Setting Intentions When You Teach

I have begun setting intentions out loud at the beginning of teaching vocal workshops, conducting rehearsals, and sometimes at the beginning of teaching private lessons. This is a little different from having a systematic “method” or rehearsal plan, because it sets the tone (no pun intended) for what will happen in the session.

It allows room for other ways, other than the information I am relaying or my manner of working, to help in Realizing–or manifesting– what is intended. It means that anything and everything that happens will contribute in some way to the realizing of that stated intention.

(If you would like to more know of how this works, begin by checking out Good Vibe University or read The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent, 

Here is a recent example: I was hired to teach a course for a professional in-service day for Washington, DC public school vocal music educators. I had about two hours to inspire, inform and encourage teachers while covering elementary through high school basics of developmental vocal technique and performance practice in all styles of music…..

…in other words, I had a taste of the impossible task they perform every day, except without student behavioral issues and the red tape, paper work and crushing load of bureaucratic bullshit they deal with hour by hour, day by day.

I started by asking the teachers what they were responsible for, and, after picking up my jaw off the floor, I set this intention out loud:

It is my intention to give you something in this time together that inspires you, feeds your love of teaching which often feels buried, and to give you information and tools which you can really use to help your students develop personally and in group music-making.

And it worked. Even though the session sometimes veered and careened from the syllabus now and then, much was covered, more or less, and each teacher felt heard and that he/she had some solutions for issues they often faced.

I felt useful and happy.  And received a 20 out of possible 20 evaluation points from the teachers themselves.  Which surprised me, as I did not know I was being evaluated.  (But this is public education, after all–the evaluation shouldn’t have been a surprise.)


Here is a story of what one public elementary school educator can do given the support of the school’s principal, administration, parents and larger community.

It takes a village to care for a teacher.

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