WHEN Mr Percival gets on the stage he's looking for one thing from the crowd: Be present.

The former The Voice contestant, well known for his vocal looping, has taken a step back from performing to spread the joy of music through teaching others how to sing spontaneously.

It's not applause that lets him know he's done well on the stage, it's looking into the faces of the people in the crowds and knowing that they're "in the moment".

"There's a joy about their face that you can really tell when they're in that," he said after his Ensembleous Spontaneous Vocalous session at Woodford Folk Festival yesterday.

"There's a lightness to their faces and you can tell that they're not thinking about anything else, and that's a really powerful thing to do."

SPONTANEOUS VOCALOUS: Darren Percival leads his daily Woodford workshop.
SPONTANEOUS VOCALOUS: Darren Percival leads his daily Woodford workshop. Tessa Mapstone

Mickey Biezen first discovered Mr Percival's workshops at the festival about six years ago and plans to start every day with a vocal warm-up.

"You never know what's going to happen," she said.

"The element of surprise, which is terrifying and exciting at the same time."

The sessions offer a taste of different techniques, without "banging on about singing", Mr Percival said.

That was part of the appeal, he said, but so was the mental space the workshops provided.

"They (the patrons) can be in their hearts for 50 minutes, and that's pretty rare for a big chunk of time," he said.

"It's not like they're watching me do something, they're involved in creating most of what happens, and I think that's really important."

Mr Percival also runs workshops at Peregian Beach through the year. Visit thesingingspace.com for details.