I’m developing a 6-month program for singing teachers who have never had the opportunity to develop a hands-on understanding of what “evidence-based” teaching of singing means in the 21st century.
Over almost 39 years of teaching outside academia by choice, I have been able to work privately with many masters-in-pedagogy and performance graduates, in classical, jazz and contemporary genres.
Over the past ten years I have seen a strange trend develop, of voice teachers amassing accreditations by the boat-load, but not understanding what to do with the information they learn. They seem to not understand that the graduate degree or certification process does not mean that they automatically know how to USE what they’ve learned. So the next summer, they go to another pedagogy intensive, hoping to learn what they still do not understand.
When I teach by webinar, or attend a webinar, I am struck with how stressed young teachers are, even with all their opportunities to learn these days. Do they need to learn more INFORMATION? Or is the real blank spot in their ability to take the information they’ve learned and turn it into a creative body of useful teaching? How can they take information that is contradictory and USE it?
While many institutions of higher learning have a rare professor or two that DO teach this process, you have to have made it into their program to have access to the learning, or have access to their writings and other presentations.
And here’s the thing–when you get out of your graduate program, chances are good that you will be working in the trenches–teaching people to sing from all walks of life, all backgrounds, all ages, all levels of ability. And you’ll have to take those one or two years of graduate school and make whatever happened during those years work for everyone. And I can tell you, it won’t necessarily be what you learned. So how do you make it work?
That’s what my program is about. I have started the process for my program to be reviewed by the Center for Evidence-Based Management and I hope for it to eventually become accredited. I am also collaborating with Dr. Patrick L’Espoir Decosta (Australian National University School of Business) and Dr. Denise Rousseau (Carnegie Mellon-Organizational Management and co-author of the book Evidence Based Management) to turn my program into something that can be used in the Voice Department of Australian National University.
In Part II I give you a little quiz on what you might think “evidence-based” means. If you are like me when I first learned this, it’ll be a huge eye-opener!