My students - my teachers!
A good teacher will always want to be learning and a great teacher will always find a way to keep learning. Knowledge is never a static thing or a finite amount. I am always looking for new ways to say old truths because the truth will be the same but the application may need to grow.
I find that I have a constant stream of learning opportunities in the form of my students who come through my door. They inspire and challenge me to find and refine concepts, thoughts and techniques. My trademark question is "What does that feel like?" and I keenly listen for their responses. When we were talking about smoothing out the sound Lynette said "run the 100 metres not the hurdles". This helped to even out the effort required to sustain notes through a phrase. While working on posture Bev said to "smooth the back of skirt for open posture". When I tried this it made so much sense. Bev also talked about "pulling back the bow string" when eliminating excess air from the voice. This is a concept that I often need to spend a great deal of time on so any revelation is most welcome.
Working with children is a delight because their imagination brings to life so many scenarios. While sucking on a straw is helpful for the same breath removal concept one little person suggested "sucking your thumb" because we all carry those around! Miah also suggested "leaning onto the railing on the edge of a cliff" to help with engaging the abdominals. And as much as I like hugging a tree for opening out the ribcage Tim suggested "Shark boy with the gills out the back" did the same trick.
When students are able to express in their own way their understanding of concepts then I know that they will carry the concepts for life and they will enrich my learning along the way. The final quote I want to leave you with belongs to Levi who said when summing up the whole experience "chin out and you'll have the squeeze - spine back will make the ease".
So whether these responses make sense to you or make you wonder what on earth we do in vocal lessons, keep learning, keep asking questions until the answer sticks,
but most of all keep learning.