Saturday musings from Toronto!
As I continue to ponder the cost vs the value it occurred to me how study for the sake of study is a wonderful thing - but are you learning anything and if so, are you being honest about what you are learning?
Study and development of one's craft if one needs to and wants to make a living doing it has a much more urgent demand than one who is studying for fun. One is necessity and one is luxury. Neither is wrong per se. Recognition and reality are key.
Why do you study? What is your purpose? What are you trying to achieve?
If you are pursuing a career, having a career, developing a career, building a career - then the necessity of craft isn't an option. It is NEEDED it is URGENT it is NOT AN OPTION. The ability to hone that craft has to do with the natural instincts and gifts one has and has already developed, and then how the artist continues to establish discipline and focus to create further.
The honesty and realistic focus need to be there. No teacher can tell you if you will have a career or not. Only the business will tell you that. However, a teacher should be someone you can trust enough to say - what do you see? What do you hear? Am I deluding myself? What are my possibilities in craft? What could I achieve?
If you are pursuing a career - these questions and the ANSWERS are a necessary reality - not a luxury. The answers aren't always easy - and may kick your butt - but if the career is important and pursuit is desirable then the realistic goals and understanding of what you have to work with is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
Those of you who do not rely on making a living with your craft have a certain amount of luxury in your studies. However, a realistic understanding of what you are doing and why, including specific goals is also important in order to keep the building of your discipline focused. The fantasy life of "I wonder if" can pull you off track if you are not aware of your ability, limitations, and choices.
My husband, Thomas Young, often uses this quote "It is a luxury to be understood". As an artist, this is so true. As a human being, even more so. We work painstakingly hard to be understood!! However, the realization of honesty with self is luxurious too - because it is NECESSARY!
Whether you study for luxury or for necessity, the honesty and realism you develop with yourself is key to allow for a luxurious realization that wherever you are - BE TRULY THERE. Knowing yourself, challenging yourself, and recognizing what you have and what you need and how you can develop it further is important in ALL aspects of the study of singing - pursuing a career or not.
REALITY creates a place to be. Fantasy only prolongs the inevitable.
Make it a necessity and live there. The luxury of realization when the needs are being met and the hard questions are answered can be a glorious thing!
Susan Eichhorn Young
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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