Weekly Teaching Tip – March 25, 2013
I think reassessing our teaching is a critical part of what we do. One of the most exciting reasons to be a part of this great organization is learning new scientific principles and then applying them to my teaching. At out last conference I can remember Dr. Hubert Noe saying that as a singer one should never let the breath be the commander. He said the vocal cords needed to be in charge. In my teaching I had found that sometimes when I needed more energy from a singer I was getting a quick result by just telling them to pull their tummy in. This usually gave the student the results they needed but when I thought about it I realized I was in effect teaching the student to let the breath be the commander, exactly what Dr Noe said a singer should avoid. I thought how I could change what I was conveying, give the students the same results and stay true the correct principle. I started simply saying “a little louder right there” in the same places I had been saying pull your stomach in. It worked! The student got the same result but was now using a correct principle. I had essentially told the students to let the vocal cords be in charge by asking for more air pressure.
I think we also need to reassess why we teach. My first post on the IVTOM website was on this very subject. With all the confusion and change going on with different organizations that espouse the “mix” technique I found my words of two years ago very appropriate and timely. I hope you agree.
“Today I was contemplating why I teach. Then I had the most amazing lesson with a student and realized the profound difference I have made in his life by sharing this technique that took most of my life to find. It is like the treasure at the end of the rainbow to me and I cherish it. I feel very privileged to be one of the chosen few who “get it” in the world of singing.
So for me teaching mix is more of a mission than a profession. I am so excited to be part of this new organization. Already the synergy of like-minded people has energized me. I am so excited to learn more and share it with the few voices that have entrusted themselves to me. If you are reading this you have already decided to join us. Please feel free and maybe even a little obligated to share so we can learn from each other’s successes and failures. I am delighted to be counted among you!”