June Newsletter

A year ago, my husband and I invested in a Peloton bike. It’s hard, but we love it.

1.“I make suggestions; you make decisions.” -Dennis Morton

As a teacher, that is all I do. I make suggestions based on my knowledge and experience and the student gets to make decisions. I always hope that my students follow my suggestions, but in the end it is up to them whether or not to do so. It’s difficult, sometimes, to remember that. Especially when I see a student decide to do something that is contrary to my suggestion. 

2.“You are exactly where you need to be.” -Bradley Rose

This is one that people really seem to struggle with – myself included. Growth is hard. Vocal growth is hard because singing is such a vulnerable activity. However, it is important to remember that we are on a journey to become the best singers we can be. Wherever we are on that journey is exactly where we need to be. It doesn’t matter if my voice doesn’t sound exactly how I want it to right now; at this moment, it is exactly what it needs to be for my continued growth. If I try to push it to things it is not ready to do, I could end up hurting myself.

3. “Let go of perfect. Just be you.” -Bradley Rose

I love this one. I love it because it breaks expectations and standards. No one is perfect and no one will ever be perfect. Somehow, though, there is a standard of perfection in singing. Why? To me, there is no such thing as a perfect voice. There are experienced voices and developing voices; there is no perfect. I get frustrated when students apologize for their mistakes or when they compare themselves to other singers. Every singer I work with is their own kind of awesome. I try to celebrate that and get them to love who they are and where they are.

4. “If you want to be extraordinary, you have to give extra.” -Emma Lovewell

This was the quote at the end of the newsletter last week, but it is worth repeating. Often, beginning singers will come in and are surprised at how hard it actually is to sing well. Sure, we can open our mouths and pretty sounds come out, but that’s not our real voice. Yes, we can imitate our favorite singers from the radio, but that’s not our real voice, either. Our real voices are discovered when we put in the work. And the work is hard, but worth it.

5. The pain of discipline is better than the pain of regret. – Unknown

I didn’t get this one from Peloton, but I feel like it fits nicely into this. No one ever said, “Ugh, I hate that I put so much work into learning [insert activity] because now I’m good at it.” No one! I do, however, hear very often, “I wish I had stuck to [insert activity here].” Anytime we do something new or in a new way, it’s hard. This happens to adults, too. It’s hard to push through the frustration and pain of development and growth. And you know what, you can always quit. Quitting is easy. But quitting does not offer the satisfaction of accomplishment and the joy of success. 

Have a great summer, everyone!