My spirits have been great this week and my increased productivity has made me feel more content with myself. The process of getting into a daily routine will lead to some wonderful results if I continue to work on it. I started to plan out my days the night before and I may not get every single thing on the schedule done, but it does give me a framework of what needs to be done each day. The schedule has given me the incentive to start my day earlier so that I can accomplish more tasks.
I had a huge milestone last Friday by getting up at 6 am. I have tried within the last couple of months to get up at that time, but it was really a huge struggle. This week I have gotten up around 6 am and read my bible. I fell asleep reading it a few times, so I realized that sitting in a chair is necessary when reading the bible to stay awake. However, I was not successful at exercising regularly this week and it is another work in progress for me. Making a change is not easy and making several of them simultaneously takes time and patience to make those changes permanent and consistent.
I created a beautiful brochure that fits the Beautiful Melodies business and looks professional. The brochures are going to be given to schools, churches, wedding planners and wedding venues in the Mid-South. I contacted all of the Memphis Independent schools in the area and let them know that I was starting a business for voice lessons and asked them if they would be interested in offering my vocal program at their afterschool enrichment programs or during their summer camps. Most of the schools told me to e-mail and drop off my resume and more information about my business. I have e-mailed some of the schools and I attached my resume, my brochure and a reference letter written by a St. Georges parent. I plan to stop by some of the schools this week as well. I wanted to stop by the schools earlier this week, but I worked at St. Georges from 10 am to 4:30 pm the last couple of days to teach the children the music for the play during their recess and afterschool. I love working with the children for the play because it is fun and I work more hours which is always wonderful.
Furthermore, I have two voice students now and I am really excited about this, but it is still a learning process for me as well. I have taken voice for four years and I have a degree in music, but teaching voice is a different ballgame. The Voice Lessons for Little Singers book has helped so much because it focuses on ear training, technique and it has little songs for students to learn how to sing intervals. Sometimes I use simple techniques that my voice teacher taught me in voice lessons as well, like hula hooping. It is funny, but pretending to hula hoop actually does make you sing better. It engages muscles in your core that you might not feel if you are standing still and I do notice a difference in their sound when they do it, so it works. I try to make lessons fun and stay energized because they are children and I want it to be fun for them.
Recently, I began doing some research on voice lessons and I have read that there is some controversy about teaching children private voice. I think some voice teachers are controversial because they try to teach children opera or bel canto technique and that is not my intention at all. I did not learn to sing classically until I was eighteen and my big voice didn’t come until I was in my late teens. I wouldn’t encourage children to sing opera. Children have a naturally beautiful voice most of the time, so I just want to enhance the gift they already have by teaching them how to sing correctly, how to read music and how to be confident as a performer. I had a lesson today with one of my students for the first time since December and I was in awe of how much she has improved. She sounded beautiful and I was very proud of her.
Children’s choirs are great for children to learn about singing, but with some students like my first voice student, I think sometimes they need individual attention for singing. She is very shy and I think individual attention will help her confidence so much more than only being in a group setting when singing. In group settings, introverts tend to get overlooked most of the time because they do not talk as much as others and this happens in the real world, not just in elementary school. It is not a great feeling to feel ignored or overlooked and I know this based on my personal experience. However, I know people do not try to do it on purpose and it is just a natural tendency in society to pay more attention to extroverts. Sometimes it feels like the world thinks everyone should be extroverted and people do not always know how to interact with quiet or reserved people. As I have gotten older, I understand this more and want to do a better job of reaching out to introverted people.
It may seem that a quiet person does not seem to care if you talk to them, but it might mean the world to them, even if they don’t show it in the way you think most people would show it. According to my voice student’s mother, her daughter really loves lessons, is singing more at home, showed more presence at her Christmas choir performance, and talks about me all the time. It surprised me because she is really shy and I didn’t think I was making an impact on her because I only had two voice lessons with her. However, people have misread my facial expressions and body language many times so you just never know what quiet students are really thinking. Introverts are some of the most interesting people and probably the most misunderstood by others at times, but I will save that topic for another post. I am glad my student is enjoying lessons and it will be beautiful to watch her grow throughout this process. Have a blessed day and I hope you enjoyed reading!