Beginning a Lesson
I thought I would share with you what to expect in a lesson! Each month I will focus on a different part. This month it is the beginning!
The first 5 minutes of the lesson is always the same! I ask a variety of these questions:
How are you?
What has been a new or different thing this week?
Did you have any successes in practicing?
What struggles did you have practicing?
Some students breeze through these questions and are ready to start quite quickly and others hang out here. Usually the students who come into lessons with the new or different thing in the week they want to share and do not know how. An example of this would be moving. I've had several students move homes and it completely disrupted their practice and routines and they feel weight and stress but knowing this guides the lesson and the chat about the practice is different, encouraging and revitalizing instead of reminding of a strong sense of responsibility and commitment they made. No one needs to feel bad about missing things when they are moving. That in and of itself is hard enough.
After that conversation I have learned many things about the student. Their energy level, comfort level, and their focus all become quite obvious. The pacing of what happens next is decided within those 5 minutes. Is this a good lesson to work through methodically our Italian Diction... or is this a lesson where feeling the big pulse of our piece while singing is going to be more beneficial. Meeting the student where they are at is so important. I feel that the step after, the grounding exercises that I do each week The 3 S's ( see this post it has a breakdown of what I do ) can also bring the student into a better focus and due to the repetitive nature they also become a cue for our brain to get started!
Next, I have a theme for the year and I usually touch base on that. This year - TONGUE TWISTERS. We even have a Tongue Twister Hall-of-Fame. When the student complete 1000 repetitions of the tongue twisters (which we get a new one each week) then they get their tracking paper hung up with a balloon and their name. You can keep track of all of our tongue twisters on the Monthly Exercises. I will decide what the trick of the tongue twister is an create a cue specific to that. This week "I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen" is really easy to make throaty and weighted. So we are speaking like royalty, slowly and lightly with confidence. Here is my post with ideas on Tongue Twisters.
The end of the beginning is usually a specific and goal focused vocalize or two that will lead us into the repertoire.
I would love to know what you add to your practice sessions or your lesson rhythms! Comment Below!