|Posted on January 27, 2012 at 4:50 AM||comments (0)|
Have I ever mentioned how much I love my job? Yes I have, many time and I'll keep repeating it in the name of gratitude.
I used to dream of that career on Broadway and jumping on the best stages of this world, but it is now the little miracles that happen every day in my studio that keep me alive and happy; they are the most rewarding.
I had a student today coming in with a "surprise" for me; she simply had worked hard on her piano pieces and was all excited to show me. To think of it, what's one simple piano piece in the grand scheme of things? Seems like nothing significant, but in that moment, for that student, it meant everything and it is my job to share that excitment. How could I not feel excited as well? Of course I was, because in that moment, that piano piece well played represented a small victory after many hours or practising that I was just happy to celebrate. Something that seemed impossible the week before was now easy and joyful. One little miracle...
Then a student who is figuring out the break between the chest voice and the head voice. Another little miracle... Something new and not totally understood yet, but we're getting there. New sounds, new discoveries, that is all part of my job. To give them the confidence to push and make those discoveries is part of my work, more than just teaching notes and songs.
Sometimes the privacy of the studio offers the perfect environment for more serious discussions with the students and I am grateful that they feel confident to open up to me about their issues or challenges that singing can represent to them. I had the most eye opening and rewarding experience today. Understanding the human being behind the voice is such an important part of the work, or at least it is for me. Singing can become a therapeutic process where both body and soul are involved. Anything happening in the body, any imbalance will affect the sound and it is my work to observe and put my finger on those imbalances and address them. I am happy to have and offer a comfortable space to do so; that is why I want my studio to be warm and welcoming, to give us the environment appropriate for that sharing of voice and stories.
I see myself as an Educator and more than a simple music teacher; it is my job to not only teach them about music & art, but also to help them the best I can by giving them tools and help them build a skill set for life. I obviously can't replace their parents and shouldn't, but I like to consider myself as part of their supporting entourage. And I also like to think that I can make a difference. With all my family far away back east, I like to think of my students as my West Coast family!
There is more to the voice than the simple noise it makes when we open our mouth. The sound carries so much emotional baggage, personal information and history, anxiety, frustrations, but also joy and happiness. You can hear it if you know how to listen and this is what I strive to do everyday with each and everyone of my students.
And if you know how to listen, not only you can hear the real voice, but you start seeing the little miracles it brings along at the same time...
|Posted on December 20, 2011 at 8:40 PM||comments (0)|
One of the reasons I wanted to start writing a Blog was to share funny stories from the studio. I think this one is one of the best and it happened a few weeks ago.
I had a student coming in for his lesson on a late Friday afternoon. He walked in mentioning his new glasses, but didn't seem too excited about them (who is ever excited about wearing glasses!?!?). Anyway, we started warming-up and in between 2 scales, I simply said "Nice specs by the way" to which I had no answer from my student, but just him looking at the floor. There was an awckward silence and I wasn't sure why. We kept going on with the scales.
Suddenly, in between 2 breaths, my student says "oh, I spent my summer in the woods, doing physical activity and all...". Thanks for sharing, but now I was the one very confused. Why was he saying that to me? I didn't get it.
After an awckward feeling, I finally asked him "Why did you tell me about your summer stuff, when all I had said was nice s..." And then I got it! While I had said to him "nice specs", he had heard "nice pecs"!!!!!!! Needless to say, we laughed so hard at this very strange and uncomfortable situation, just couldn't sing for like 5 minutes!
Well, all I have to say is that I am sooooo happy I asked him what that was all about, cause I can just imagine my poor student going home telling his mom about his teacher telling him he had "nice pecs". Now that is just wrong, and I could have been in sooo much trouble...
Nice one Yanik, nice one... So remember kids, DICTION is always VERY important!