Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thoughts on the Singer's Workshop

The Singer's Workshop in July was a very rewarding experience for me and hopefully for the participants as well. I'm sure I learned as much as my students did if not more! Here is a smattering thereof:
The more I teach (and in various settings) the more I realize that teaching is not just about disseminating information. In this workshop I really wanted to give students the opportunity to try out the material we were learning, to see it at work, to feel it in their bodies. I wanted to introduce concepts of performing a song, such as creating a character or onstage persona, how to do that and really fully embody it, using physicality as well as vocal techniques and emotional connections. Although we touched on it, there just wasn't enough time to fully flesh it out. I realize now that to fulfill my vision,  I needed more time for my students to be able to learn the new material and apply it thoroughly. Here it comes again that old issue 'o' mine. Old Man Time. I must learn respect for time, and how long stuff takes. In my mind (and in the minds of most I guess) things are going by at lightning speed. But in the real world (sigh) things take time. Moving the body through space can be  quite laborious.The full assimilation of new concepts, is a work in progress kinda thing. So the next go around will modify the amount of time available, and perhaps even pare down how many new ideas are bandied about.
Everybody did a great job of assimilating some of the material, as well as learning new songs, performing at the workshop regularly and doing a great show at the end of the 4 weeks. People got up and tried stuff out which can be challenging and scary even. I was proud of my talented students through and through, and their willingness to take on the experience fully! 
Students, and other participants or even audience members, I would also very much like to hear your feedback on the workshop. So feel free to post your comments and questions here or contact me directly!