A HALTWHISTLE singer who recently turned her hand to teaching is making a big impact on the North-East music scene.

Frankie Hay (23) is a vocal tutor who recently completed a contemporary and popular music degree at Newcastle University.

The former QEHS student is also head of music at the Tyneside branch of VA Performing Arts in Jarrow, a trainee music teacher with a Tynedale choir and one part of brand new vocal trio Luna Blu.

As if that wouldn’t keep her busy enough, Frankie is also currently studying part-time for a masters degree in music production at Newcastle.

She said: “I’m doing my masters on vocal pedagogy, which is how the voice works and what it takes to better yourself in singing and as a teacher.

“Once you know how the voice works, you can use it to develop your teaching; it really goes well with that.

“I had no idea how the voice worked, it’s the only instrument you can’t see, so I wanted to look into that more.

“The reason I wanted to continue my masters is the research is still ongoing; there’s always new research and I want to contribute to the academia.

“My main project is going to be about how music, and singing in particular, can promote mindfulness.”

Now, residents of Tynedale will have the chance to benefit from Frankie’s expertise, after she teamed up with Blenkinsop Castle to introduce singing lessons.

She added: “I was speaking to the owner and she found out that I was a teacher and asked if I wanted to teach there.

“I posted in the Haltwhistle Matters Facebook group to see if there was any interest and I got a full day’s teaching from there.

“I’ve been teaching singing for about six months now, and I love it.”

Alongside her blossoming teaching career, Frankie is also an established performer.

In the past, she’s played gigs both as a solo artist and as one half of White Violet with fellow QEHS alumni Maddie Major.

Now, she’s teamed up with former coursemates Megan Savage and Ada Francis to form Luna Blu, a vocal trio based in the North-East.

Frankie continued: “We all met at university, and we’re aiming to do weddings and functions. We’re just waiting for it to take off.

“We’ve just started out, so we’re doing small gigs at the minute.

“Ada’s mum is also a musician, and we’re supporting her at a gig at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh as well as doing backing vocals for her band.

“We all write, so we’re writing some original songs too; it would be a real shame to waste those skills.”

Frankie’s musical career began when she was in first school, but it wasn’t until much later that she discovered she had a talent for singing.

She explained: “My musical upbringing was violin and piano, which I started playing when I was four.

“It wasn’t until I was 14, when I started to do performing arts at school and I loved signing so much, that I sort of fell out of love with the violin as my primary instrument.

“The degree was the best thing I’ve ever done for networking – I would never have known that I wanted to teach.

“When I was at uni, I realised how much of a minority you’re in as a musician, but it’s what I love doing as a job.”