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  • Steven Luke Walker
  • Steven Luke Walker

  • Steven Luke Walker
  • steven Luke Walker


Hi! I'm Steven Luke Walker, Head of Singing and Music at GSA (The Guildford School of Acting), West End Vocal Coach and consultant, pioneer for the development of excellent musical theatre vocal training and composer of new musical theatre. Welcome to my website, SLW: The Voice Whisperer.
If you're tired and frustrated by your voice and longing to be able to meet the vocal demands of musical theatre and are seeking the answers to why, I am positive I will be able to help you. There is no magic answer, just a well-designed system of training without gimmick, or a one-size fits all approach to the training of singing. The Voice Whisperer Training System (LCS: Laryngeal Conditioning System) is comprehensive in its approach and unmatchable in its results but delivered in an easy accessible format, so take a look and get in touch!
If you're interested in learning more about my writing, take a look at the videos below and look out for the forthcoming shop with sheet music download available!
Whatever you're looking for, I hope you find it and if you don't…. please, drop me a line

Best wishes SLW x

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    Steven Luke Walker Composer


    Whilst musical theatre progresses at the rate that it does with regards to the ever growing vocal demands it puts upon actors, it is essential to not only find a vocal technique that fulfils the audience stunning feats and stylistic requirements of the music, but one that will enable any performer to sing with ease eight shows a week, WHILST endorsing vocal skills that will ensure career longevity and versatility.

    So! Does this wonderful vocal technique exist? Quite simply; yes. If the individual has a healthy working instrument and a strong work ethic, yes.

    Vocal science has moved on vastly in recent decades (although there's a long way to go!) and given us the answers to many aspects of the human voice that singers, actors and teachers have seen steeped in mystery for years. So if this is the case, why do there seem to be so few actors who can meet the demands of contemporary composer's expectations and further more, why are there even fewer that can do so and retain optimum vocal health and finish a contract with all their voice intact?

    Well, there are many reasons for this. Firstly, there is very much a culture of 'living for the moment' with regard to performers themselves; as long as you get through this run, this week, this show, we can worry about the consequences afterwards. Secondly, the industry does not boast the same lifelong training system it once did. A formal training followed by getting a break to play in an ensemble, followed by a cameo or featured role, a supporting role, understudying a lead AND THEN the 'big break'! The culture is much more driven by the commercial and media ideals of overnight stardom and success, as ordained by reality TV shows and the eternal quest for a star bigger than the last one; one that can 'belt' higher than the last, one that can push the boundaries of 'extreme' vocals even further and one that can take this and recreate it eight shows a week (and usually one who is no age with no formal training because that's more impressive, right?). The final reason…..? Audiences. Yes, even the spectator plays their part. The performance qualities that were once saved for the arena and recording studio have become increasingly popular in theatre's. I call this the 'grotesque factor'. Many times I have been at the theatre whether it be to assess a voice or support a client and I have witnessed audiences going mad for what can only be described as poor or 'pained' singing. Performers literally pushing anyway they can to force their poor larynx to complete the task in hand. I would ask 'why'? Why do people find that poor girl turning red, veins pulsing in her neck, in visible discomfort, riddled with tension so exciting? It didn't take long to understand there are many who enjoy the gratifying thrill of seeing someone expel extreme emotion, at any cost; the extreme emotion that we are often forced to oppress. Alright…. rant over! Call me old fashioned but I find it breathtakingly more exciting to see someone deliver the goods with the illusion of effortless grace. Of course sometimes we want to give the performance of a rock star but lets save that for the actor in us. We can find the rock star vocal in a technically safe way that's surprisingly truthful without being detrimentally authentic.

    So in conclusion, the ethos of my work is the delivery of a specialist system of training designed to enable any actor meet to the demands of musical theatre, no matter what the style, safely without sacrificing the magic created at the extremis of emotion.



    Steven Luke Walker Headshot


    Steven is the Head of Singing at The Guildford School of Acting (GSA) and vocal coach to West End and national productions, as well as running his own private practice in the heart of theatre land, boasting an array of West End royalty.

