Prendre des cours de songwriting et chant avec

Scilla Hess

Singing/Songwriting in different styles

Scilla Hess is an award-winning pop and jazz singer and songwriter. Originally from Switzerland, she has had an international experience, studying and working for 8 years in the music industry in Los Angeles, USA, where she got a degree in Music Production and Music Business. She has been a swiss finalist of the Eurovision Song Contest, her songs are played on swiss radios and she has written music for Film and TV and also for other international artists. Her music as an artist is a crossover between retro swing/jazz and modern pop music. Inspired by artists such as Caro Emerald, Amy Winehouse, Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald. She teaches all different genres of contemporary music.

Scilla Hess propose également un téléenseignement.

Comment téléenseignement fonctionne-t-il pour nous?

Prix

10 leçons de 45 min.: CHF 840

Pour les enfants, des leçons de 30 minutes sont également possibles.

portrait de Scilla Hess

Location

Wiedikon
8055 Zürich

Instrument

Songwriting et chant

Style musical

Pop, rock, blues, jazz, r'n'b, indie pop, rock indépendant et comédie musicale

Niveau

Débutant, Avancé et Professionnel

Lanuge

Allemand, anglais et italien

Âge

Scilla Hess enseigne aux enseignant•e•s à partir de 12 ans

Interview avec Scilla Hess

Which musician has influenced you the most? 
Definitely Etta James because she's an amazing soulful singer. But I love and listen to so many different genres. In the end a well written song can be arranged in any musical genre and still sound great.

What can you teach me about your instruments different than any other teacher?
Besides having made a living from music as a singer and songwriter. I’ve had an international experience in different genres studying singing in Switzerland, Italy and in the United States. Learning different techniques from opera to contemporary music and learning vocal agility and soulful singing in the United States. While in songwriting, I’ve been lucky to have had the chance to learn from international hit songwriters such as Jason Blume (Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, etc.), Pat Pattison, Mark Winkler, Phil Swann, John Keller and others. I have also participated in many international "songwriting camps" organized through publishers all around Europe, where we would write one song per day in collaboration with other international producers and songwriters. Several of my songs were included in movies in the U.S. and sung by other artists for example "Let It Go"/Lascero', a duet sung by Nathaniel, a well-known artist in Australia and the winner of "The Voice Italia" Elhaida Dani. I can help my students develop their passion with a local but at the same time international outlook.

How did you learn to play your instrument?
I started singing and playing piano with my grandmother. Very often while driving around in the car, we didn't even turn the radio on, but we would rather sing a few songs ourselves. As an artist I later adopted my grandmother’s maiden name „Hess“, because she was the one that brought me to music.

How do you go about writing a song or composing a piece yourself?
There are no rules but I usually start from a strong title that conveys an idea/message of the song. From there I usually start with a melody and chords and develop the lyrics around it. But sometimes I do like to switch it around and start from the lyrics and then create a suitable melody.

On what equipment do you play today?
To better promote and develop good pitch through ear training, I do my lessons with the help of a keyboard.

What personal trait has helped you when you practice the most?
Persistence, consistency, routine and setting goals for myself. You can develop talent through exercise like an athlete. It’s important to develop a routine and set aside small windows of time to exercise your craft regularly, rather than inconsistently doing long hour practices, exhausting yourself with little results.
Motivation and believing in yourself is another important trait, because if you don’t believe in yourself no one else will, besides (maybe) your mom.
Another key point is proactivity: it's important to create your own opportunities, your own projects, and it's also very important to put yourself out there connecting with people at conferences and other music related events.

What does your instrument have that others don't?
I started singing opera being 12 years old and I shifted to contemporary music a few years later. I had to unlearn my classical training and learn a completely different technique for contemporary music, which was more challenging than learning to sing from zero. I have many students with the same challenges or that struggle to sing in their chest voice, switching almost immediately into their head voice, which is not the desired vocal quality for contemporary music. Because I had the same struggles, I can better assist them in their transition.
Plus, I have studied anatomy of the vocal apparatus to better understand what happens and how small changes can affect our voice in big ways and I try to convey that additional knowledge to my students.

What you pay special attention to when you teach?
When I teach, my goal is to inspire my students to learn and motivate them to develop their own passion by opening up new horizons, getting out of their comfort zones, trying out new genres to better explore and develop their talent. I also look at posture and body movement because it can help our singing technique and the stage presence.
My motto in "Songwriting" is "no rules just tools "meaning there are no "rules" but only "tools" to be used to develop one's creativity at it’s best. In my classes I like to balance exercises with "practice" and thus the development of one's own songs.

How do you build up your music lessons?
I structure the lessons by adapting them to the unique needs of each student, every voice is different and has it’s own challenges. There is no one way or method because singing is extremely personal. Highlighting and developing the uniqueness of each voice, is my focus. The first part of the lesson is dedicated to technique, theory and vocal exercises, while the second part is focused on applying different vocal qualities and techniques, learned through exercises to singing songs.
For Songwriting we will study the structure of famous songs to apply them to writing our own songs as well as various tricks to create memorable melodies and interesting lyrics.

What do you do with children?
I started taking music lessons at a very young age and I remember very well what I liked about the lessons and what bored me so much that I wanted to stop taking lessons. I unfortunately stopped taking piano lessons and I regret it to this day. My main goal with kids is to keep their interest alive and to develop it as best as possible, so that it can become a stress release tool and if wanted potentially a career option. Because it can be challenging to keep their attention, I find it important to balance theory and exercises with singing and possibly also writing their own songs.

What was until now your greatest experience as a musician?
One of the best experiences of my career was being able to play with my band in my hometown Lugano, to an overfilled “Piazza Riforma” (main city square), at the "Blues To Bop" festival. Growing up there and watching it unfold every summer, I remember how I dreamed about being able to perform alongside all these international artists.
Another amazing experience has been, being the voice of “Music On Ice” (an “Art On Ice” type of show happening in Ticino) for the 4 th time in a row this year. As a little girl I grew up figure skating and I always wanted to skate alongside my figure skating idols. Singing at “Music On Ice” I finally got that chance combining two passions of mine.

What was the largest stage that you've performed on?
A few of the biggest stages where I performed at, was the televised Swiss national final of the “Eurovision Song Contest”, the one at "Switzerland's Got Talent" and at the "Blues To Bop" festival in Lugano. Another big stage was when I sang at the “Edinburgh International Festival”, which was streamed live on BBC Arts.

Which musician would you like to play with?
I would love to perform with Pink, preferably upside down on a trapeze. I grew up listening to her music and hers was one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen, I've always admired her ability to perform while doing arial stunts.

Which record would you bring to a desert island?
I would bring a guitar so I could play a little bit of everything and I wouldn't have to choose. I like many different musical genres and if a song is well written you can play it acoustically on anything.

On which stage do you prefer to perform?
I would love to get the chance to represent Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest. Until now I made it to Swiss a couple of times.

After music, what is important in your life?
I think family, good food, hanging out with friends, dancing salsa and being active doing sports, is very important to me. I really enjoy skiing and ice skating in the winter and hiking and mountain biking in the summer.