Has anyone ever complimented you on something you never noticed about yourself before?
Recently I had lunch with a dear friend who I hadn’t seen in years. We were catching up and sharing about the things that currently keep us occupied. I shared about my many projects, from leading a women’s prayer group to my work with singers and voice teacher clients. I described how I help teachers build their studios and understand the intricacies of the child singing voice. I also shared how my husband, a college president, and I love spending time on our campus and surrounding neighborhood building relationships with our academic community and beyond.
At the end of our visit, my friend and I said our goodbyes, hoping our next visit would not separate us for so long. She gave me a hug and told me something I had never heard before, but it was the greatest compliment I ever received: she said that it sounds like I am doing what I always do best, which is bringing people together.
Woah! That last phrase just hung in the air with a warmth of sunshine for me, and I have been pondering it ever since. I never thought of what I do like that before.
Bringing people together.
I know that I am a person who loves to nurture, and I know the things I am passionate about. Still, I never really thought of myself as some who brings people together. I am a high-energy person who finds boredom to be like kryptonite. I’m always striving to use my energy and passion in a way that creates change and mastery of skills while combining wisdom and knowledge. But this comment was a lightbulb moment for me.
I’ve moved countless times and lived in several states, and I have recognized how resilient and adaptable I am. Every time I have moved, I have had to close the door on many things I have built and say goodbye to dear friends and exceptional students. Those goodbyes were the most challenging part, and somehow, I always picked myself back up and opened new doors.
But it is not just opening those doors that help bring people together; the connection with community, passions, and singing has guided me on this journey of togetherness.
It just so happens my latest project is also about bringing people together, and it’s something I’m really excited about. It combines my passions and creates change while weaving together something unique and one of a kind.
Voice teachers ask me all the time if they can observe my teaching. And while I don’t mind people popping in to watch me teach, I don’t prefer to offer this as a drop-in sort of thing. If a teacher is observing, they are hoping to gain new perspectives and strategies. So, I usually allow teachers to watch me with follow-up and discussion on what transpired and how the techniques were implemented in the lesson. It is helpful for teachers to share what they perceived in a conversation to formulate change and understanding.
As I have pondered how to share my experiences with others, I have also longed to connect with more students online and spread my joy in helping young singers find their voices. I love teaching group singing classes. It brings singers together and explores solo singing skills. My work with children was born out of singing in groups. And since I teach exclusively online, I have a tremendous opportunity to share my teaching with not only singers close to home but far and wide.
In my latest effort to bring people together, I am thrilled to be offering a combined program called "Learning Together."
Participants will observe how I implement teaching strategies and deliver lesson plans to a group of young singers throughout a live 6-week singing class. Following each group singing observation, teachers will discuss the methods used and have an opportunity to work with me on their own teaching and studio questions. The program will also include additional teaching and studio resources, training modules, and step-by-step lesson planning for lessons and classes.
I am committed to helping singers and teachers build healthy and happy singing practices. And my friend was right - I genuinely do love bringing people together, especially to inspire change.
I hope you will join us and consider how you, too, can bring people together through your passions.