This past year has been one to remember for sure. One filled with the usual ups and downs, and many of the downs we felt with mutual and universal understanding.
It is hard to stay on track with a global pandemic wreaking havoc in so many lives. One thing that has kept me motivated through these challenges is my tenacity for slow and steady progress towards my goals. Goal setting is a huge part of what I do for myself, my family, my singers, and the teachers I mentor. I am the proprietor of my success, and I believe setting intentions is the best way to achieve progress.
One of my most significant accomplishments this past year was the release of my book. I actually can’t believe such a dream could come true! I still am in awe and a bit of disbelief by accomplishing such a task.
Growing up, I would never have imagined that I, the little sister to three big and commanding brothers, could raise my voice in such a way as to be heard without screaming. But it happened, and I want to thank all of my readers and fellow voice teachers who follow my work with excitement and encouragement. The book has already sold over 1100 copies in less than six months - that in itself is a considerable triumph to me, and something I could never have accomplished without a fantastic community of singing friends and colleagues who support my efforts.
One of those colleagues who cheers me on and co-moderates with me in our voice teacher forum is Nikki Loney. When she invited me back for a feature spot on her Full Voice Podcast this past fall, she asked me how long it took to write my book. Those answers are hard to respond to with quantifiable numbers. My book was a process that took many years to come to fruition, even before I started writing and putting my thoughts down on paper.
Once I realized that this pedagogy for children was an underserved area, and one to which I felt a responsibility, I began creating goals around my intentions in my teaching - not only the singers themselves but to my fellow teachers who could also share a passion for teaching very young singers. My book became a tangible project once I set specific goals and committed to steady progress.
Since the publishing of my book, my teenage daughter tells me I’ve become an “influencer.” But it isn’t necessary to write a book or have savvy social media to be a person who serves as a positive influence for others.
I have the most significant role of all to inspire and lead in my studio. I have an incredible opportunity to influence the next generation. Everyone who teaches is an “influencer!” Guiding others is my favorite aspect of teaching very young singers. I love opening young minds to the many possibilities artful singing can accomplish. As children master musical concepts, they gain many benefits to their overall emotional and educational development. And, as most musicians know, there are numerous benefits music-making has on the development of young minds, including self-discipline and self-awareness.
As we approach this new year with new horizons, let us step back and evaluate our resolutions to grow in prosperity and wisdom. But most importantly, let’s apply these exercises to our studio and teaching strategies as well. Never before have our young singers looked to a new year as having such an opportunity for change and new growth.
I will kick off 2021 by asking my singers to explore their singing goals and dreams in my studio. We will explore self-discipline and self-awareness together. It is my intention with all of my students to use singing as a powerful way to not only raise their voice in song but to find their voice in their hearts.
So, as our new calendar year approaches and we evaluate our personal goals and intentions, I encourage all teachers to check in with their singers and guide them in creating a positive mindset and ambitions. I’m excited to continue dedicating my energy to helping others to create brighter futures.
Happy New Year! May it be filled with new growth, prosperity, and wisdom,
P.S. Want to have a copy of the worksheet that I will be using with my students to create more intention for their singing and life skills in 2021? You can join my mail list to have it sent to you!