Weekly Teaching Tip – June 29, 2015
by Rocio Guitard
I’ve been teaching for about 20 years now, and been part of many networks over the years. But IVTOM has done something for me no other organization or school had managed to do before: it has freed me of arrogance, fear, my set teaching ways, routine, and yes, even remaining vocal tension. Let’s look at these one by one:
I’ve been training teachers for over 10 years. Ergo, I know my stuff! Except there was a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t know. Why? Because I had fallen into the old trap of simply believing everything I was told pertaining to the mix (either by a teacher or by a book), because it was working. Or so I thought. But there was a better way out there. And the diversity within IVTOM’s online materials, advisors and mentors showed me other approaches that, dare I say it, worked better and faster than what I was doing before. I’ve become a humbler student, and a better teacher.
“Everyone says it’s so, so it must be.” Except it wasn’t. And my belly had been telling me all along. There were more layers to the vocal onion than I was aware of (and I thought I’d dug pretty deep already). So I asked questions I was afraid to ask. Challenged concepts that were totally ingrained in my teaching. Studied the really tough books again, just happy to be understanding them better and better with each pass. Opened my ears to other approaches I found on IVTOM’s website that I used to judge in an uninformed way. I’ve become a more courageous student, and a better teacher.
3. My Set Teaching Ways
I have a full studio with a waiting list, and my students are getting the parts and the college spots. Except I felt kinda stuck with those students who’d been with me for many years and didn’t really know what else to throw at them in terms of tools to free their voices. And it became obvious I needed to find new tools. Stuff I wouldn’t even have considered a year ago, because “hey, I know my stuff.” And I partly invented, partly found (on IVTOM) a whole set of tools I didn’t even know existed until now. I’ve become a more creative student, and a better teacher.
“Let’s start you on the bubble for warmup and then the usual tricks.” Except some students needed a completely different approach and I was too lazy or stuck on autopilot to even see it. And over the course of the last 12 months I have experimented with 2 completely different tool kits I got from IVTOM, and come up with a much wider variety of exercises, approaches, and tricks; in fact I hardly use my old approach anymore. I have become a more aware student, and a better teacher.
5. Vocal Tension
“I can sing anything, for hours on end, and not lose my voice, not even a little bit. Ever.” Truly, I can. But my new vocal coach (from IVTOM) served me a huge slice of humble pie with a side of truth, which no other teacher had done before. Ever. It was always “you sound great!” And in only 3 months my voice is absolutely soaring to the point of having to control the impulse to giggle mid-phrase because it’s all so easy and so simple. And it’s opened my ears to yet more vocal dimensions and nuances I wasn’t aware of before. I have become an avid student again, and a better teacher.
I have taken full advantage of IVTOM’s resources, and become a better teacher.