I don't think I've shared this part of my life in the blog before, but, in addition to my music going-ons, I teach singing and acting lessons! I have enough time to squeeze in all my students on Wednesdays, and they've taught me some big lessons over the years.
My students give me the best stories. One of my students asked me if I could sing the highest note on the piano. I told her I couldn't and didn't think anyone could. Then she asked me, "Can Obama sing that note?" I guess she's learned that Obama can do anything!
At first, I was very scholastic about what methods and techniques I was going to teach my students. But, as I started teaching more and more lessons, I realized that half of teaching is about the singing, and the other half is about being a psych counselor! I've learned that your mind has much more power than you think. You can teach a student all the methodical exercises you want, but if the student doesn't believe he or she can hit the high note- they can't! As soon as they stop over-thinking and worrying, the same note is very easy for them.
I remember, as a student, having doubts about whether or not I was good enough to hit the high notes, and always questioning if I was good enough in general. Now being the teacher, I wish I could go back and tell my student-self to not worry--because it was the worrying that was hindering me the whole time! So that's what I try to instill in my students. I try to overcome their disbelief with encouragement and self-confidence and let them know that the first step to singing better is thinking better. Once they believe they can do it, then we can get to the nitty-gritty technique part, and then the sky is the limit!
I think what I've learned from my students applies to everyday life as well. So many times it's our own over-thinking and worrying that stops us from doing things. We get it into our heads that we'll never be good enough, or we aren't trained enough, when we probably had the ability to achieve our goal the whole time! (Here's my self-help portion of the blog! :) So if I can give you any advice from my 20/20 hindsight, it's to stop letting your negative thoughts control your actions. Stop worrying and start working on your mental game. Gather the courage to believe you can do it, and then go after what you want with hard work and preparation. Life is full of obstacles- why let yourself be one of them?
Sometimes I think I'm crazy. But sometimes, I think I know exactly what I'm doing.