No one has all the answers

Many singers are extremely loyal to their voice teachers and coaches. Many of us in the business search long and hard for people we can trust to be part of our support team. It is only natural when we come to the person who is the best collaborator we have had so far, that we call them the “best” – end of sentence. However, no one person can teach you everything you might want to know for all time, or always give perfect advice. There are always many sources from which to learn, and we need different things at different times.

We find Voice Teacher X and realize that this person is helping us to unlock our voice to a greater extent than ever before. We curse that it took “so long” and that Voice Teachers A through W were so clueless! But we tend to generalize and oversimplify. Maybe without that journey from A to W we never would have gotten to X. Maybe the teacher wasn’t as clueless as the student! Maybe both teacher and student were not yet ripe, or in sync with each other, or speaking the same language. There may be dozens of reasons why one collaboration worked differently from another.

Regarding unhelpful advice I received (Did I really receive such, or was I not ready for it?) from various teachers, if I really think about what may have prompted what they said, it usually makes some sense – now. With almost all of them, the things that they did not explain well or at all, don’t have to subtract from the helpful things they did say. Sometimes a tidbit from one of them only makes sense years later.

I have a team I am very happy with now. I also have had some excellent teachers and coaches in my past. In the big picture, it seems best to thank all the previous people I worked with who helped me to form the path that eventually led to the resources I needed. My teaching career has also caused me to look at my teachers with more kindness and sympathy. Teaching isn’t easy and the teacher-pupil relationship is a two-way street.

Every singer has a unique story of how they learned their craft. There are so many variables that we can never declare that there is one “best” anybody or anything.


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