As this academic year draws to a close–a year like no other, it must be stated–I’m contemplating what grounds and connects us as humans and as singers. My students are preparing their final projects, demonstrating the incredible growth they have all experienced during this extraordinary time. I’ve been reminding them of all they’ve learned, and encouraging them to honour this learning by taking the time to breathe, to express, to communicate, and most of all, to feel the earth beneath their feet and know that they are strong and good.
We talk often in singing and vocal pedagogy about “support”, and far too frequently we imagine that this support is something that we have to conjure, work for and do on our own. But one of the things I’ve noticed so much during this time is how much we rely on one another for support, and how the feeling that we are valued, loved and heard makes us feel that we have the anchoring that supports our singing. And additionally to that, there is the strength we derive from our connection to the earth. The earth supports and sustains us and gives us strength as singers to tell our stories wholeheartedly from a place of truth and beauty. So today, on Earth Day, I am reminding myself (and my students) that we can feel the earth beneath our feet and that it will give us the courage to carry on, no matter what happens.