I am recovering from a birthday weekend as I enter a new decade and thought I wouldn't be offering a blog post today, but sometimes things come up and I want to share with you!
What of the Intensive Study?
What does that mean to you? Have you done it? Do you understand what it means?
As a young singer, I would make several treks a year to New York City to work with my teacher and my coaches and create my own intensive. I would be in town for several days, or a couple of weeks or longer if I could do it, and create a course of study that allowed me to work with professionals I needed almost every day, or several times a week. This allowed me to immerse myself in the study of my voice, my music, my craft, language, acting, movement, and more depending on how long I could be in town, and who was available.
I work with singers in this way regularly throughout the year. Whether it is 3 days or 3 weeks, singers who are committed to their development commit to their study. If they are in town for a few days, I see them EVERY day and know they are working with coaches and in an acting class or probably a movement class or at an Alexander Technique session. I am always impressed by a singer's commitment to their studies and their success by how they study. HOW you study reveals much about you. How you DO NOT study, also reveals much.
Obviously we can talk about it, we can "like" statuses, we can "share', we can "favorite", we can "retweet" but until we DO IT, it hasn't truly been realized.
Whether you are in the throws of your degree, or an emerging professional or a developing professional, your ongoing study, honing of craft and development is so crucial. Even as a teacher, I have to keep my skills relevant and clear.
If you don't live in an area where you have access to a regular teacher, coaches for music, acting and movement, etc - what do you do? Where do you go?
If you are serious about your voice and pursuing it fully, the intensive study immersion is CRUCIAL. We all learn differently, but often going in and being immersed and then going home to allow all that information to sift through and begin to take shape can be exhilarating and life changing.
These trips can be exhausting and at the same time, energizing. You can be exposed to much information, challenged by new ideas, not just in the studios of teachers and coaches but also by seeing live theatre, going to great art galleries and museums and being in an environment of STUDY that is all about you.
Often, if you create your own program of study, you can take in MONTHS of study in half the time and then take as long as you need to sift through, absorb, adjust, discover and create more behavior when you get home.
The intensive allows it to be all about YOU. You don't have to wait til next week, you get more tomorrow or later in the afternoon. You don't need to juggle study with laundry with family with chores - the intensive is giving you a focus of study that is about you, FOR you.
If you haven't done it - why not? Don't pick up the excuses. The excuse is creating another reason why NOT.
So WHY do it?
If you say you are a singer, then BE one.
If you say you want to learn, then learn.
If you say you want to have a career, then pursue what you need.
If you say you want to know, then SEEK the knowledge.
Sometimes we don't know what we want. Sometimes we don't know what we have. Sometimes we need to have a consultation and an intensive to find out where we actually are, what we actually want, and how we need to get to the next.
There is no excuse for NOT doing an intensive. Why? Because it's about you and can be working into your life, your finances and your needs. You can plan for it. You can adjust it. You can explore it. You can create what you need and find the professionals that can help you discover YOU.
Read, listen, discover. Prepare. Don't just regurgitate - but know what you are taking in, and absorb it!
If you want it, skimming by isn't going to get you there.
If you want it, the demand is on you, and only you, to find out what you need and commit to it!
Here's to you finding what you need, instead of becoming complacent with what you have.
If you want to be taken seriously, if you want to keep growing as an artist and performer, you must keep on the quest of discovery! I raise my glass to you discovering YOU, or at least finding professionals you can stand in front of who will introduce you to what you can become should you take on that quest!
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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