you want respect? You GIVE IT!
Sunday musings...

after watching the awesome that is Sheri Sanders on Oprah Winfrey Network's MY TIME this morning,  and after a couple of interesting interactions with "singers" this week, the reminder of what respect truly came to the fore.

Sheri very firmly and with care and love made it clear to her student on MY TIME after she missed her voice session and showed up too late,  that she needed to learn how to respect the teacher's time, Sheri's ability to set up professional assets that the student couldn't get on her own, and the student's own development.

I am constantly amazed at this lack of respect.  Just as a performer wants respect in their audition, as a performer,  as a student,  so they need to offer it in ALL aspects of their lives.  The singer/actor/performer may believe they are the centre of their own universe - but when you collide with others, you simply are not the centre anymore.

One simple one:  if you disrespect someone's time you will be told to look elsewhere.  If your teacher doesn't show up on time,  you as a student have every right to look elsewhere.  However, it works both ways:  if YOU don't show up and are given an opportunity to redeem yourself and you do it AGAIN, you will be shown the door and don't let it hit you on the ass on your way out!  There is no room in a studio for singers who disrespect the time of a professional you are there to learn from.  It also has a domino affect:  often teachers have a waiting list and could have filled that spot with another singer who would NOT disrespect the time.  You also cost that teacher money.  You should be offering to pay for your session - as most of us has a 24 hour cancellation policy or 48 hour policy.  Respect the rules of the road.  Why do you think you are exempt?  Hair salons have this policy - so why wouldn't you respect someone who could help you pursue your craft and may have the professional assets you NEED.  You are furthering your reputation of disrespect into places that may prevent you from getting an audition or a job! 

Respect the rules of a studio.  If you do not agree - then move to a studio that you can agree to.  As I have said many times,  the fee of a teacher is determined by that teacher.  It is not up for negotiation.  I believe the fee is simply for that teacher's TIME.  You cannot put a dollar figure on expertise.  You pay for a teacher's TIME.  If you begin to question it, or barter with it,  you are again showing disrespect for a professional's time.  Please, remember your reputation is being built on your BEHAVIOR!!  In fact,  it leads first - your talent often is secondary!  If a casting director calls me (and they do!) to ask me about a certain singer, they don't ask me if they have the talent to do a project - they ask me how they are to WORK with. 

With the fall season beginning, many of you are looking for a teacher or a coach.  As you are consulting with different professionals,  realize that if the fee is higher than you can pay per week, if it is someone who can really help you - you find a way to work with them!  Maybe not every week, maybe a half session instead of a full session - but you WORK!!

Just as a student must show respect,  so does the teacher.  You cannot expect respect if you do not offer it. 

Respect comes simply from action and behavior.  Behavior speaks volumes. 

First time, shame on you.  Second time,  shame on me.  There isn't a third time.  From EITHER side of the piano.

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

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