Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Daily Mundane #8 - Speak Life

Teaching is in my blood.
I'll admit that I didn't picture myself as a teacher when I first started out. 
The Broadway stage beckoned, shouting at me throughout my young adult years of vocal study.
By necessity, I started teaching in exchange for voice lessons from my mentor, Dr. Allard.
I taught the babies...ages 4-6 years.
Then I assisted teaching the early teen classes.
I moved on to my own classes of age 7-10 years...then older and older until...
Something shifted.
Though I was still out in the professional audition world, nothing could fill me like teaching.

I've experienced a new shift in the past three years, since I lost my voice and had to leave the classroom.  That break in my spirit, leading to eventual healing by my heavenly Father, caused me to change perspective.
It's now less about the work and growth of the instrument...
...and more about the growth of the whole student, their spirit as much as their voice.

Every morning on my way to teach these young artists at 
The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts...
Or before I drive to Disneyland to teach teens in an interactive composition class, 
I prepare in a new way.
I ask the Holy Spirit for help.
I ask that He live in my words and my actions, so that each moment...each word I utter...reflects His love and grace.
He always answers and always provides.
His love is ever faithful.

Yesterday, on my way to work, I prayed this prayer again.
I was distractedly singing to the radio.
As I listened to the words that I myself was singing, I realized He had sent the answer.

My semi-private classes had final performances before the midterm later in the week.
We talked through vocal technique but also about story...about living the text of the story through our own individual experiences.
I had the seated students tell each singer what was "good" about their performance.  
Only the "good things."  
Always the "good things."
(Then I make corrections...they have to learn after all!)
Finally at the end of my class, I pulled out my dear dad's book, "Abounding Grace," that Mama allowed me to take from his library Christmas 2012.
I opened to a selected text about humility.

I talked about how each of us has our own individual story...
That there are billions of individual stories from people all over the world...
And that we are some of the fortunate few who actually get to share that story through song.
I read them the quote on humility and asked them...
directed them as they moved forward in their week...
to consider in humility the many gifts they've been given and instead of using those gifts to build themselves up, that they use them to build up others.
To always say "the good," look for "the good."
"In other words," I said, "speak life."

And I uncovered the lyrics to the song I had printed on the whiteboard before they walked in, the very ones I had been singing on the way to work.

"Speak life.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted
And watch them come alive as you 
Speak hope...
Speak love...
Speak life."

Their beautiful faces softened, changed by the very suggestion of speaking life in their every the arts.
And once again I was so grateful to have asked the question and gotten the answer.
So grateful to have my Heavenly Father walk this journey with me.
So grateful to have the heart of a teacher.

Lord, please continue to teach me daily.
Please never let me feel I am no longer the student.

{My daily mundane is so special in the classroom.
I pray you find what is special in your work as well.
Thank you for reading.}

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for speaking life to your students. It is so important to speak life to others because in doing, we are a reflection of the Father's love for each of us. Students, given their youth and all the lies that the world pours into their hearts, are especially in need of having life, hope, and love spoken over them. God bless you and the work you do!