    Originally training formally as a dancer, Steven went on to study classical piano and opera at The Birmingham Conservatoire, before training at The Birmingham School of Acting. It was whilst performing, Steven developed a fascination with the mystery of the voice and the various different forms of vocal production endorsed by performers. It was this that drove Steven to undertake vigorous vocal training from a vast range of tutors, studying a wide range of methodologies and pedagogical practices and ultimately inspired Steven to compare the vocal trainings available for actors in the West End and Broadway.

    Since then Steven has worked with professionals, those training vocationally and specialised in teaching singing for early years through to youth theatre. Steven is now in high demand as a singing tutor and vocal coach to West End and national theatre productions and regularly requested to lead workshops and training throughout the UK.

    Also a composer, Steven is privileged to have a whole host of stars willing to sing his material. Steven's west end credits as a composer include his historical fairytale 'Blaze' which claimed a five star rating and critic's choice from Time Out Magazine following its premiere in 2008. In March 2011, The Charing Cross Theatre housed the sell out concert 'Stars of the West End Sing the Songs of Steven Luke Walker', which featured the glitterazzi of the West End singing a whole array of songs from musical concepts inspired by novels and film; including C.S Lewis' 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe', J.K.Rowling's epic novel 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone', Louisa May Alcott's 19th century classic 'Little Women', and the British docudrama 'The Young Victoria'. Steven has a range of musicals especially written for theatre schools and children, featuring fairytale, historical and original concepts.





    I'm often asked which method I use to teach singing and I will always reply "None". I find it unthinkable that anyone would conceive that one method could train EVERY actor to deliver EVERY vocal style that the musical theatre actor is required to produce. Studying methods of singing training and various different pedagogical practices over the years, I have learned that method may be favourable in the Classical and Commercial worlds (in fact it's favourable in most cases) but method has no place in musical theatre; there is no definitive recipe. So if I don't conform to teaching by method, what do I do…..? "I deliver a system of training"

    After years of teaching, it's difficult to recall the journeys of two students that were identical; often similar but rarely identical. Vocal folds/cords are like finger prints; there are no two sets the same and that's where a system of training is beneficial. As far as the skill set goes for singing in musical theatre, there is one vocal aim: for women, to be sopranos who belt and for men, to be high lyric baritones with a rock tenor top! "But I'm an alto" or "I'm a bass baritone" I hear you cry. Well firstly, voice type should refer to the quality and timbre of your natural sound, not pose itself like some kind of restriction on your range. The reality is that contemporary composers are writing in ways that are taking voices higher and higher, to greater extremes of intensity and the bottom line is, the industry isn't changing anytime soon so your job is to ensure you can meet its demands. Certainly for young actors, the roles are all "written up". In other words everyone must be able to sing the high notes. The good news; its completely possible. So……..

    What next? We condition the voice.


    The first thing I do when I meet anybody new is to listen to their speaking voice. The speaking voice usually holds the answers to any problems the client may be encountering, after all its usually the most dominant vocal set up anyone would use, the strongest, so if there are issues with the spoken voice, chances are they've spilt over into the singing voice. If one considers that in Musical Theatre the singing voice should always be an extension of the spoken voice, it's paramount that both are addressed simultaneously, hence a restricted speaking voice inevitably leads to a restricted singing voice. It is from developing "the ear" required to diagnose and troubleshoot that allows me to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of any voice and prescribe the most effective course of action, tailored to the individual's needs. Training will commence with a series of specific exercises to condition the vocal mechanism, balance work levels between relevant muscle groups, strengthen cartilage and eradicate poor and defective habits. When the voice has reached a 'neutral' and balanced state, we can begin nurturing and perfecting the relevant skill set required for musical theatre. Skills to enable singing pre 1960s musical theatre styles to high energy commercial and rock styles,

    If anyone is to tackle the vocal gymnastics that are currently the fashion in the West End, the voice must be fit and healthy. With singers who have been working in musical theatre for some time, they often visit complaining of vocal fatigue, loss of vocal agility or loss of range. I usually find that people have become accustomed to relying on 'one side' of the voice a little too much and that's what we tackle first. If you have ever visited the gym ever, you may have seen people (usually men) who have spent a lot of time working on their upper torsos and neglected their legs! As a result there is a complete imbalance in the silhouette, leaving them with an Adonis torso but sparrow legs; ultimately- in the long term- this will do nothing for the person's longevity of fitness or posture. In the same way with the voice, it is essential that there is adequate work done on all aspects of the mechanism in order to maintain peak vocal condition, by regularly conditioning the voice. This way we do not end up with a heavy 'chest voice' that loses elasticity all too soon or an un-muscular 'head' voice that collapses with age, losing pitch and quality. The perfect voice is one that is balanced and mixed at all times; the ultimate balance of muscularity and resonance.


