My colleague, Jamie Leonhart, is a wonderful singer/songwriter, and has written many interesting and unique tunes. One of my favorites is “Control Freak”. It captures that phrase so well. Go to her website, take a listen…..and buy the song! (www.jamieleonhart.com)
I have been accused of being a control freak. It’s not a nice experience having that label dumped on you, particularly when it is behind your back. It’s true about me, however, and I own that. When your own name is on something and others are involved in what you do, you need some kind of quality control. Corporations pay thousands of dollars for quality control. That’s why no matter what MacDonald’s you go to, it’s the same. The quality of the product they deliver is highly controlled. In business, if you don’t do that, you don’t have much of a reputation for providing consistently good services.
It’s daunting to know that people resist holding to high level quality delivery of services and see others who pay attention to quality in their work as being suspect. Oh, her! She’s such a control freak. Micro-manages everything!
I absolutely care about Somatic Voicework™. I care that it be a healing modality. I care that the teachers using Somatic Voicework™ sing well (without technical problems and with auditory accuracy). I care that Somatic Voicework™ stand for truthful scientific and vocal health information and for pedagogy that is grounded in the music industry and makes sense. I care that Somatic Voicework™ be open, flexible, and have room for personal expression. I don’t like the idea of “clones” as teachers. I care that Somatic Voicework™ be taken seriously in the vocal community because its premises and principles will stand up to scrutiny, because it is the simplest modality out there and because many people report success in using it when they teach and sing. Those who criticize me because they don’t like me are entitled to do so, but those who criticize the work, particularly only by hearsay, do so without due investigation. That’s unfair and amounts only to gossip.
The universities where my work is offered do so by choice. They do not have to invite me there. I did not “apply” to teach at any of them. In all cases, I was asked to come to their campuses. I work in cooperation with the universities’ policies and personnel.
I hide nothing about who I am and how I came to be where I am in my life. I take criticism in public on a, sadly, regular basis. I have colleagues who would knock me down at the first opportunity — some of whom have been failures in their own careers despite a great deal of formal education and life experience in the musical communities.
I appreciate the opportunity to share my work through the various programs where it has been and continues to be offered. I care very much that it be shared thoughtfully and with professionalism. I care about my reputation. I care about my own ability to sing. I care about others who teach singing, regardless of whether or not they use my method, Somatic Voicework™. I care about the profession. If that makes me a control freak, then it does.