find out more check out their Facebook page or e-mail

You know I said I rarely say no to things...I'll be appearing in Fame at the Sunderland Empire for one night only soon! More details soon


Posted by Mark Black at 3:34pm

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