A passionate Voice Teacher/Vocal Coach, Choir/Ensemble/Acapella Conductor
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"As a young voice teacher and vocal coach, I feel that I am modern, up-to-date, well-rounded, relevant and practical"
"A great yet approachable role model in how to have a career in music"
I believe it is important to use a positive and constructivist approach, and that joy should be in the center of lessons through creating flow. Flow theory argues that when we are in flow our concentration is heightened, and we are fully immersed in our experiences with pleasant feelings. When people experience flow, they also stay motivated to continue similar activities. For this, we must be able to give our students a strong framework and guidance, but allow lots of space for freedom, creativity, and uniqueness within. When things are tailored toward each student and each group, impact lasts much longer. I believe in creating lesson plans based on the interest and already-existing knowledge of the student allows them to make stronger connections both in their heads and hearts, which then immediately becomes applicable in their lives.
Yes, overall I try to use everything I learned so far in music, pedagogy and psychology branches all together. I mostly follow PIMS (Positive Instruction in the Music Studio) and “Constructivist Education” models for most ages. This means that I choose to focus on the strengths of students instead of their shortcomings. If I am capable of establishing a relationship between their current capabilities, features and add new information, the learning process will be more meaningful and lifelong sustainable for them. Each student has a unique learning style, so it is very important to create multiple alternatives. With each activity or approach, I try to make sure there are multiple entry points into a concept.
For adults specifically, my favorite theory to tweak during lessons is the Transformative Learning Theory. Tapping into one’s dreams, intuition, past experiences which were transformative, etc is a great way to communicate with them. We all have symbols and metaphors surrounding our lives. Using metaphors, symbols during lessons is very helpful, and it also helps enhance their creativity. Especially for songwriting, it can be tough to feel inspired sometimes so allowing self-reflection and self-discovery can be very helpful.
As a teacher, I think our ego and traditional expectations should be put aside and we must approach students with a positive reinforcement system. We must meet them where they are. Of course, this does not mean that we will not give them zero negative feedback nor that we will never point out certain mistakes. Honesty must always exist, but in doing so it is necessary not to damage the authenticity. Honesty is important to build trust and rapport. However, I prefer to make sure students still feel comfortable to make mistakes. As much as our opinion as professionals matters and is important, what they see and hear as beautiful and not-so-pleasant is absolutely valid.
As a matter of fun fact, music and modern vocal education do not differ much from mathematics: equations can be memorized, but the student will never forget if he reaches the equation with their own logic, and they can use it for different solutions in different questions. In the absence of the teacher, it is very important that the student is able to execute his own logic while approaching the question. We aim exactly for this in our modern studio lessons. When the student sings a song outside the classroom, we try to create awareness and give them the questioning tools/ears and technical skills on how to bring herself to a more advanced point. I think it is necessary to convey what we do and why we do it during exercises and lessons.
While most of us have grown up in music and vocal education, we were distinguished between being talented or not talented, we have either had potential or not. As a current teacher, I believe that everyone can improve their voice. Some learn slower, while others learn faster; but there really are no “musical ears”, there are very few people who can't sing. Everyone has the right and freedom to sing and make music. Those who grew up in musical families and communities are at advantage to grasp musical concepts quicker and faster. You can read my paper written on this, here in the research section!
I can not stress enough how much it is necessary to build trust. It is very important to be able to create a “safe space”. Our student needs to trust us to use his voice effectively and comfortably. We work with an instrument that is invisible but can be felt in the body, which we use all day by speaking, which makes us, us. Voice is an instrument that directly affects the personality of the person. So, I have come to learn that when you “correct” someone's voice, you also develop and change the character of that person. Therefore, it should be approached with great care, generousness and gentleness.
After creating a tight trust system with my students, my mission is to help them find their own style. It does not make sense to give the same exercises to every voice and group. I create individual lesson plans for all my students: each personality, voice, needs are different. It is very important to be able to take into account students' wishes and to provide materials that will challenge them a little more when the time comes. When we can create this delicate balance, their motivation is high and good results are achieved. Whether they take lessons as a hobby or for more professional paths, it does not matter to me. I treat every student with the same effort and approach, with the same care. Last but not least, building resilience is key and with my psychology background I usually do a little bit of emotion-coaching as well by discussing and brainstorming how to cope with certain emotions during use of our voices, performances (before and after).
As a young voice teacher and vocal coach, I feel that I am modern, up-to-date, well-rounded, relevant and practical. This may sound out of the ordinary, but I also believe I am capable of building very well rapport by being socially and generationally fluid. I keep up with social media and it’s trends and try to come up with fun ideas and projects. I can easily adapt and adjust my approach depending who I am interacting with. As I am also performing in notable venues but am not world-wide famous, I think I become a great yet approachable role model in how to have a career in music. I’m comfortable in a classroom, on stage and in the studio. I love working with microphones and other tools that technology allows us to explore. I believe I have found a very well balance of becoming just more than one thing in the music industry, and due to my upbringing, I bring a very multicultural perspective to the table. I must say that, I believe I’ve always been the same at my core: my vibe, energy, intention, ambition, positivity, non-judgmental mindset, creativity, acceptance, all stayed the same. But now, after Teachers College, I am able to channel those characteristics in a more educated, focused and efficient way.
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