Which Teacher Are You?
I was speaking with a teacher of a well-known “Guru” singing method. This is a type of method that is based on one person’s understanding of the voice and you are expected to teach the technique exactly as the Guru demands.
This teacher admitted that they do not use the method when they are performing themselves, as it does not give satisfactory results. Why then would someone teach something they don’t truly believe in?
Because, the teacher admitted, the Guru’s seal of approval allows them to charge more for lessons.
I trust you can all see the problem here.
This conversation not only frustrated and saddened me, it also made me question my own teaching and what is important. I have come up 10 questions I believe we should all ask ourselves:
1. Is teaching for financial gain or is it to be of absolute service to your students, even if that means making less money?
2. Are you doing everything you can to be the best teacher possible?
3. Do you force students to follow your teachings exactly or do you adapt to the needs of each student?
4. Do you look to only one person or organization for all of your vocal wisdom or are you doing your own due diligence and research on the voice?
5. When is the last time you learned a new vocal exercise scale?
6. What are you doing to teach your students style and musicality?
7. What are you doing to improve as a musician?
8. From who do you seek approval, your students or your peers?
9. Do you teach concepts you don’t fully understand yourself?
10. Is what you are teaching truly working in your own voice?
Hopefully this gives you something to reflect on as we prepare for a new year of helping students be the best they can be.