Promising classical singer Stephanie Guidera is donating part of her singing fee to the Dyspraxia Foundation to help others with this hidden and often misunderstood condition, following her own life-changing diagnosis.
Dyspraxia, also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) affects the ability to master skilled movements and some aspects of learning. Dyspraxia/DCD is a lifelong condition affecting gross and fine motor coordination in adults and children. In addition many may experience difficulties with organisational skills, memory, processing speed and in some cases speech. This makes it difficult for people with Dyspraxia/DCD to carry out everyday tasks others take for granted, such as handwriting, cooking, driving a car and organising daily life.
Stephanie grew up in Merseyside and began singing lessons at the age of five. By age 13 she was studying with a Senior Professor at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Having trained at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Stephanie made her debut at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in April 2015, returning in May 2016 to sing the mezzo-soprano solo in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony. Described by Gramophone magazine as “an outstanding soloist,” she has sung in world-renowned venues from the Royal Albert Hall to the Palace of Versailles and was awarded an Apprenticeship with conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir. However, Stephanie’s confident stage persona concealed a battle with her mental health; living with undiagnosed Dyspraxia was demoralising.
Dyspraxia/DCD can affect people of all backgrounds and most people affected are of average to high intelligence. Having a diagnosis and being understood is crucial for building self-esteem and life skills. While trying to make sense of her diagnosis, Stephanie came across the Dyspraxia Foundation and in November 2016 was appointed as a Patron. With support from the Foundation and specialist psychotherapy, “life changed dramatically”.
Stephanie now wants to help the Dyspraxia Foundation continue their crucial work in supporting children and adults with Dyspraxia/DCD and their families, by donating fees from her solo appearances with three UK choral societies. As well as more formal classical pieces, Stephanie’s repertoire includes jazz, songs from musicals and popular music. At the Fundraising Ball for the Dyspraxia Foundation in 2016 Stephanie spoke about growing up with Dyspraxia/DCD and sang a moving rendition of ‘One Moment In Time.’
Stephanie adds: “My advice for anyone struggling because of their condition is; don’t be afraid to seek support. You are not alone. Asking for help changed my life for the better and I will never look back.”
For more information about Dyspraxia/DCD and the Dyspraxia Foundation, visit: http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk
For more information about Stephanie or to make booking enquiries, Choral Societies should visit: https://www.stephanieguidera.com