The Impact of Teaching on Performing

"Do as I say, not as I do."

This old adage is a timeless take on hypocrisy, used to describe situations varying from parenting to physicians who don't watch their own health. It is also a notion which can sometimes come to mind regarding teaching the art of singing. During my many years of being both a performer and vocal instructor - privately and at the college level - I have determined that opposed to the opening quote, teaching makes us better performers.

The joy of educating someone about proper vocal technique is not, for me and my teaching style, found in talking "at" my students in technical terms. I take a real life, pragmatic approach. Discussion is important, as is showing vs. only telling. In the end, the greatest accomplishment for me as a vocal instructor, is to help students achieve their personal goals and reach their fullest potential. What I "say" is equally as important as what I "do" during the lesson, or else, just as in life, things could get pretty confusing.

In all, when a student entrusts his or her vocal instruction to me, I take setting a good example very seriously. Because of this, being a teacher certainly keeps me at my top performance level. Do as I say, AND as I do!

Yolanda Johnson