Here's what Trudy's peers and past students say:
I have known and worked with Trudy for a numaber of years. She has taught singing on our UK Jazz Academy Courses (jazzacademy.co.uk) where she has dealt very effectively with all ages of students at all levels of ability. She is thorough, humourous, disciplined and inspiring and she will invoke good will and credit to any teaching enterprise she is involved with.
Michael Garrick B.A. Hons [London], Hon.ARAM. Director, Jazz Academy UK
I was very fortunate to be taught by Trudy at Trinity College of Music in London from 2003 to 2007. Her knowledge and sensitive guidance have definitely inspired me to become a professional Jazz Vocalist.
All of her lessons were very well structured and focused on the fundamental key elements of studying Jazz Voice (Vocal Technique, Improvisation, Song Analysis, Performance Skills, Music Theory and Repertoire). She is a caring vocal coach and her experience of being in the industry for many years has also helped me immensely to have the confidence to promoting myself.
I can wholly recommend her to you. Not only is Trudy an excellent vocal tutor, she is also a very fine Jazz Vocalist who is very highly respected on the UK jazz scene.
I had Trudy as my singing teacher for four years, and I have to thank her for a lot of things. She introduced me to some amazing music, which has had a great influence on me, and her way of teaching me how to approach songs, both lyrically and melodically, is something I still keep with me.
Trudy´s lessons were always very relaxed and fun, as well as very informative and inspiring. We worked on vocal technique with certain vocal warm ups at the beginning of the lessons and then applied these certain technical aspect to songs. I found Trudy to be a great guide/coach and I felt that it was important to her to teach me in a way where I retained my personal style as much as possible. She never tried to interfere or change my own way of interpreting and approaching a song. Instead she gave me subtle directions and ideas of approach, and tips of who to listen to for further reference.
For me, Trudy´s warm and laid back personality played an important role in my learning as it meant I felt completely relaxed in the lessons. This was really important to me, especially while working on interpretation and improvisation as this can be a very personal and sometimes an intimidating experience. My lessons with Trudy mainly involved working on songs from the standard Jazz repertoire. Trudy showed me the many different ways to really learn a song “inside out”. We looked at all the different aspects of a song i.e. harmony, melody, rhythm, structure, lyrics, feel and style. I found her approach to teaching fun and interesting and felt that I improved my general musicianship at the same time as I was exploring and strengthening my voice.
It was a great pleasure being taught by someone with so much talent and experience when it comes to performing and recording. A lot of coaching sessions involved working together with a rhythm section where Trudy would go through the different ways of how to lead and communicate with a band i.e. counting the band in, having clear charts and being in charge of your own time etc, which now has meant I feel completely comfortable and in control on the band stand.
Trudy is an inspiring teacher and I feel very grateful to have been taught by her for so many years! It has been a great relationship and its been wonderful to have worked with someone who seems to really enjoy the teaching process and who is so passionate about music.
I met Trudy Kerr in 2003 when she was first my singing tutor at the Beechwood School, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, run by Jazz Academy.
She is an enthusiastic and thorough teaching coach, and one of the hardest problems she faces on the Jazz Academy courses is the range of students she is teaching. Some have absolutely no singing experience or musical knowledge, and some are regularly performing with a band and want to improve their singing techniques. She finds time to include them all and make them feel part of the group, and will happily give one to one tuition if the time allows.
She teaches warming up exercises, breathing exercises, how to find your right keys and how to transpose selected songs, choosing the right repertoire to suit one’s voice, timing and how to give the band the correct count in, vocalese and scat singing, different techniques with phrasing, and how to polish a performance and bring the song to a smooth finish by visually indicating one’s wishes to the band.
She has taught us the parts for a large selection of diverse group pieces which we have performed in the jazz club, and equally will coach us in the repertoire class for our individual songs which we can perform in the evening club.
Her patience and expertise are excellent and she is a really good singer, always experimenting and finding new ways and methods to interpret the music. She has taught me on these courses for the past seven years at Beechwood, and each time I feel I learn something new from her and she is always willing to share her knowledge. Lastly, and importantly, she is respected by her musician peers. I can highly recommend her.
I met Trudy in 1999 when she taught me what jazz was about at Richmond College and she has been a true mentor ever since. She said if I was serious about doing jazz gigs I should learn 100 standards, get a keyboard and learn how to play it so I could communicate with musicians properly. She was right and 11 years later I'm finishing my second jazz album and I've passed her exact advice on to numerous young jazzers many many times in the years in between.
Trudy is immersed in jazz. Her knowledge and experience as a jazz singer and enthusiast is vast. You can't fail to learn from her technical skills, her observations and her ever-patient, ever-friendly advice.
Zena James (Soul and pop enthusiast only until Trudy showed me jazz!)
As well as being a superbly accomplished singer, a brilliant jazz interpreter, and inspirational performer, Trudy Kerr is an exceptional teacher. Over the many years I have studied jazz singing with her, the freshness of her teaching has remained, and she just gets better. Trudy knows her subject in depth and breadth, and so is able to teach all aspects of singing and performing in jazz and related idioms. She has the perspective of an experienced musician, and understands the context of vocal performance, as well as its theory and practice.
Trudy is conscientious, generous and supportive in her teaching, being sensitive to the needs of different students, and able to work with and assist people at all levels of experience, from beginner to professional. She is inclusive and friendly, communicates clearly and naturally, listens carefully, and can adapt to group or individual teaching situations equally well. Trudy is also known as a highly professional and supportive colleague, a great team player, but one who shows creative initiative and self-sufficiency when required.
As Trudy knows, though I first met her as a student, my own professional background – as a teacher, teacher trainer, and management educator – informs my critical judgement of the teachers I encounter. With her, I don’t find much to criticise; that’s why I keep going back to learn more from Trudy, and strongly recommend her teaching and her singing.
I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Trudy Kerr for the last 10 years – I was head of Jazz at Trinity College, London 1999-2004 and had the pleasure of interviewing and recruiting Trudy as one of the college’s 4 vocal tutors in September 2000 and later offered her the additional administrative post of jazz combo co-ordinator for the entire faculty as well as musical director of the jazz choir. Since then I’ve gone on to establish the National Youth Jazz Collective (founded 2005) and have recently invited Trudy to help us establish the vocal strand of this national organization based on the experience we gained and insight we shared during our time at Trinity College of Music.
Not only is Trudy one of the UK's finest jazz singers she’s also one of the nation’s clearest and most supportive of educators. Trudy’s organizational skills are both impeccable and faultless and her continuously supportive nature is an inspiration to all those that work with her. Always extremely conscientious, organized and well prepared her ability to also think on her toes and cope with every given situation while working with the students enables Trudy to offer each student a bespoke educational outcome that is of the highest educational value – whatever their age what ever their level of ability - from Kindergarten to Higher Education.
As with all strong jazz educators and performers, Trudy’s able to “read the room” and draw on her knowledge of the jazz idiom as well as her immense experience as a jazz practitioner to best suit the given needs of that particular group of students as well as contributing effectively towards the generation of a coherent pathway of study for all jazz vocalists at all levels of ability.
Issie Barratt, Artistic Director and CEO of the National Youth Jazz Collective