Tuesday, 10 November 2015

You've got a friend in me!

So, here is post number 2 already. Don't worry I won't bother you like this all the time but I thought I would write this as I had lunch yesterday with a fellow singing teacher. Teaching singing can be a lonely business and it is important to meet with other teachers from time to time. This way you get to share ideas, talk about teaching frustrations, share success stories and get a bit of adult conversation (if you've spent the weekend teaching kids).

It is important to have someone who understands how insecure you can feel when you are teaching. When I perform I feel like I am only responsible for me but when you teach you feel a responsibility for your student too. If they haven't learnt the song I told them to learn last week I feel responsible which is, frankly, ridiculous. I can only do so much. If a student comes to me once a week for an hour or half an hour I can only do so much in that time. Between the end of that lesson and the beginning of the next the student has to be responsible for putting the work in.

When I was a student I could be lazy, we all can, but I used to want to practice so I find it bizarre when students come to a lesson and say they haven't practiced. Singers are like athletes. People say that all the time and it is true. If an athlete trained once a week for half an hour and did nothing in between they would never improve. It is the same for singers. I just wish some students would realise this.

So it was refreshing to talk to my friend and find that she had the same frustrations as me, the same feelings of guilt. I can't tell you how much better I felt after this lunch. I felt more confidence in my teaching abilities and felt like I am far too hard on myself when students fail to learn the words to their songs. That is one thing I can not do for them. Word learning is their responsibility, not mine. So today I started my teaching week (at the moment I have no students on Monday - so plenty of availability - hint, hint) with a renewed feeling of purpose. I have much to say and I can help students improve but no more spoon feeding.

Go to the "Come Sing With Me!" page for more details on how to start singing lessons with me.

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