    Can Anybody Learn To Sing?

    Yes, provided you have a healthy voice, the time and determination, anybody can sing.

    I've been classically trained but I'm finding that I'm limited to the repertoire I can sing; what would you suggest?

    Firstly, it depends on where your focus is. If you are working or are aspiring to work in musical theatre, begin addressing this now. The current market does not have a great need for the classical sound and while it is not only an important and essential aspect of the musical theatre voice, there is far more work for those who can produce the contemporary musical theatre and commercial styles. If you're aspiring to progress into the classical world or opera, for the time being make this your focus.

    How long does it take to train to sing?

    A life time! Even with the most rigorous training with an excellent teacher, a good singer never stops learning. As we age our voices naturally change and as this happens a whole host of things can happen; suddenly a particular part of your range feels easier or harder to sing in or maybe you've never had difficulty with your passaggio (break/bridge) before and suddenly you have to think about it. These are eventualities that can easily be overcome but you'll find you have to discover 'new ways'.

    My previous tutor stated that I should never belt or even attempt to else I may risk damaging my soprano. Is this true?

    Absolutely not!........ unless you are taught incorrectly of course. It is essential that any musical theatre performer works at all aspects of the voice as they complement each other in their development. From my experience, sopranos often make the best 'belters' because of the added 'lift' they have on their voices and resonance.

    I have a very low voice and struggle to sing the notes that contemporary musical theatre repertoire requires, what should I do?

    Get a good teacher or change teachers now! A good teacher will know exactly what to do with your voice in order to overcome your vocal range issues.

    How often should I see a singing teacher?

    It completely depends on the aim of the training. Generally I prefer to see clients every three to four weeks so they have ample time to do the work in between. That said, when I am working with clients in order to prepare them for a specific role, I often work in a 'boot camp' style and can see them as often as three times a week. At the beginning of a first time training-for the first couple of months- once a week/fortnight can be beneficial.


    I'm currently studying with a new teacher and when I leave my lessons I find that I'm losing my voice or it hurts. Is that right?

    Firstly, you should NEVER lose your voice during or after a lesson. If you are, leave your current tutor and seek guidance elsewhere. However, it is normal to feel a certain amount of 'work' whilst in a lesson and feel 'worked' afterwards but it should never hurt. Essentially you are working groups of muscle and cartilage when you sing and like the rest of your body they may feel tired afterwards, especially if you are learning a new skill. The way to deduce whether the work level is appropriate is to compare it to any other exercise. If you hold your arms out to the sides at shoulder level and start to make tiny circles in any direction and continue this for a few minutes they'll start to ache. The ache is because the muscles have been worked and are beginning to tire but they don't hurt.

    I've never had singing lessons and I have had a successful career until now; why should I begin training now?

    You shouldn't necessarily…. it must be your choice. There is definitely an argument for 'if it aint broke don't fix it'! However, more often than not there is a lot to be said for 'professional development'. The demands of the industry grow greater and therefore technical excellence is vital to ensure you can recreate your vocals eight times a week to no detrimental effect.

    I'm currently in a role that is taking its toll on my voice. I'd love to seek your expertise but I'm worried how I'd fair learning new technical approaches whilst still performing. Is it sensible?

    Without question! If you're in the position to be able to implement the work into a performance with the luxury of having the theatre to do it, it's the most sensible time. You will never feel insecure about trying new approaches as a programme designed to your individual needs and requirements is provided with full support, including visits to the theatre to assess your current performance and monitor your progress.


    I maintain a strict and confidential practice in order to protect client's privacy and therefore whilst many wish to remain anonymous, below are some of the client's I have helped and tutored….



