I’ve recently started attending Yin Yoga classes on the regular. (Because: I like paying to nap while I stretch. Ahem.) And the instructor of the class I like to attend is at least fifteen centimeters (six inches) shorter than I am and has a totally different body-type than I do.
But also which: when the instructor uses a bolster and a block to set up a pose for her body? I usually need to use at least two blocks and maybe an extra pillow or three (in addition to the bolster). Because: I’ve got a solid half-foot of height in my body that she doesn’t have to account for.
Not gonna’ lie: It took me about three classes (despite her telling the class to use whatever or however many props we need) to figure this out. I wasted a LOT of good napping time trying to contort my body into poses using props that only work for a much smaller person. DANGNABBIT.
Guess what? The person across the piano from you in the studio has a different body type from you. Maybe not to the same extent as the difference between my yoga instructor and I, but different none-the-less.
Which is why ‘one-size-fits-all’ directives can be so problematic and one of the reasons learning to sing by reading about it isn’t really a thing. And one of the primary reasons we continue to ask open-ended questions in the studio and restrain ourselves from telling folks how it feels.
New Year | New You Edition
Yeah … I’m not really into setting a whole bunch of resolutions to change things up BIG TIME in the New Year. But you know what I AM into? These cool ‘reset / set intention / start the year off right’ thingamabobs that everyone offers at the beginning of the year. I totally dig those. (Maybe because I don’t have to do anything except show up and let the folks who are running the show, well, run that show? But ENOUGH ABOUT ME)
Here are five super-cool ‘reset’ singingteachery thingamabobs that I found on The Internets last year:
1. 14 Day Vocal Reset from Elizabeth Rotoff at The Fit Singer
I mean, for a very low price point, you get meal plans, workouts, vocal exercises, personal consults, AND MORE. So you don’t have to figure all that out. All you have to do is, well, everything else. But the BIG STUFF is taken care of.
i am fluffy and very happy with my own fluffiness, #thankyouverymuch. but if you want to change my meal plan to include more wet food, i will not say no #isallimsayin.
This is a free YouTube series that you can just follow along. Again, all you have to do is SHOW UP. Okay, and DO the things. But there’s a tonne of great info here parsed out in short segments that are easily digestible. Also? THAT ACCENT.
accents aren’t all that, human. you’re so weird.
Okay, this one isn’t exactly SINGER focused. But it’s the one I’m doing. And I’m loving it so far: free, short, daily videos with a down-to-earth guide. We’re only two days in so it’s not too late to join.
this is my cat/cow pose. don’t ask me to do a downward dog. that’s just insulting.
Yeah. This one isn’t really a RESET for the New Year thingamabob. It’s more of a BLOW YOUR BUSINESS OUT OF THE WATER FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE thingamabob. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.
i’m into sleeping. that’s what’s resetting me for the new year, human.
5. Favourite (and only, frankly) New Year | New You Thingamabob: You Can Change Your Life. Yes, You Can, from the same crazy-inspiring peep who developed How to Run Your Studio Without Hating Your Boss. Yep. #shesallthat
my resolution is to sleep more. JUST KIDDING: it’s to trick you into feeding me more wet food.
Whatever you choose to NEW YOU this year, just know (from my therapist’s lips to your ears): you’re enough.
And you’re good enough to #teachyourfaceoff,
Happy New Year and all that jazz!
As we head into the 2019 teaching year and the making-resolutions-by-the-bucketful season, here’s a quick reminder:
You’re listening, really listening (attuned, even) to the singers you work with, right? Thought so.
See? You’re good enough.
And that’s it. That’s all. That’s the end.
Stay attuned. Stay open. Stay curious. Stay expectant.
You’re good enough. #pinkyswear
Lots of things get better with age. Don’t you believe for ONE MINUTE that they don’t.
Speaking of better with age: One of the true pleasures of working with adult singers is that they are at the stage in life where they have the experience to sing the big, juicy songs with integrity. And? Those big juicy songs were written with those big, juicy adult chops in mind, so they can handle the rep technically as well as emotionally.
And just in case you’re wondering exactly what that rep looks like (for women) in the music theatre world? WELL … my friend, Cate Frazier-Neely put together this handy little list. WITH YOUTUBE LINKS #THANKYOUVERYMUCH.
Also? If you love a little noise with your belt-fest rep? Why not try on Me and the Sky for size? It’s a beaut. (and there’s no twenty-five year-old in the WORLD who can sing that sucker with integrity. #fightme)
Enjoy working with those fine wines, my friends.
it’s an american thing …
… this frenetic lead-up to Christmas that starts with Veterans’ Day and goes through Thanksgiving, while barreling through Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and now Giving Tuesday, barely pausing to catch a breath before sliding head-long into Christmas (and Boxing Day). We are soooo much more civilized in Canada, of course, what with our Thanksgiving occurring well before Remembrance Day and leaving space between 11th November and 24th December to properly celebrate.
But I must admit to being slightly enamored with this idea of Giving Tuesday; a day to intentionally NOT purchase something but to DONATE something. And, of course, given the nature of our relationship with our HUGE and POWERFUL neighbours to the south, Canadians are getting in on some of that Black Friday / Cyber Monday action (I know I did: HELLO THERE NEW RED TURTLE NECK SWEATER THAT I MAY OR MAY NOT BE WEARING RIGHT NOW) and, hopefully some of that Giving Tuesday action as well.
And if you own a voice studio, what better way to do some good in the world than to take the opportunity to give on behalf of the studio? I’ve done this for a few years now: donate a large lump sum (I calculate it by multiplying $10-15 by the number of students in my studio) to a charity of your choice (especially one that fosters music or the arts) on behalf of your studio. Then give everyone in the studio a card (and maybe a sticker or two because: I teach young children too) with a message letting them know how happy you are to be able to donate to such and such a charity in the name of the studio, and wishing them the joy of the season.
It’s a pretty simple way to not have to stress about getting presents for every single person in your studio. (#yourewelcome) And? You get to spread a little joy while you’re not stressing. How great is that?
ps if you know of / are associated with / run a charity that would be ideal for a voice studio to donate to, I hope you’ll leave a comment so we can get some great ideas going!