Last month I turned up to teach at the local girls’ high school to find that most of my pupils wouldn't be coming to their lessons. The former principal had passed away, and these girls would be singing as either part of the choir or the Kapa Haka group at her funeral.
While the rest of their classmates were getting a half-day off, these singers were involved in the service and representing their school with music. I spoke to some of them and said “That’s the thing...as a singer you will often be part of the celebrations and ceremonies of our lives.” One girl replied, “How cool! But I want to be ......I would rather be doing this today than just going home early.”
Over the last few weeks, I have found myself attending events that fell into the: “I’d rather just stay home and curl up with a book, but I have to go because of my job” category. Every single time, I came away saying, “I’m so glad I went. I was inspired/entertained/educated/reminded.”
The times I view my singing and teaching as a job only, are the times I get frustrated and bored. My (reasonably new) husband comments on how much time I spend on my phone. “You’re always working”. I guess you could look at it like that. But I’ve been privileged to sit under the shelter of some incredible people like Joan Kennaway and Gabrielle Barr. From them, I learned that teaching singing could be approached in a unique way.
Whether I’m on the phone or attending events, celebrations or ceremonies, I’m connecting with my team. Yes, I have to keep instilling boundaries with my time, energy and home. That area will always be “under construction”.
I also recognize that everyone will shape their own teaching life in a way that works for them. I’ve decided that I would rather have these team members: singers and their families in my life, than not. I know I’m incredibly blessed for it.
Have a look in the latest newsletter at the reports of our two speakers for 2020 conference and see if you would like to come to Wellington and connect with us again. I hope you will.