Hi, yes, have had quite a few students whom I didnt want for various reasons, and simply advised I cannot add value to their learning process anymore and thus recommended looking for other tutoring services. I have also occasionally advised my schedules changed and therefore I couldn’t accommodate them anymore. Best wishes 🙂
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March 27, 2018 at 1:43 pm #10178March 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm #10199
I have had a student in the past who transferred money in advance for her lesson but then failed to attend and kept cancelling 3 weeks in a row giving me literally one day’s notice. She then requested for the payment to be transferred back to her due to her not being able to attend any more lessons, which I stupidly did. I also have another student (a young girl) whose mum drops her off and then goes shopping and gets back late which means her daughter stays well over her scheduled time. Once she was late 15 mins and my next student had to wait in the car as it would have been utterly irresponsible of me to let a young girl wait outside for her mum. Last week, the mum was late 25 mins! My lessons are half hour so her daughter practically got another lesson for free because again I didnt have the heart to let her out and make her wait for her mum in the cold. Her mum did apologise but the thought of perhaps paying me for another lesson never crossed her mind. It’s experiences like that which make me feel utterly disheartened about this profession. Rant over! :))))March 16, 2016 at 9:01 pm #3556
Totally agree with Kat! To me it sounds like she’s struggling with the pitch and not even trying to reach the high notes. It might be that she is relying on the singer from the backing track, which is why I encourage my students to use backing tracks without original vocals or sing with just piano accompaniment, or a cappella, which enables them to hear better as well as motivates to aim for the right pitch.
Occasionally when a student struggles hitting a particular note, I ask them to do an exercise whereby I play a note and they need to slide onto that note from below or above. This trains their ear and also improves ‘muscle memory’ for a particular note / tone that we’re working on.February 21, 2016 at 6:12 pm #3659
Awesome ideas guys! One more thing I have recently started doing is encouraging my students to set themselves a goal to perform at an open mic a few weeks / months down the line. A clear objective of a live performance at a certain point in time gives them purpose, and most importantly motivation to practise, which seems to be a pretty rare occurrence indeed! 🙂
xxFebruary 16, 2016 at 12:41 pm #3755
Hey guys, I totally agree with Eliza about encouraging them to potentially book a room to practise and even more importantly- being silly during the lessons. I too have a couple of students who lack confidence and I have taken the approach of distraction, which seems to have worked pretty well thus far.
During our vocal warm ups, I ask them to perform a physical exercise (gentle head shake from side to side, or lifting up shoulders and letting them fall just before doing a lip trill, etc). What I have found is that they then shift their focus from thinking about ‘producing sound / singing’ to performing the physical movement, which in turn results in the vocal exercise being performed in a much more relaxed manner.December 23, 2015 at 10:57 am #4211
Hey there, I think the concept of ‘recoil breathing’ may be overcomplicating what in my understanding is actually very simple. Lungs expand / stretch during inhalation. So the way I see it, recoil is nothing other than the natural ease with which the lungs ‘rebound’ after we exhale, which in very simple terms means they go back to the same state we experienced previously at rest, before inhalation. The process repeats every time we inhale & exhale without us having to think or control it in any way.
With regards to breathing exercises in general, I always incorporate at least 1 or 2 into my lessons, as I’ve found conscious focus on ‘just breathing’ for a couple of mins has a number of benefits:
– It helps to alleviate tension
– It helps students to get into ‘training / singing’ frame of mind & switch off distractions
– It calms them down and makes them feel more relaxed & comfortable in a learning setting
– And it sets their breathing into a smoother, steadier, more consistent pattern, which paves a great start for vocal warm ups & subsequent singing
I use various breathing exercises and alternate them to keep it interesting for the students, e.g.
Exercise 1 – Breathing out a consistent stream of air
Start by taking a deep breath, filling your lungs all the way down to the abdomen (not just the top half of your lungs). Then let it out very slowly in a constant stream. Imagine that you’re exhaling through a very thin straw and the air is going out so slowly that you don’t appear to be breathing at all. It may help to picture a candle out in front of you, and your breath is moving so slowly that the flame doesn’t flicker as you exhale.
Exercise 2 – Breathing out and sustaining a note
Pick a nice comfortable note and hold it through the entire breath. Don’t let it change in pitch or volume–make it seem like a key being held down on an organ. Be sure that each note is a comfortable pitch–somewhere in your normal speaking register. Low notes are good because they help the throat relax. Use a different pitch for each breath. Don’t try to belt out high notes. That strains the vocal chords.
For those who struggle with the concept of diaphragmatic breathing I advise to practise at home the following:
Lie on the floor on your back with your hands on your stomach. Breathe in (inhale) and your hands will rise. Now breathe out (exhale) and they will lower. In this position it is virtually impossible to breathe incorrectly. Try to breath in the same way when you speak or sing.
Hope this helps 🙂November 15, 2015 at 9:28 pm #4448
Thank you Eliza 🙂 Really great idea with keeping their details for newsletter purposes! Many thanks and have a great week!:)November 12, 2015 at 9:44 pm #4478
Hey all, I’m Monika and I’m a vocal coach based in Peterborough. The website looks great! It’s super user friendly, easy to navigate, and shall be a fabulous resource to everyone! 🙂