I am near the end of one of my favourite times of the year. Not Christmas, not Mother’s Day but the month of teaching that I do at my home in Cambridge-Narrows. We rent the cottage next door and two or three singers at a time come and work intensively with me. It is a great way to work for all, I think. I get to be at home with my family and singers get to enjoy the beauty of this place and focus on their singing. The joke is that there is little else to do in this village of 640 souls!
We work for a couple of hours a day; one on one. There is play time in the kayaks or hanging out in the hammock with a good book. It seems to help accelerate absorption of concepts. There appears to be a recurring theme that has come up in my teaching of late that I think is worthy of discussion. One singer in particular expressed frustration at not being able to find a teacher in Toronto who could work with her consistently. The implication: this is what was standing between her and greater success. While I appreciate the need and importance of working with a teacher who can give you good, sound vocal guidance, I suggested to her that she shouldn’t be looking for THE GOLDEN TICKET..We are all an amalgam many things including our upbringing; the teachers with whom we have worked, the experiences we have had, etc. I think one gets into dangerous territory when a teacher, or any person for that matter, begins to exert ownership over another individual. Think about personal relationships; if someone is telling you how to dress or how to behave, they are trying to create you in the image they have of you. This is not to diminish the impact of the show What Not To Wear – one of my favs! In all seriousness, the goal of a singer is to be the most full version of themselves in order to take to the stage and move people with music. That great quote by Marianne Williamson says this so eloquently:.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be..The job of being a singer is not the performing. The job is the day in/day out work of going into a practice room and working on the craft of singing. If this is something that appeals to you then go for it! You are your own creation and your uniqueness is something to be celebrated and upheld. Take all the information and advice that is given because there is value of some kind in all of it. Sort through the pile and keep what is true for you and edit the rest. It’s no easy task.
.The paycheque is not the paycheque. The paycheque is the performance. If someone hands you a cheque afterwards, smile and know that you’ve been twice rewarded.


No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *