Voice Teacher / Coach PSA: We must at all times remember our job is not to tell our clients WHAT to do, but HOW to do.
If a client expresses a limitation, they know WHAT to do. If they actively try, they know what they need to do. Sometimes they need someone to say: Do you know where to start?
As a teacher / coach / mentor it is never an insulting question to ask. Then run down the process step by step. There is a kink in the chain SOMEWHERE - help them find it. Don’t tell them what the kink is - you’re assuming that’s where the kink is, but there may actually be a kink way before that. Again, don’t focus on WHAT the problem is, but HOW to address it. Remember the teaching step: Check for understanding??
To quote Renee Fleming - “Repeat the process, not the result.”
Yes, I just quoted an opera singer. Me. Nate Plummer “Mr. Musical Theatre.” That’s how important the quote is.
You can’t repeat the process if you don’t know what the process is. Try to clarify each step until they feel comfortable with their understanding.
Adjudicators: Feedback is not judgement on what is wrong or right. That’s a WHAT. Feedback is HOW. “You’re doing this - how about trying THIS?” “Could you explore THIS?” Give them the steps to move forward.
Be the person that doesn’t just say what they need to do. Be the person that helps them figure out what they need to do for themselves.
They came to you for help. Not a lecture 🙂
Signed, Your Friendly Neighborhood Actor’s Coach