I teach voice and theory to some pretty awesome people and I’m good at it. Teaching is an interesting thing. There are always the critics who say “those who don’t do, teach.”. This may be true for many but not for me. When I was younger, I loved everything that was performance. My first big musical was The Sound of Music. I was so incredibly devastated when it ended, that my parents purchased all of my costumes. My mom, still has them today. I knew I wanted to keep singing. I loved all of it, pop, musical theatre and jazz. After performing and winning in quite a few competitions, the adjudicators approached my parents and mentioned, it may be time for me to be classically and properly trained. And so, began my love of classical music. I continued to perform in musicals and pop performances but I was beginning to adore classical and what my voice could do when used in a safe an healthy way.
Classical is much like sport, in that you compete at regional, provincial, national and then international competitions. It can be lonely and gruelling and by the age of twenty two after many successes, I decided my true love was teaching the kids I had been working with for last four years. My dad passed away when I was that age. It was an odd time, I noticed I wasn’t happy with the way I was being taught. It felt detached, as though the need to win everything was more important than taking time to recover and figure things out without my dad, my rock and my biggest fan. I decided, right then and there, that my teaching style would be different (I think it already was). I decided the student’s health would always come first. Both mentally and physically. I understood, they needed me as I had so needed my teachers when they weren’t there for me.
This is why I’m great at what I do. At the end of the day, I want my students to have long lasting success in whatever field they may choose. I have high standards but I’m also very understanding of the outside pressures they face everyday. That’s what I’m most proud of. My ability to not make it about me but to really care for their all around success.
Because I am a good listener, I have mastered the art of hearing adjudicators and opinions of others. I listen to the voice, often without looking at the singer and can tell what their body is doing without needing a visual. This is a great trick. I “catch” them all the time. Ha! It doesn’t take long for me to find some little thing to help them improve immediately. Once you have trust, you can do so many wonderful things! My greatest joy, is watching my students’ eyes light up when something spectacular comes out their mouth! It’s really something!
I make sure I am never too tired to make their lesson fun! I care enough to ask questions about their day, this gives me a good gage on how far we can push during a particular lesson. My results show this! My students have had tons of success despite keeping my studio on the smaller side.
My colleagues know me as a fair person. One that has some super talented students but is kind to all of the teachers. My students are nice to one another as I have a zero gossip policy! There are some awesome teachers out there and we support each other all of the time.
I consider myself so, so lucky to spend time watching people grow each day. It’s the best “job” in the world. One I’m great at!
What do you do for a living? Do you have job that suits you to a tee? Love to hear from you!