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Common Sense

I’ve been gone for a while due to personal pressures, but now I have a few moments to write.

I am invigorated by the response I received at this year’s course at the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah from participants as far away as Australia and Israel and from all four corners of the USA. (Just completed July 29). Teaching people to sing in a way that is simple, relatively easy to learn, communicable and based upon healthy function seems to make sense to the participants. No, the course isn’t perfect, as we always have to deal with issues in the administration, the building, the cafeteria, the lodging, and the various particulars about how the course itself is laid out. Some like more this, others like more that. You have to expect that nothing was going to please a group of 69 diverse vocal experts, BUT, most people like most of the course most of the time, and that, I believe, is all anyone can ask.

We ask people to listen, to observe, to think, to be creative, to be open and unjudgemental, to be honest in a kind way, and to be supportive of their students, their colleagues and of themselves. We are not interested in proving that others are wrong, just that we have a clear way of getting to our destination that shortens the amount of time it takes to get there, and perhaps the difficulties that might occur along the way. We want to continue to grow in our love for singing, for music, for knowledge and for our students. We want to teach from a place of joy and commitment, not burden and criticism.

I am so blessed and deeply honored by the quality of person who is attracted to come to study Somatic Voicework℠ The LoVetri Method. Professionals, all, skilled in different ways and with various backgrounds, ages and interests. Willing to share, willing to laugh, able to trust, comfortable with diversity. People like these are the cream of the crop of the human race and to think they are vocal professionals and mostly teachers of singing or experts who sing themselves flies in the face of my own training, and the training of many of my colleagues. A great number of my own singing teachers, all of whom had “good” or “big” reputations, had no clue and I do mean NO CLUE about me, my voice, my aspirations or anything else much except what they wanted to teach. They didn’t even know that they didn’t know. It’s so exciting to think that there are lots of people now who DO want to know and who are seeking answers, not only from me, but from lots of sources. That is how it should have been all along. Finally. Light at the end of the tunnel?

Well, not exactly. I was rejected from the NATS Nashville 2008 National Conference, although no explanation was given about why. I submitted a proposal to help classical singing teachers understand what is the same and what is different about classical singing versus CCM styles, with a CD of a classical song and a jazz piece (me singing, two different accompanists), and a letter of recommendation specific to the presentation from Robert Edwin, who is on the NATS Board, but it still wasn’t accepted. Probably due to the fact that I caused so much trouble at the Minneapolis NATS Conference in 2006. Now I am persona non grata. Too bad for me. Maybe too bad for them. I can’t say but I can question and wonder.

In the end what will prevail is common sense. Nonsense is what takes you away from your own senses. It takes you out of your body and into your head where you can no longer know what it is that you are feeling and then you are really lost. When we are all able to feel and experience our bodies, to know them and to trust them, we have the commonality of humanity to give us empathy for each other. Your own body and voice reveal themselves as your guides. In that, we all have an equal opportunity, as if you are alive, you have a body and (with a few exceptions due to illness or accident) a voice. Common sense, common experience made extraordinary by the uniqueness of the expression of each individual’s point of view.

I’m glad to be back.

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