Maybe you have heard the old adage, ‘Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.’? I wonder if it still rings true that teaching is seen as a sort of fall back plan for athletes who were injured or not-quite-pro, and for musicians who didn’t quite make it with, or retired from their performance careers? Well, this has never been true for me, nor for the amazing music educators I have had the opportunity to work with. Music teachers are passionate, talented, dedicated musicians who build game-changing relationships with their students. Many of us are also top-notch performers who chose education because it is our calling, not because we couldn’t perform. In fact, I think that role-modeling excellent performance is an essential component to good teaching. And so, out of this thought process came my idea for the Humble Divas.
Next Saturday evening I will be singing in a fundraising concert joined by four amazing musicians. We are all music educators, we are all women, and we are all performers: classical voice, flute, piano with contemporary vocals, piano accompaniment and accordion virtuoso. I plan to make this an annual event featuring female music educators in performance.
I’ve had some questions and even guffaws about the concert name, but let me explain. My favourite take on humility is to say that humility is freedom from vanity. Sometimes vanity is helpful. It can give us the motivation and sense of confidence needed to move past certain fears into performance. But, when we are stuck in vanity, it’s all about ego, and excessive pride. So much more is possible beyond pride. As our energetic vibration increases to allow for acceptance, joy, love, enlightenment even, imagine how the musical performance changes.
And I know that the word diva gets a bad rap. But the urban dictionary sums it up best for me by using diva to describe a person who exudes great style and personality with confidence and expresses their own style and not letting others influence who they are or want to be. Personality, style, and confidence in performance? A musician who is neither motivated by praise nor defeated by criticism? Imagine the poise and integrity of that performance! Excuse me while I take a moment to channel my inner diva…
To add another layer, a humble diva is not perfect. She is well-prepared and highly competent, ready to share the composer’s story in each song. She also accepts the ebb and flow of performance, always learning and growing, and remembering to enjoy the process. Whew! Big shoes. Good thing I have a lifetime to fill them.
If you are interested and available, here are the concert details: Saturday May 5. Port Perry United Church. 294 Queen Street, Port Perry. 7:30pm. Tickets $20 at the door with all proceeds going towards the new sound system for the church.