I love me a good Medieval music pun. There are so few opportunities for them! (If you also love Medieval music, here's info on one of the first songs I ever learned about in music history, referenced in the title. Good stuff!)
But yes, summer is here! If you're in the northern hemisphere, that is. This is the time when so many continuing education opportunities start to populate your Facebook and Instagram feeds, infiltrate your inboxes, and sometimes even your DMs. So many folks, myself included, have offers for voice teachers, and summer is a time when many of us slow down our teaching schedules. We have time to cram in more knowledge!
Learning is admittedly my love language. I'm an Enneagram 5, and Learner and Input are both in
my Clifton Strengths top 10, so I hoard information. Learning things is invigorating! I get simultaneously elated and depressed when walking into a library, because there's so much I can learn, and there's never going to be time to get to it all. I'm certain I'm not alone in that. So it can be tempted to try all. the. things. I've learned to ask myself three questions in order to decide if an opportunity or program is going to be worth it for me. Maybe these three questions can help you sift through your choices, too.
Will learning this be fun?
Yup. I start here. Because even though almost all learning is fun for me, but there are some topics that simply bring me a ton of joy. For me, it's really about the mechanics of the voice. The more I learn about how the voice works, and how it heals, and how it is so interconnected to nearly every aspect of our bodies, I am filled with awe. And I think it's fine to learn things just because I want a new shot of joy. I find that sense of wonder invigorates me as a teacher, and if my joy increases, it seeps over into how I work with my clients. Even if I never repeat the knowledge I learn to a client, the fun I feel when learning about their voices is reward enough for me.
2. Do I have the budget for this?
This isn't only money, but it certainly includes money. Some programs are more of an investment than others. But it also includes time, energy, and emotional bandwidth. If I don't have the time to devote to the webinars, or the homework, or the research, it's out of my budget. I also want to guard my energy well in the summer, when things tend to be busy in my personal life. If my energy expenditure for learning + living is too much, that program is out of my budget. And some programs are more difficult than others and require more of my emotional bandwidth, whether through stress, or deep thinking, or empathy. If those things are going to be too much, it's out of my budget. There may be other things in your own life and priorities that you need to consider in your budgeting, too.
3. Lastly, will this make an impact on my teaching in a meaningful way?
Now, I already mentioned that it's totally fine to learn just for learning's sake. But if I'm choosing between multiple options, and one is clearly going to benefit my studio more than the others, that's worthy of consideration. If you're not sure if it will truly impact your work, see if you can talk to an alum of the program and ask how it has impacted them. Not going to lie, when those of us who have programs to sell want you to buy it, we can tell you how we think it will impact your teaching. I try very hard to be honest about what I'm selling, but the proof is really in the pudding, as they say. Talk to someone who has experience as a student, and you'll likely get a clearer picture of what you can expect.
What other questions would you add to this? Are there other factors you'd consider?
If you are considering continuing education this summer, but you aren't quite sure what it is that you want, reach out to me. We can book some time and go over options, and I can help point you in the right direction. Or if you know what you want to learn, but can't quite find the right fit, friend, I've got the perfect solution for you. I can help create an individual study program that targets exactly what you're wanting to learn. That's my happy place. To get started with that, book a free Discovery Call and dream out loud with me! The education you want is out there, even if we have to create it especially for you.
I hope your summer is filled with learning that leads to joy. It really is the best reason to study!