If you know me, you know that I have had terrible hair for most of my life. I was recently reminded of this a couple months ago when a friend from high school posted a picture of a drag queen and tagged me. Sure, he meant it in jest, but the fact of the matter is that he was right. I started wondering why my hair always looked so terrible (I promise I'll get to how this ties in with music soon). I never told my hair stylists what I wanted-I just told them to do whatever they thought would look good. Although I do admit, I have an addiction to bleach and big hair. After moving to Cedar Rapids, I began the search of finding a hairstylist and was amazed to find a great one right away. She has done amazing things with my hair, even if I do require bleach and back combing. The last time I was in she said, "Cindy, I have spent the last few weeks researching the perfect fall color for your hair. I'm still working on it, but the next time you come in I'm going to have the perfect color and style for you." Obviously, I'm psyched!
Ok, enough about hair. What does this have to do with music? I was thinking to myself as I left the salon that day how awesome it was to have someone I trusted make the time in her schedule (which, of course I am not paying her for) to research my hair so that I would be really happy with it and make me look the best I can. Wait.....am I doing this for my students? I mean, sure, if a student doesn't know what they want to sing, I give suggestions, but they are always off the top of my head and during the lesson time that they have paid me for. That's not to say that I'm not invested or uninterested outside of their lesson time; it's just that I'm really busy. Or so I thought. I have spent the last two weeks taking the time to research music for my students. To really give some time and thought to the music that would really help them to learn the techniques we're working on or pieces to nail their auditions. And guess what? Taking a few minutes out of my schedule to research each student's needs has really paid off. Not only are my students getting more attention from me, but I am also enjoying our lessons a lot more (maybe because I'm picking the music.....???).
So, as a teacher I've learned a lot. But what can you as a singer take away from this? First, you have to trust your teacher. I will admit that I am naive and have trusted a lot of hair stylists I shouldn't have, but I also didn't listen to the ones I should have. Second, ask your teacher's advice on what music would be good for you. Trust me, no one wants you to sound better than your teacher. She/he is not going to pick music for you (hopefully) just because they like the music. It's because it is best suited for you. And lastly, take the initiative to invest some time into yourself. What kind of music do you want to sing? What do you like? What do you want to learn? Take it to your teacher. We need your help. It's hard for us to always choose music for you just to have you turn it down because you don't like it. Take that first step yourself and then allow your teacher to guide you.
I've learned a lot from my hair stylist (and not just that bleached-out big hair is out). I hope you learned something today too!