A day in the life of Julie Miles, a vocal coach who trains singers around the world — including an America's Got Talent finalist — from her British countryside home

  • Julie Miles is a vocal coach who trained America's Got Talent 2018 finalist Courtney Hadwin.
  • She has also trained contestants on singing shows The Voice and The X Factor. After more than a decade working as a senior sales manager at software firm Sage UK, Miles founded vocal training firm Vocal Ovation in 2010.
  • She is the judge for the UK singing competitions Open Mic UK and Teen Star UK, and UK director and mentor for the international teaching organisation Modern Vocal Training.
  • The strength of her reputation means she can work from her rural home in the north of England. In an interview, Miles talked us through her busy daily schedule, from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to bed. 
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From her home in the British countryside, Julie Miles can train vocalists from around the world. Her clients including Courtney Hadwin, a 2018 America's Got Talent's finalist who received a "golden buzzer" for her outstanding performance on the show, as well as contestants on singing shows The X Factor and The Voice.

She is a successful entrepreneur: In 2010, after more than ten years as a senior sales manager at software firm Sage UK, she founded Vocal Ovation, and was soon partnering with e-commerce platform Groupon and gaining hundreds of clients. 

Since then, she has appeared in the BBC primetime TV singing contest "All Together Now," and British girl group Little Mix's BBC talent programme, called "The Search," in which she was both a talent scout and vocal coach. She is also UK director and mentor for the international teaching organisation Modern Vocal Training, and a judge for UK singing competitions Open Mic UK and Teen Star UK.

She stopped advertising her business seven years ago — word of mouth and her existing relationships are more than enough to keep her busy, she says.

Running a business and balancing her passions with her personal life isn't easy, Miles told Business Insider. She often skips lunch becuase she is busy working, she said — but she's trying to change the habit with the help of a nutritionist.

Here is what her day looks like, from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to bed.

Julie Miles lives in Northumberland, UK, with her husband Neil, her two dogs Lola and Cassie, and her two cats, Dotty and Mimi. She is the founder of the professional vocal training company Vocal Ovation, and works as a vocal coach from her studio office — "seven steps from her house front door," she says.

Miles wakes up to her husband's 7:30 a.m. Alexa alarm. He is a management consultant in London. When he is travelling for work, she doesn't set the alarm, but still wakes up at the same time.

After the alarm, she makes herself one or two cups of tea and gets back to bed to check social media, emails, and her schedule of the day: "I check socials in the morning, mid-morning, afternoon, after lunch, during lunch — it takes a lot of my time, but it's important," she says.

Miles tries to do pilates at least three times a week, but never on Mondays, which she uses to get back into work mode. "It feels like a day to just get over the weekend," she says. She has a home gym and says her workout prepares her mentally for the day ahead. She usually starts at 9 a.m..

She then walks her dogs for around 30 minutes to an hour every day in her three acres of land. At 10:30 a.m., while standing at the kitchen counter and checking social media, she has a proper breakfast — usually gluten-free porridge.

Then it's time for her skincare routine, which takes her 30 minutes, Miles says. She was a beauty consultant for Christian Dior 30 years ago and since then she's been obsessed with skin products and makeup. "I used to be an avid TV shopper … I've actually got big plastic containers that I roll in and out from under the bed and in the spare room …. it's actually quite shocking," she says.

Then, it's time for work. She starts at around midday, in a separated studio right next to her front door. Here she runs in-person vocal training but also has Zoom or Skype calls with her international students.

Before she founded Vocal Ovation, the studio was supposed to be Julie and Neil's party room. They wanted to have a stage for karaoke with friends and family. The Oscar statues have become iconic for her studio: Most of her students post videos of them singing in front of them on social media, she says.

Miles works constantly, pausing for lunch roughly at 3:00pm without leaving the studio. She only has the time to eat "a few bits and pieces," Miles says. After work, at around 6:00 p.m., she enjoys another walk with her dogs before heading home for dinner.

When he's home, her husband makes dinner. And when he knows he is going to be away, he prepares food in advance on weekends and freezes it, saving her time during the week. "I am very lucky," she says.

After dinner, she checks her social media accounts again. Miles wants to keep in touch with current and former students and do whatever she can to support them, she says. Most Tuesdays, she records episodes of the Teen Star UK competition via Skype or Zoom until around 11:00 p.m..

If she has time, Miles likes to finish off the day with another walk with her dogs around 8 p.m., before heading to bed. She goes to bed anytime between 10 p.m. and midnight — it's always later when Neil is away, she says.


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