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When I ran into a high school friend recently, he suggested I was supposed to be “retired and enjoying life, not working!” I replied—without even having to think about it—that I WAS enjoying life, not WORKING. I went on to explain that I’d rather be doing what we’re doing—teaching singing—than traveling abroad. For those of us involved in music day to day, we recognize its power to transcend the limits of words as well as its capacity to both access and to express our deepest emotions. Sidney Lanier stated this so well in the closing line of his poem “The Symphony” when he proclaimed that “Music is love in search of a word.”
To be engaged in sharing the profound impact of music with others by educating and coaching them in the technical “tools” to sing at their highest level is fulfilling beyond words. As we teach, I am often reminded of a statement by a former mentor who always insisted that “virtue is its own reward.” Seeing students of all ages and at all stages of development conquer vocal challenges and rise to new levels of artistic excellence and its accompanying self-confidence is truly a gift (to us) that keeps on giving. And, for those frontline performers who continue to testify about the difference their regular vocal study has made in the ease—as well as physical comfort of their vocal production and the incontrovertibly greater applause they’re getting, we feel richly rewarded indeed.