Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Career

I've been sitting with these suggestions and ideas from friends and I've been considering the ones that sound most appealing to me. I even found someone to ask questions of about the cable show idea.

But yesterday I realized that of all the possibilities, the one I really feel passionately about is teaching voice, which is how I earned my living from 1997 to 2000. But I can't call it teaching voice. When I used to give individual voice lessons in my home, I'd often start with a meditation exercise. Then we'd do yoga stretches, then breathing exercises and then vocalization. We might or might not end up working on an actual song. I preferred working with people who didn't think of themselves as musical or creative. Most of my clients were grown ups who dreamed of singing but doubted their abiliities.

Sometimes when someone would come to their lesson feeling sick or without a singing voice or just feeling low-energy, I'd say, "No problem. We'll just have a different kind of lesson today." We might do the whole thing flat on our backs and it might be more of a meditation or visualization session with the theme of healing. There might or might not be vocalization exercises that day.

I used voice to help people deal with confidence problems, release stress, have fun. I showed them they had powerful voices they had never heard. I showed them they were creative, musical people who could sing on key, who had rhythm, who could hear harmonies. No matter their physical limitations, I knew I could teach them. No matter their beliefs about themselves, I knew I could get them singing.

I want to do that again. I think part of what has kept me from returning to that work is that I often felt guilty for charging people for voice lessons. I didn't feel like I was giving strict voice lessons or technically producing singers. I felt like I was promoting myself as one thing, but providing something different. Maybe what I was really doing was figuring out what the person needed and providing it. It was all very fluid and spontaneous. I also got lonely. I'd rather work as part of a team or staff. My favorite job ever was as a gospel choir director at a church, but with no degrees in music and no ability to play piano, getting that job was a fluke. Also, I'm now an atheist.

I'm going to have to figure out what to call my "lessons" or what to call this work in general and figure out how to market/promote it. Then research what kinds of places might provide this kind of service and what kinds of organizations might hire someone like me, etc. This feels like a big job.

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