3 Small Suggestions – International Voice Teachers of Mix

3 Small Suggestions

Weekly Teaching Tip – Aug. 21, 2017
by Anna Siciliano M.A. CCC/SLP

1. Look professional:
Whether you are working in a clinic, university, school, music store or at of your home, you should try to look professional.

Earlier this week I had to see a physician for a minor back injury. He was very professional. However the female resident that worked with him was less professional. Or should I say she looked like a kid. She had on tan skinny jeans and tennis shoes. Her clothing was clean but VERY casual. Her top was a three quarter length T shirt. Her hair was in a messy ponytail. Her overall look did not make me confident in her medical skills. When she wanted to examine my back, I was hesitant. The physician, however, had on professional clothing and had a professional manner and I put my trust in him.

As Voice professionals, we need to enter each lesson looking polished, enthusiastic and educated. How we dress affects the student’s perceptions of us.

2. Provide a professional environment:
Many of our IVTOM teachers work from their homes which is fine, but we need to be sure our lesson environment is well thought out .

In the past, I have gone to two different massage therapists in their home offices. One office had its own entrance, was a calm quiet space and the therapist looked comfortable but professional. This was a good experience. The other massage therapist had divided off an area of her living room with curtains. I could hear young children in the background and the therapist seemed a bit rushed and overworked. I did not relax during my 60 minute massage and did not go back.

When we are working with the voice we need to be aware of the acoustics of the room we are working in.

Also does our office/room offer privacy for our student? Here in the
voice clinic we work with many singers, actors and public speakers. I have noticed that even professional singers can be shy about singing in a new environment. Our IVTOM teachers are pros at making the singer feel comfortable and successful during the lesson. However, before we start the first lesson with a new student, the working environment gives impressions. Make sure your lesson room is organized, interesting and free from interruptions.

3. Be Humble and Kind:
Have any of you heard Tim MCGraw’s new song, “Always stay humble and Kind”? I just love the words…… and while they don’t necessarily mention us as voice teachers, the idea of being humble, ready to learn more about the voice, being kind to our students….. wow it is so simple, but profound.

Here are the Lyrics.

Humble and Kind

You know there’s a light that glows by the front door
Don’t forget the key’s under the mat
When childhood stars shine,
Always stay humble and kind

Go to church ’cause your mamma says to
Visit grandpa every chance that you can
It won’t be wasted time
Always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say “please”, say “thank you”
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb
But always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kind

Don’t expect a free ride from no one
Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why:
Bitterness keeps you from flyin’
Always stay humble and kind

Know the difference between sleeping with someone
And sleeping with someone you love
“I love you” ain’t no pick-up line
So always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say “please”, say “thank you”
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb
But always stay humble and kind
When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kind

When it’s hot, eat a root beer popsicle
Shut off the AC and roll the windows down
Let that summer sun shine
Always stay humble and kind

Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you’re going don’t forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind

Anna Siciliano, M.A. CCC/SLP
Speech Pathologist
Clinical Specialist-Voice

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