Musings on a life singing, teaching and being a creature of the theatre!
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Why you study
As we get closer to the new year, and clear out the old and start fresh, here's a quote I found today:
“A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” -- Tom Landry
This quote works for football, but it is also so very relevant to singing and the study of voice. A coach or teacher can tell you these things and see you before you see yourself.
So my question to all of us as we approach the new year, why do you study? Have you discussed this with your coaches and teacher and team of professionals you trust?
We all have different reasons for studying, and study at different points in our careers and development. Have you simply sat down to actually verbalize and codify WHY you study NOW?
Often, the clearer we are about WHY we do what we do, the more focused we become to discover what we need and how to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. If we lose touch with WHY we often can get lost, get confused, get delusional, create road blocks that do not exist, become self-involved and full of excuses - and on and on. We can give up, get angry, and sadly, often attract the WRONG people into our space that will say what we WANT to hear, not what we NEED to hear.
Perhaps as the new year approaches, you sit down with yourself and answer "Why do I study?" "Why do I want to study?" as honestly as you can. Or perhaps you should ask in some cases, "Should I study?"
If the answer is YES, then WHY? and if the answer is YES and you aren't - then WHY NOT?
Often the first answer is "I can't afford it". Cop out. Sorry, but it is. If you WANT to study, if you know you NEED to study, then you simply have to find a WAY to study.
It's not all or nothing. Finding a teacher or a class that clearly is about craft, to help you see what you NEED to in order to find and claim the BEST of yourself is not about signing your life away. That used car salesman tactic of "sign up for 6 lessons now and pay upfront" is a red flag to me. As an artist, I am not looking for that. I want to know I can study and LEARN, and learn how to make that study LAST.
True teaching teaches you how to teach yourself by revealing the truths you NEED.
If you can only afford and save for one lesson a month, then find that teacher or that class that will hone in, and WORK WITH YOU! Yes, you might want to work more often, but it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Find what you CAN do and work to be prepared, work to find your answers between lessons, so those lessons are FULL and give you much to think about and work with between!
If you do not know why you study, why you want to study, you aren't going to get out of lessons or classes what is truly possible whether you study weekly, biweekly, or once a month, or once every 6 weeks. Knowing WHY is going to clear up so much in the misconception department if you are simply willing to do the work to get there.
If you've been on automatic pilot and your "why" isn't clear anymore, chances are some riff-raff has found its way into your space to keep you confused, to keep you closed, to keep you unseeing. Some of that riff-raff is self-created, and some is literally people who pose as teachers or mentors or coaches who are truly not about anything but to keep the myth alive!
Once your "why" is clear, you are able to clear and de-clutter your space and your reasons for doing.
Asking WHY means you are waiting for and in need of an answer. It's a big question. You are the one who needs to answer it - truthfully, honestly and without hesitation. This then allows the coaches, teachers and mentors to enter your space and SEE you and work with you to see yourself. That space isn't about the coach or teacher or mentor. That space is about YOU.