With the ever changing landscape of the larger world, our studios and our own personal health I wanted to take this month to focus on stress management and building our own resilience.
The very intimate nature of voice lessons means we often have singers coming to us in need of a safe space and we have to allow space for their emotions before we can be productive in singing. In many instances voice teachers provide that safe space because what is happening to the singer is not also happening to us. But, that is not always the case.
The human body is responsive and interactive with the environments it encounters. That means we are constantly in an exchange with the people and places around us. The body remembers through implicit and explicit memory. It also changes constantly and holds an immense amount of innate intelligence and wisdom.
When we encounter a singer in a lesson or coaching, we are meeting all of their memories and intelligence and they are responding and interacting with the environment of us and our studio and all of our memories and intelligence.
Every individual will have a response that is all their own. No two beings react the same to stimuli. Some folks will come to you in a low sensation state and they will need more input, others will come to you completely jacked up on adrenaline and they will need ways to lessen input.
Due to this, one of the top qualities a voice teacher can cultivate is the ability to be present. Presence allows us to observe what is happening with a singer AND what is happening in ourselves at the same time.
Being present means we are connected to and aware of our own experiences. We are committed to noticing when those experiences might trigger changes in our being. And, we are committed to engaging in practices that can pull us back into our body when something pulls us out.
The quality of our presence makes an enormous difference to the people we work with. The singing body is more apt to respond positively when it knows we are a safe place. This doesn’t mean we are constantly perfectly attuned to ourself. It does mean we are able to honest, kind, and compassionate with ourself about where we are at on any given day.
Engaging in something as simple as a somatic snapshot before beginning our teaching day or in between sessions is a wonderful way to begin to cultivate our presence. You can try asking yourself three questions (and answer them honestly!) 1. How am I feeling today? 2. What are the sensations in my body right now and where are they located. 3. If my body could speak, what would it say to me right now?
If you haven’t already, it might be time to expand your skill set to improve your ability to stay present and keep your stress managed. If you are needing skills, don’t hesitate to reach out. We can work together, or you can find a great many resources within the Aligned and Aware Library.