The human voice is a highly expressive instrument and the vocal apparatus itself is an equally fascinating and complex part of the body. Sharing your voice can be intimidating but also rewarding. To teach individual lessons effectively, a teacher must provide a safe and secure environment that is tailored specifically to each individual singer. Such an environment helps put a student at ease, making them more willing to take risks that are necessary to fulfill their optimal potential.
This environment is created by a collaborative and individualized effort. As an instructor, listening to the needs of each student is the key to finding an approach best suited for their needs. One must listen to their singing as well as how they communicate their understanding of their own instrument. How the student perceives a concept is as important as the concept itself.
Singing is a skill that requires motor learning, therefore a singer trains similarly to an athlete. The analogy I often use to describe voice training is that speaking is like walking and singing is like running. Through exercises or vocalises, fundamental skills are developed to enhance vocal quality and endurance. The length and intensity of these exercises vary based on age and skill level.
Furthermore, psychological preparation is as crucial as one’s vocal preparation. Auditions, and performing in general, are challenging not only physically, but also psychologically. Mindfulness, or being aware of one’s presence in a moment, can help alleviate performance anxiety and lead to a more thoughtful and inspired performance. By providing their students with the tools to overcome psychological barriers, outcomes can be significantly improved.
Ultimately, every relationship between voice teacher and student is unique and incredibly rewarding. While I enjoy working with advanced students, I find the process of molding young artists extremely fulfilling. By empowering students to explore in a nurturing environment, we can unlock their inner artist through their voice and help them share the human experience through song.