Lessons Within The Lesson

  I gave a vocal lesson today. I love each of my students in a different way. They are different ages, so they respond to both criticism and praise in completely different ways as well. Today was a smooth lesson for many reasons. My student admitted that she had not practiced every day since the last time we saw each other. She also told me that she did not want to look at herself in the mirror as I had instructed her to. I wanted her not to look at the lyrics for this song on her phone, so I asked her to step away from it or place it on the piano where she could not see it. She wound up knowing all of the words.

   In the lesson we go over things such as phrasing, tone, rhythm, and of course melody. I explained to her that singing is a combination of so many things working together at once. But more importantly, how you deliver these goods to the audience. We continually work on how much volume she is giving to the song and if she is relaying a message or just singing notes? This is a question that truly exposes the person who asks it to themselves. I felt that she should not be singing as many wrong notes of the melody at this point. However, I told her that she should be proud of herself  and that in the beginning, she could not hit almost any of these notes. Today, she was hitting the notes closer than she ever had consistently before.That is progress. We are not shooting for perfection, we are shooting for massive progress.

    What I noticed the most, was that after I told her that she is finally making progress, her entire demeanor changed. It was near the end of the lesson, but she told me at least three times before we actually parted from each other how that sentence made it such a great lesson. She told me that I renewed her faith in her abilities and that she doesn't feel like she can't sing anymore. I've never told her that she can't sing, by the way.

    In closing, I was reminded once again that a kind and honest word can go a long way. I didn't say it to get a reaction. I said it because I felt it. It just goes to show that there's always room for a kind word. The best thing about teaching to me is that I am always learning more about myself as I am teaching them. Each lesson is recorded and they get to listen to it right away as they are leaving on their phone or later on that night. There are always lessons within the lesson. I'm blessed to have this outlet to grab these insights. Thank you for reading this blog. I appreciate it immensely.




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