When I began as a voice teacher, I had solid training and technical foundation, but I had limited real-world experience (as so many of us do in the beginning). I had no idea how to build a voice studio, if I’d be able to relate to the students, if I’d even like teaching voice lessons for a job. The first few years were definitely informative, and every year I learned just a little bit more about myself through my students, and I also learned how to develop my own teaching style and make those connections. From day one, a constant element of my teaching and communication has been humor, either with stupid dad jokes or sarcasm, melodramatic overacting, or just the odd turn of phrase.
It was by sheer accident that one such phrase was born: “Go forth and do stuff.” I was sending a student back to class, and it just popped into my head as a great sendoff; it at least got a laugh, so I thought, “Ok, that’s one to keep around.” I never intended it to become the “studio catchphrase” that it has, but now my veteran students will sometimes give me a look at the end of a lesson, waiting for me to “say the thing.” There has even been talk of putting it on the desired line of studio merch (who knew voice studio gear might be a thing the kids are looking for?).
As I’ve had time to reflect on it though, the phrase really has some layers to it, and applies to singing, art, creativity, life...all of it! Hence, the title of this blog. We are all in need of motivation and reflection from time to time, and it doesn’t matter exactly what the “stuff” is, but sometimes all we have to do to move forward and grow is to get up off the couch and do something! Let’s be honest: we have ALL been spending just a bit too much time on the couch this past year, either literally or figuratively.
I’m not entirely sure what form it will take, what I will talk about, but as the title suggests, it could be just about anything. I hope that it can be equal parts entertaining, inspirational, informative, and funny. If my students have their way, it will eventually lead to a multimedia business venture, possibly including vlogs, a podcast, merch...some current and former students have big aspirations for my online presence (they did finally inspire me to get on Instagram last year right before we all shut down). Never say never? But for the moment it’ll be a small start, a small blog on my little professional corner of the interwebs. So...now we begin...let’s get off that couch (with groaning and stretching for those over the age of 30) and “go forth and do stuff...”