I used to have voice students. I still do, but I used to too. Only now there are a lot more of them. Now I have a voice studio. And a voice studio is very different from a voice student or two, as I am quickly discovering.
When I had only a few voice students it was relatively easy to remember what each of them was working on. I could recall with great ease the pieces they were singing, the issues they were facing, the brilliant advice I had already given them, and other important stuff such as their names. Now that I have more than 20 students, I can remember zero of these things. It’s time to get organized.
I have a binder. It is a nice binder. I bought it at the binder store. I have divided it up into tabbed sections with names written on the small paper label inserts. Or at least that’s the plan. Where did I put those inserts? I have each student’s music behind each student’s tab. I have papers with notes written on them. Things like: This guy is a baritone. Do not forget that he is a baritone. Stop warming him up to high C.
Notes are important, and not just the kind you sing. Because now life is harder than “front of the binder guy” and “back of the binder guy.” I liked Front of the Binder Guy, but now he is “Appropriately alphabetized binder tab guy.” They are both good guys, but it is a different system. This is why the notes help. My brain likes to confuse things sometimes.
I do sometimes miss the feeling of walking in to a roomand knowing exactly what the deal is, but on the other hand I am really loving the amount of teaching I am doing. I might even like to do more. And hey, it’s still early in the year. Maybe in a month or two I will remember everyone’s names and fachs and songs without having to glance at my binder. Maybe. Although I can’t even remember whether or not I’ve washed my hair in the morning, so I’m not holding out too much hope. But a little bit of hope.
And that’s the difference between a voice student and a voice studio. One requires skill, training, knowledge, patience, stubbornness, and luck. The other requires all of those thing, plus a little bit of hope. And a binder. A big binder. With tabs.