    "Having had my first singing lesson with Steven Luke Walker, all I could think was how had I not met him sooner! In just one lesson he had me singing things that I never thought I would be able to ! He's taught me that you can practically manipulate your voice to any style if you train it in the right way, defying what the majority of people think! After the first session I could feel huge improvements and have returned to him whenever I have had to prep for any role or performance.
    Steven is the most incredible teacher and has the amazing ability of maintaining what it is about your voice that is unique, yet at the same time expand your control and range vastly.
    For me it is important that any singer remains individual as a vocalist and Steven is the master of capturing that individuality and helping it grow" .


    "When I first met Steven I could really only sing in one style; classically.  
    Steven promised me he could teach me to produce a more contemporary sound. 
    With a lot of hard work I was thrilled to go from playing Christine Daae in the Phantom of the Opera to being offered the role of Glinda in Wicked, a role which previously had been out of my reach vocally.
    Steven has an uncanny ability on one hearing to diagnose your vocal issues and fix them using one exercise. He makes lessons fun and exercises are never dull! He's also a fantastic pianist which is always useful and of course a brilliant composer whose work I have been lucky enough to be involved with. I owe Steven a great deal and look forward to working with him in the future. "


    "What I love about Steven is that you can go to him with an issue and he will give you the tools and techniques to make it happen.
    His techniques are flexible and experimental, understanding there's no set rule and that every voice is different. His knowledge of vocal style is perfect for artists who are constantly working in and out of different genres and you can always trust he understands the intricacies of what you are trying to portray as an actress and a singer."


    Since starting lessons with Steven I feel my voice has changed for the better. Since having ONE singing lesson with Steven, I began to learn how To sing properly. This man is a miracle worker, the wizard of the voice. He teaches in a way that is understandable, reasonable and logical- he gets great results with everyone he works with. I would say that working with Steven has been life changing- I feel my career will last longer and my voice is 100 times better since I've been working with him. Any person who gets the chance to work with this man, is a very VERY lucky singer.
    Lucie Jones


    Steven is a revelation. Not only has he helped me to perfect my vocal impressions of such divas as Judy Garland, Edith Piaf, Tina Turner and Barbara Streisand for the role of Little Voice, but he has taught me how to sing this vocally grueling role safely so I can perform with out reservation night after night after night!
    He is also able to make me laugh so much I can't sing a note and he has nice dogs and excellent eyelashes.
    Love Jess x x x x x x x x x x


     I met Steven on a workshop of which I was playing the leading role and I had lost my voice. Steven explained, brilliantly, all the techniques to help me with my confidence and vocal placement in order to get through the workshop with astounding results. Subsequently I took him on as my vocal coach directly after. 
     Since then my vocal ability has gone from strength to strength. Steven has the ability to explain the anatomy of the voice in a clear, uncomplicated manner managing to make my sessions informative whilst helping with confidence building at the same time. He has helped change my attitude for auditions dramatically too. Like most performers I would dread the nervous, adrenaline filled experience where I would leave generally feeling I could have done better in the audition room but now I am able to go in feeling I have all the techniques I need to get through anything vocally they might throw at me.  I rate Steven absolutely at the top as far as vocal coaching is concerned and further to that he is personable, understanding and an all round brilliant person.
    "I recommend him highly." .


    " I visit Steven on the run up to an audition, in preparation for this but just to check in.   I found his knowledge and expertise extremely useful. I came away a better singer"


    Steven has enabled me to do things with my voice that I never thought it could.
    I always leave his lessons believing I can conquer anything! He has completely transformed my voice and installed in me so much confidence.
    It's an added extra that I've made a friend too..


    "Steven is a fantastic, encouraging teacher. One lesson with him made me understand so much more about my voice and the way i sing. It made the show i was on at the time so much easier for me to manage vocally, and i cant wait to get back to London to get some more lessons with him! Book lessons now before you miss out!!"


    "Steven’s knowledge and understanding of the voice is what makes his teaching so special. Having studied methodology and pedagogy across the singing world, Steven has now developed his own system of training and style that artistes, like myself, can relate too and fully understand. In just one lesson my voice was doing things that I never thought were possible. He trains the voice is such a way that you can literally sing any style without ever fearing you may cause any damage or strain. It’s still early days but I’m excited about the potential my voice has with regular visits to Steven. I can’t recommend him highly enough."


