Why Teaching Voice Never Gets Old
I teach around 30 students a week. I’ve worked through all the major voice teacher milestones: voice changes, developing mix, strengthening range, learning to belt, learning to use head voice, helping with community theatre and school play auditions, coaching through college auditions, singing competitions, and more. This June, I will hit another big milestone. My last student from my “first 10” (the first 10 students I ever had) graduates high school in a few weeks. I’m not a newbie voice teacher anymore.
I recently realized that I’ve taught over 15,000 lessons. So.. why am I not sick of this yet?
Each Student Feels Like A New Adventure
While I may have reached many of the voice teacher milestones, I still find the milestones of the individual so unique and fascinating. There is magic in watching a student’s vibrato develop. There is something so beautiful about witnessing a first voice recital. You literally get to watch your students blossom into these gorgeous musicians right before your eyes. I have the honor and privilege of witnessing such significant moments in the lives of young people, and it never gets old.
There Are Infinite Avenues to Explore
When I first started teaching, I was passionate about musical theatre and opera almost exclusively. I delve for years into discovering new pieces to showcase the talents of my students in those styles. And as new works (or new to me) were discovered, it would breathe new life into my studio and in the development of my students. Those were great years. But I've grown since then. Now, I have branched out from musical theatre and opera in order to best accommodate my diverse student roster. I find myself pulling pieces from jazz, country, Motown, contemporary pop, classic rock, and so much more. The options are endless, and it makes the art of teaching voice so exciting. I never know what the year will bring and what pieces will suit my students. So when a new year comes, I get to collaborate with my students to develop a proverbial mixtape of repertoire that caters to their needs and interests. It’s fun, challenging, and no two students are ever the same.
The Community Is Fantastic
I am on so many different Facebook Groups with other voice teachers. These communities have taught me so much. And having other teachers supporting me from all over the world and providing sage advice is not only extremely helpful but also empowering. Discovering these groups has changed the way I teach profoundly.
There Is Joy, Sorrow, and Everything In Between
You become a mentor and role model to hundreds of kids. You’re there when they’re six and their goldfish dies and they want to write a song about it. You’re there when they’re twelve and they suddenly transform into these shy and awkward singers that don’t believe in themselves like they did in elementary school. You’re there when they’re 17 and they’ve been passed up for a lead role again. But… You’re also there when grandma comes to their recital and hears them sing for the first time. And you’re there when they decide to sing in the 6th grade talent show and get a standing ovation. You’re there to see prom pictures and hear funny stories about the faces the judges made during singing competitions. You’re there when they get into college. You’re there when they nail that high note they’ve been working on for months. You’re there for life! And you have the opportunity to pour into them and help them to discover pieces of themselves that they never knew existed. How cool is that?
I don’t know what the future holds. But right now, I can’t picture myself ever growing tired of teaching people how to sing. It brings confidence. It brings creativity and self-expression. And most importantly, it brings joy. And as long as I continue to see joy in the faces of my students, I will always teach and reciprocate that joy.