Sometimes I think I was overly ambitious by choosing a career in music. By choosing to study performing arts, I think I have sentenced myself to years of great joy while also enduring extreme frustration.
Sometimes, for me, music is just too subjective. I can drive myself crazy when I don’t achieve that perfect sound that I’m looking for. There are some moments when I am looking at my students, envisioning the sound I want, pulling out every rehearsal technique in my arsenal, but I am just not connecting with them.
Thankfully, there are plenty of “AHA!” moments in which students do get it, and so we make forward progress. Those are the moments that I remind myself I’m supposed to be in the classroom. Those are the moments I can’t wait to write about here on the blog.
But sometimes, those moments seem distant, and I am left listening to recordings of my rehearsals trying to figure out what I am doing wrong. Maybe I’ve tried to use an analogy about voice placement that was always helpful to me in my own voice study, but it doesn’t work with my students. Or maybe no matter how many different ways I try to have my students correct my vowels, it isn’t sticking from day to day. The feeling of defeat can weigh on my like a ton of bricks.
With Large Group Performance Evaluations around the corner, this stresses me out more than any other time of the year. It seems that every February, I start wondering what other line of work my degree in music qualifies me for. Still, in the midst of my frustration with my own imperfections, I continue to love what I do. I love the students, I love the music, I love the singing.
With music, I suppose it will always be a bit of a complicated relationship.