    "Throughout my time at GSA, Steven helped me achieve things vocally that I never thought possible. His knowledge of the voice, and indeed of the industry is unparalleled. He approaches singing technique in a way that makes it seem simple and natural – which of course it should be if you’re doing it right.
    ​Steven started by encouraging me to train my speaking voice and connect it fully to singing. Exercises were always simple to understand, and more importantly, Steven tailors them specifically to each student – understanding that as everybody uses their voice in different ways, it is impossible to deploy a one size fits all approach to singing. He takes each performer’s goals and brings what seems impossible within reach.
    I have recently joined the cast of Les Miserables playing Enjolras. Throughout the audition and rehearsal processes, Steven helped me to achieve a solid technical platform whilst approaching this epic material, imparting his valuable knowledge of the show from his past experience as a vocal coach for the show.
    Steven has helped me immensely and I cannot recommend him enough to any performers who are new to singing or experienced singers who want to rediscover their vocal technique and push themselves to new limits."






    For anyone seeking individual singing tuition, an initial consultation is essential in order to determine the correct course of action tailored to the exact needs of YOU, the client. The consultation will usually last an hour and fifteen minutes and will begin with a discussion covering your vocal history and any specific aims you may have with regards to your future training. This will be followed by a vocal assessment, where you will be guided through an array of specially designed exercises to ascertain vocal strengths, weaknesses and any areas for troubleshooting. To conclude you will be asked to sing. You will be required to bring two songs to the consultation; one that demonstrates you at your vocal best and another that maybe poses specific challenges for you or is representative of the aspects of your voice you wish to develop.

    Following this, there will be another discussion including any diagnosis of vocal issues, accompanied by an exercise programme, answers to any questions you may have had and a suggested course of training to follow, should it be deemed necessary.

    A consultation costs :

    • Standard £90
    • Theatre* £100 + Theatre Ticket

    * A Theatre Consultation is perfect for anyone who is currently appearing in a show and maybe concerned about a particular aspect of their performance, or maybe would like an opinion on their technique in performance generally. The standard section of the consultation will usually be scheduled for the next day or ASAP after the theatre visit.


    I am unable to offer regular tuition as far as booking in regular time slots are concerned. Simply due to my other commitments, it is nigh on impossible to offer repeat times. HOWEVER, I am able to see clients 'frequently'. I will usually see people every two to three weeks initially but more often than not one session can be enough to get you on the right track! Quickly, clients realise that the time spent with me is NOT where the real work is done. The 'real work' happens away from the lesson, implementing that covered in the tutorial in your own time and again, programming (or reprogramming) your muscle memory. I will provide you with the tools but it's down to you to master your art!

    • A lesson costs: £100
    • Students pay £ 70


    I am pleased to offer a range of bespoke master classes that cover an array of subject matters, frequently requested for teachers and actors/singers of all ages. Additionally, if your school, company or training centre, require a specialist master class in another subject, I am happy to discuss options and put together a package to suit. In any case, all master classes will be tailored to meet your individual numbers and specific requirements.

    Current Options Available:

    • Musical Theatre: The Acoustic Illusion
    • Integration: Master Class on technique and its integration in performance
    • To Belt or Not to Belt: A workshop on 'Belt', it's various states and alternatives
    • Mixing It Up: Working the Passaggio and Developing the Mixed Voice
    • Sing Out, Louise! A Technical Singing Training for Children in Theatre

    As master classes are tailored to the client's individual needs, prices will differ based on class numbers, length and content.


    • Training Days for tutors of all levels are available:
    • Technical Singing Tuition for Children and Young Adults
    • Technical Singing Tuition for Youth Theatre
    • Technical Tuition for Vocational Training
    • Technical Tuition for the Professional Actor

      All training days are tailored to the requirements of your tutors or establishment and prices are subject to participant capacity, day length and content.


    Whatever the production, whether full scale or workshop, professional or theatre school, I am available on a consultation or contractual basis to offer expert technical support to an individual or entire company, no matter what the musical style or vocal requirements.

    Any questions or to book any of the above services please email: info@stevenlukewalker.com

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