“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler
Things I learned through my years of teaching voice are, that first you have to want to share what you yourself have learned and second, you have to take a moment to understand what is being requested of you as a teacher.
As a general rule I have never looked for students or advertised for students or really did any serious prospecting for students. So when I got a call from someone asking if I was taking any students, I always felt that since they had found their way to me, there must be a reason and a purpose to us sharing part of our journey together. In the beginning, my students were musicians friends who had always focussed on their external instrument and now wanted to improve their vocal prowess. No matter who or how these people of varied walks of life made their way to me, the synergy and the timing was always very pertinent for both of us. In order for me to help them evolve towards techniques that would allow them to expand, I had to listen to the sounds they were making, simulate them, feel what they were doing physically and then make tweaks and corrections. I had to listen to the technical but I also had to listen to the emotional, the cerebral tune in to the behavioural. All of those things had an impact on their delivery. My job was to teach them to be better singers but in order to do that, I had to learn about them and learn what made me a better singer. I had to teach myself to be a teacher in order to effectively teach others and I had to care enough about them to be all in. If you are unable to listen to others, to have empathy and truly be on the receiving end of what they are putting out there, save your breath. The most important lesson I learned is this: there is nothing you can say that can be of any consequence if you are unable to listen first.
So teach yourself something new everyday by actively listening to those around you. There is no telling what you will discover.
This personal blog was written by Bianca Pittoors. You may “share” it in its entirety. I respectfully request that you respect it as the intellectual property that it is. Thank you!