'Through music, people express ideas and feelings. The study of music is an exploratory journey into the self. For singing students, learning is a holistic process that proceeds on many levels: some physical, some mental. This can be likened to a quest of discovery, in which the student must not only absorb information about vocal function, health and hygiene, but also be attuned to the emotional and mental experiences unfolding within their being. The final aim of the journey is to arrive at a place where they can balance rigour with freedom.' 'My role as a teacher is to facilitate this journey and my approach reflects the holistic nature of the singer’s learning journey. I install healthy foundations in vocal technique, but also take the time to understand a singer’s individual needs along a number of dimensions: musical, mental, physical and emotional. To this end, I try to establish a rapport with each student by familiarizing myself with the student’s background, by performing live to the student body, as well as by attending students’ performances.'
'My teaching is underpinned by research. This research has continued to gain momentum, flowing into vocal improvisation, performance practice, and vocal artistry and teaching practice. From this place, I want students to experience the joy of travelling the path they have chosen, to receive feedback that is well researched, respectful and detailed, sympathetic yet challenging. I strive to create a safe, generous, and inclusive teaching environment, ensembles, small group work, the process of collaboration, the transformations that take place. For me it is important to facilitate joy and enthusiasm and after all these years I am more passionate about teaching as well as having the opportunity to meet some incredibly talented young musicians.'
"Massive thanks, respect and love to you for showing me how it's done. I wouldn't be where I am without you, Leigh." Nick Gibbs
- Charmain Kingston (Buoy) electronic performance artist (Sydney)
- Nick Gibbs (vocal educator Germany teaching singing at Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg)
- Sally Marrett (performed backing vocals for Paris Wells on Channel 7‘s Sunrise program, regularly performances in Sydney)
- Ella Minagaye (performing regularly in Australia and New York)
- Stiff Gins (first met and taught for a year in Eora Tafe Sydney)
- Marty Worrell (finalist in Australian Idol 2)
- Sangetta Lee Jones (living in London Performing regularly)
- Anna Mathewson (two CD's independently released and an excellent teacher)
- Cilla Leighton Daly (performs regularly supported artist such as Bobby Flynn and Kate Miller Heidke)
- Beth George (Beth's voice is as pure as the driven snow' Paul Hester, Ex Crowded House, and A magnetic solo performer' Michael Dwyer, The Age)
- Chrystal Lynch (session vocalist and Debut CD triple JJJ airplay)
- Julianne Jessop (produces music under her own record label `Soul Folk Records')
- Natalie Carey (innovative songwriter performer, backing vocalists with Dallas Frascas, teaching in Maningrida NT)
In 2009 Leigh was awarded a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning by the Vice Chancellor. The Citations recognise and reward the diverse contributions that individuals and teams make to the quality of student learning.
- Queensland Music Festival 'Songs That Made Me' designing all workshops for young female songwriters in Gladstone, Mt. Isa and Mackay.
- Head Vocal Studies & Musicology, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Southern Cross University, Lismore, since 1998.
- Coordination of the Higher Education Equity Program (HEEP) Women in Music.
- Coordinator of the Artists Mentoring Program for Women in Contemporary Music.
- Creator and coordinator of the Women in Contemporary Music Website http://www.scu.edu.au/womeninmusic/index.php
- Coordinator and successful grant writer for the APRA AMCOS Songwriters Seminars with artists such as: Rob Hirst, Blue King Brown, Husky, Katie Noonan, Lior, Rai Thistlethewaite, Lisa Gerard, Nerida Tyson-Chew, The Stiff Gins, Joseph Tawadros, David Atkins, Lucie Thorne and Felicity Urquhart.
- Extensive research in the areas of vocal performance, vocal improvisation techniques, vocal artistry, vocal pedagogy and vocal recording as well as a
- current project researching the work of The Pacific Curls, a trio from New Zealand that combines Taonga Puoro (Maori traditional instruments) with voice, ukuleles, percussion, guitars and kalimba, blending contemporary indigenous and traditional Maori music.
- Multiple conference papers and presentations.
- Judge of ABC Brisbane Valley Jazz Festival Vocal Awards.
- Leigh has also realised many highlights in her personal career as a performing and recording artist including:
- Festival performances at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival, Brisbane Jazz Festival, Byron Bay Blues and Roots, North Coast Bangalow Jazz
- Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, Melbourne International Women's Jazz Festival and Sydney's Newport and Manly Festivals.
- Five album releases including the critically acclaimed Weave (2016), ‘Mandarin Skyline’, and ‘Get Out Of Town’ both released with Vitamin Records (2012), the dynamic live recording, 'On Impulse' (2006), and 'Until', (2004).
- Performances at the recent Wangaratta Jazz Festival and the Brisbane Festival in the famous Spiegeltent, along with two of Australia's most widely recognised jazz exports, Jamie Oehlers and Paul Grabowsky, Matt McMahon and Brendan Clarke.
In addition to her teaching and personal career, Leigh continues to compose and arrange and collaborate, is a sought after session vocalist and live backing vocalist, and contributes her skill as a vocal producer.