The many reasons why you learn better when your voice teacher does not touch you.... #voicelessons #learnsinging #singingbestpractices
I could not have said this better. Shared with permission from Shannon Coates:
'Recently, I was talking with friend and colleague, Melissa Bencic (Bravo Academy for the Performing Arts) about Theatrical Intimacy Education, which reminded me of something that I've been saying for a few years now:
If you believe that you can't teach singing without touching your student, you are selling yourself short. Reliance on touching students in order to communicate directives or change coordination shows a lack of understanding of how bodies and brains operate to learn motor skills (such as singing) AND a fundamental lack of understanding of the repercussions of betrayed consent.
And? Although this all applies with all of our students, it SUPER-DUPER applies when we're working with non-adult singers. Like, SUPER-DUPER-SO-MUCH-IT-IS-HARD-FOR-ME-TO-SAY-IT-STRONGLY-ENOUGH.
children and adolescents aren't able to give consent to adults - it's set up this way in many constitutions because we, as a society, tend to recognize that the power differential between adults and non-adults means that it's not possible for consent to occur SO
EVEN IF we ask a child or adolescent if it's alright if we touch them and EVEN IF we fully explain what's going to happen and why and EVEN IF that child or adolescent agrees?
IT'S STILL NOT CONSENT.
both the intention of the touchER and the reception of the touchEE can affect the impact of the actual touch BUT
the intention of the touchER has far less impact than the reception of the touchEE has SO
even if our intention is to show a singer what a more released inhalation should feel like (for example), that intention means very little if the reception of the touchEE results in the perception of being manipulated or put upon or having agency taken away. PLUS
who among us has absolutely pure intentions when dealing with other people?
so often, an intention for a student to have a more coordinated inhalation (for example), can be wrapped up in our intention to prove something about ourselves in some way.
bodies & brains tend to learn coordinations more deeply if they discover them on their own SO
using mimicry, movement, and clear directives will most likely result in deeper learning than touching and/or manipulating bodies will
if you believe that there are certain things that can ONLY be taught through touching?
please let me challenge you to find alternative ways to teach these things because?
it will increase your #voicepedchops. #pinkyswear.
folks who are movement- and/or somatics-trained generally learn, in their training, how to create consenting environments that enhance learning and lower the possibility of harm SO
these folks may be the exception to the rule if they include touch as part of their training BUT
these folks must also be very clear that that is the kind of training that students should expect during voice lessons with them.
teaching online, as nearly the entire world has done at some point in the last two years, has taught many, many people how little touch actually IS required to teach well SO
if you can hardly wait to get back to in-person lessons so you can start touching your students again, I need you to know:
unless you are one of the folks mentioned in Thing the 1st RE exceptions?
you are not an exception, AND
please re-read the above points.'
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