I am writing this while I am feeling amazingly grateful that I get to offer folks what I offer folks. Now, look, I am taking credit (as a Producer) for the work of one of my amazing Musical Directors but, what the heck.
One of my students/performers in the Adult Enrichment programs just auditioned for a spot in our Fall 2017 Program. The amount she had improved musically from one show to the next (she was in HAIR this last Spring) was literally amazing! And her confidence level was way up. She sang out, strongly. It was quite a transformation. As she says, she just clicked during the last show. She said she’d never been asked to sing harmonies before and maybe that challenge taught her enough to have a breakthrough.
Now, we know that enrichment, learning, and development continues throughout our lives. This is one reason why adult enrichment programs are so available. Now, within the learning process is the moment called the Flowering of the Brain in which what was difficult even a few weeks before is now easy. Prior to this moment, the skill you are trying to master is elusive, difficult, frustrating. But once your brain flowers, you just understand. It becomes easy. Fun. This is what happened to my student. Previously, she did not consider herself a singer. Now, she knows she is.
So, what did we do differently? We challenged her. The directors at Jaybird challenge all our students/performers. We have high expectations that they will rise to the challenge and, once there, they will be so proud of the achievement and having such a good time that they will want more. We challenged our students armed with the knowledge and technique to help them learn to do what they are challenged to do. In this case, harmonies. All in a nurturing and positive environment.
We didn’t dumb it down. We pushed (with support). In the end, she flowered. Amazing.
I really feel so grateful and proud at this moment. This is why I do what I do.