It is spring, and the change from the dreary grey of winter to the budding flowers covering trees, swiftly followed by new leaves all over the place has me both happy and sad. I am so happy I have experienced the seasons! I am so happy to have learnt so much from my colleagues and friends here in the United States. As always, I am overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity I have found in this country. I have had my teaching ideas shaken up a bit and refined and polished. I have learnt that I will never know everything there is to know, and that I need to be content with knowing what I do know and moving forward with an open heart and mind.
I am happy to be coming home to my family, my home, my animals, my studio (how I miss my studio, and using all my wonderful gear, my gorgeous monitors … my mics – oh dear!). I am happy to be returning to friends and students. I look forward, although with trepidation, to writing up my my findings and getting this thesis done!
But I will be sad to leave the wonderful friends and colleagues here, the students (and teachers) in the Voice Pedagogy and Performance courses at Shenandoah who have given me so much joy, including me in their world when I was most homesick (they probably don’t even realise that! Love you guys!). The beautiful musical theatre students I have met and worked with along the way at the universities who participated in my study. The teachers who were so extraordinarily generous to allow me to sit in on their studios for two weeks, asking questions, observing their practices, and in some cases, the honour of working collaboratively with them and their students. The teachers who I have worked with who have been as hungry to learn what I know as I am to know what they know! What a rich year this has been!
And so, I am beginning to be excited again to bring home the knowledge and skills I have further acquired, but a year like I have had cannot occur without changing your heart, and that is coming home with me too! I’ll be starting back in the studio on the 17th June, and working limited times until the end of the year. Thank you to all the students who have already booked in! I hope I can share more of the joy of singing with y’all soon!