Why am I thinking about going back to school?

Why am I thinking about going back to school?
Tuesday musings...

Due to a civilized day, thought I'd muse a little...

This has come up with singers around me lately...discussion, making decisions, wondering if...

Do I go back to school?  Do I go to grad school?  What do I do?

My first statement is I am not telling you what to do.  I will NEVER be that teacher who says "don't do it" - whatever 'it' is - but I will challenge you to riddle out the "whys".

As a singer hits a crossroads, often school becomes a safety net possibility.  Sometimes it is borne out of desire to further one's education in a structured way, and sometimes it is borne out of frustration of lack of craft, and sometimes it is borne out of lack of career momentum.

First, and foremost, you need to know WHY you are contemplating it.  Does it open something up for you, or is it a place to hide for awhile?

I have seen it work both ways...

Some artists need a structured environment that they cannot create themselves through private work and classes;  some artists need the ongoing presence that is integrated into a degree program;  some artists want to work under the tutelage of someone who is only available through a program;  some artists want the courses/experience that a program provides.

These are just some of the reasons...and there are MANY more that are even more personal and even more detailed.

Some are not artists, aren't getting the work they thought they would and feel frustrated and think school is the answer.  Some are perpetual "students" in the negative - can never step out on their own completely and need a base of "school" to keep them anchored.  And some are simply lost.  School seems a simple choice.

Study - whether through a structured school or through a private setting - is NEVER simple.

Going to/going back to school is not for the faint of heart!  It is not something to consider on a whim!

So my question is "why are you considering it?"

And then, "What do you expect to achieve?"

And then, "Where do you see yourself? In what program?  Are you aware of the competition/expectation/level of preparedness just to apply?  Are you willing to do the work? Are you ready?"

Again, wanting something and DOING it are not the same thing.  Wanting to be something, and actually being that something are not the same thing.

Are you being realistic with your reasons? with your goals? with your situation?

Let's say you decide to go back to school - what will you potentially achieve when you finish?  What is your goal while you are there?  What commitment level will you honour?

I believe in creating a pros and cons list!  I believe in knowing and recognizing your options!  Life is full of options even if it doesn't appear to be.  It is not one way or no way.

Often, we become so focused on a certain aspect of ourselves or our careers or our business, that we lose track of the overall picture.

Or we are big-picture viewers and never follow through with the details.

Both views are important and must be integrated, or we will lose our way and begin to flounder.

As one ponders "school or not school" - how are you feeding your craft?  Are you at all?  Are you renewing or are you stale?

Are you truly at a level that is career ready?  If not, have you done enough to discover that or have you been otherwise occupied?  If you have, does your talent truly have the staying power or does your talent lie elsewhere?  If you haven't, why not?  What is holding you back?

Often, there is much more under the question of "school or no school" that has less to do with school and more to do with self-realization!

If the main goal is NOT a post-grad diploma or a Masters Degree, then what is it?

Perhaps as you riddle out where you are/why you are there/what you are considering, it will bring you fully and thoroughly to a decision that YES! grad school or going back to school is for me.

Perhaps it will make you wonder if you are hiding from something; doing it for someone else; doing it just because;

Only YOU can decide WHY - and the more you can recognize your reasons, and your motivations and truth behind that, the more your reality will coax you down the path that is most suited for you.

Never decide on school because you are bored.

Never decide on school because it's what someone else expects.

Never decide on school because you are scared.

Never decide on school because you don't know what else to do.

Never decide on school because you think the best education lies there.

There are NO absolutes.  Big picture AND details must come into play.  Your craft, lack of it, ability to develop it, inability to recognize it - belongs to you!!!  Where you develop it is truly up to you.  TRUTH FIRST.  REALITY FIRST.

Why am I pursuing this career?  Do I have what it takes? If so, how do I develop it further?  Will it take a structured environment first?  Do I need to be an educational actor/singer and then a career-oriented actor/singer?  Can I do both? Do I take time to do one and then the other?

So many questions...and so many answers...

Nothing is easy.  If it was, we'd all be doing it.

Are you DOING it?  Finding your first best destiny and following it through takes time, courage, guts, and honesty!

Dare to ask the hard questions....it is WORTH it to find out where you need to be!

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

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