Dear private voice students... PLEASE stop giving me heart failure! I swear between college and my students I'm going to go gray before I get my degree. I love my students and (most of the time) I really do enjoy teaching. I've met some wonderful people, both colleagues and students, through it. But last night just wasn't a good night.
A couple weeks ago the student I teach first on Fridays auditioned for a band. I really didn't think it was a good idea based on the audition song, but I helped her with it as much as I could and cautioned her to be very careful with that piece and to not sing anymore that night because she got so worn out. Well, last night I found out she made the band. I congratulated her while silently swearing. Honestly, I don't want my student anywhere NEAR a band that has an 11 year old audition with "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele. But I console myself by thinking she'll probably bring her pieces for this band to me and I can at least help her to sing them in a safer way. Wrong! Her parents say that she loves her lessons, but they're thinking that lessons on top of the band might be too much for her, so next week may be her last lesson. I told them I can do lessons a different day if that helps, but they're not sure and said they'd get back to me.
Now, while the income is nice, that's NOT the only reason I'm bothered by it. I don't really know about this band, but I have a STRONG feeling that no one there is going to be looking out for this girl. They're going to give her pieces they want to do without caring if it's vocally safe for her. If she's going to be trying to sing songs similar to the audition piece, she needs help from someone who's looking out for HER VOICE and not anyone else, because it's so easy for young singers to blow out their voices. And I think this girl has a lot of potential as a singer and I'd really like for singing to be something she can enjoy for a very long time.
So I'm very concerned about her stopping lessons because now she's singing with people who are probably just looking out for themselves and really aren't trying to do what's right by her and she doesn't have anyone who's knowledgeable about the voice who's looking out for her and only her. I'm considering saying something along those lines to her dad, but I feel a little stuck because I don't want him to think I'm trying to keep her just so I can make more money... I already don't have as much credibility as I'd like because I'm by far the youngest teacher there and I don't think her dad takes me too seriously because of my age.
So, on that lovely note, I wait for my next lesson that's with a new student who I'm just meeting. She comes in and I'm optimistic. She has a very nice choral folder with her, making me think she leans towards classical. Yay. She tells me she wants help preparing for college auditions. Even better. Schools look for classical, I'm really good with languages so I can really help with her foreign language pieces, and I've already been through the audition process so I can tell her what to expect. And then she says she's auditioning at the school I'm currently attending. Great!
But then I find out she hasn't taken singing lessons since she was very little. And that she hadn't even begun work on her Italian piece until her lesson with me. And that she had never sung anything in a foreign language before so she had no idea how to pronounce it. If her audition was in March, that'd all be stressful, but not too terrible. But nope! Her auditions are February 12th and 18th. T-T So I have three weeks to turn a song she's never sung through before into a good audition piece, to get her to learn to project, etc.
And I'm very personally invested in this, too. If she auditions at my school and isn't prepared, if they ask who her voice teacher is, guess who looks REALLY bad since at least one of my professors will undoubtedly be in her audition? And I have my sophomore review this semester so I can't afford my professors thinking I'm incompetent as a singer and teacher for ANY reason.
At least I've managed to convince her to sign up for hour long lessons instead of half an hour. But I'm still ridiculously stressed because now it's not a matter of wanting her to do well in her auditions. It's a matter of wanting her to succeed for her own sake, but also NEEDING her to do well for my sake. GAH! I don't understand why a student hoping to audition for college would wait so long to start preparing! I took FOUR YEARS of voice lessons before my auditions!
Hopefully my lessons today will be ordinary, run of the mill lessons without any freaking out...