18.7.22 -The 16 Bar Challenge: A Coach’s Perspective

Patrick Jeremy

When the Sing Space, along with Online MD, created the 16 Bar Challenge during the uncertain lockdown periods of the pandemic, it was the most wonderful forum for singers to share an online experience that spoke directly to the interruption we were facing as performers.

It gave us a focus for audition preparation and a purpose to practise our craft and meet those short turnaround deadlines. We were learning new repertoire in different genres and new styles, and honing our self-taping skills, all while working with a panel of coaches who could offer valuable insight in their specialist area.

Those of us who were there every week got to know each other and our talents, and we journeyed together through 12 weeks of song. It was exactly what we were missing when theatre had stopped. And now, it just continues to grow as we get back into real auditions and more and more singers jump on board. 

As a Senior Vocal Coach at The Sing Space, I was more than happy to coach one of the weeks and thrilled to focus on the legendary work of Stephen Sondheim.  I also led classes on Self Taping and then as we delved deeper, Acting Through Song for Camera.  I’m pretty sure you can still watch these on Catch Up if you’re keen, but I promise I’ll be back with more this time around.

 I didn’t expect to complete the challenge myself.  I did the first week to introduce myself, but then Lindsay kept releasing amazing tracks that I was eager to try out, and somehow I ended up doing them all!  I loved taping the musical theatre genres where I feel at home, and soon built up a collection of audition cuts that I can pull out to show my work in a particular genre. 

But I also loved trying genres that are not me at all, in a safe community to experiment and grow. I would have never sung a rock song or folk, but masterclasses with the wonderful Julia Krajewska for rock and Vivien Carter for folk, encouraged me to adapt my voice to these styles.

Coaching Sondheim Week the past two challenges has been an absolute joy. I love harvesting the clues that Sondheim’s scores are laden with. He maps out so many possibilities for the actor in his writing, and we studied how to create a scene out of a short cut in the audition room. You would think that watching hundreds of versions of the same song might get boring, but it was so satisfying seeing what all the different participants did with the material and who had incorporated ideas from our masterclass into their performance.


As a coach, I love bringing out the best in people, nurturing their performance but also giving them the technical skills they need to take their voice to the next level.  It’s been the best experience meeting so many singers through the 16 Bar Challenge and I can’t wait for us to be on the journey once more!

Patrick is available for 121 lessons and is an active coach within the Membership offering Masterclasses and singing technique classes.

You can read about him HERE.


Launching this MONDAY 18th JULY!

Just a few of Patrick’s classes available on demand FREE for members or PAYG for non members:

INSTANT WATCH: Sondheim Masterclass with Patrick Jeremy

INSTANT WATCH: 16 Bar Masterclass 2022: Sondheim with Patrick Jeremy

INSTANT WATCH: Acting Through Song for Camera with Patrick Jeremy


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