Talk O’ Tuesdays!
Why is it that I don’t have any pain in my throat with I study with you, but with my other teacher I have so much pain I can’t imagine singing an entire role?
We are so sorry that you have pain when you sing. Unfortunately, this happens more often than it should. I personally understand what you are going through as I had some questionable teachers interspersed throughout my study. There are different kinds of teachers with different types of technique and experience. There are some teachers that only teach what they have been taught and don’t know how to help someone that doesn’t fit in their specific box that they know. There are some teachers that never had a lot of vocal issues and it just comes easy to them and they then have no idea how to help people since they have never experienced issues first hand. Some teachers have been able to secure a job at a college or university with sheer luck and with no real world experience, and unfortunately that inexperience and just “not knowing what they are lacking in” educationally speaking is detrimental to their students.
I was taught a technique for a couple years that hurt my throat. I felt like I was pushing and at the end of my lesson my speaking voice was hoarse and a few times I even tasted blood. I was led to believe that this technique is what I needed to be an amazing singer, so with blinders on I tried and tried to be the perfect student, practicing and trying to improve myself, attending the studio’s master classes and working really hard, doing what I could to be able to afford twice-weekly lessons. My voice was failing me, no matter what I did, no matter how hard I practiced, I started losing my range and my voice couldn’t hit specific pitches. Finally, my fiancée (now husband) brought me to his teacher where he pretended to be sick and I took the last of the fifteen minutes of his lesson. It ended up being a preplanned intervention and I was shown the light! No more pain! No more bleeding! I then understood that the technique I was being taught by my teacher was detrimental and causing me harm. I switched teachers immediately.
If you know you are being harmed by a technique, do not go back to that teacher. If you don’t have a choice since that teacher may be assigned to you in college, take what works for you in that lesson and throw out the rest and find someone that can help you navigate through it. We are happy to help!