I just left a coaching with a certain member of my "team." I can feel it in every muscle of my torso! I was pushed vocally and physically to the limit, and when I leave I am always near tears.
But not because I am upset or want to jump off of something high as has in fact happened before, but because it reminds me how much I love music, and WHY. It is always a very moving experience that brings me back to visceral parts of singing, and the very personal reasons it would be impossible for me to quit now.
And then, when I've gotten in my car, and begin to drive away afterward, I realize how lucky I am to have a person like that in my life! My circle of "people" that I go to for advice is small, but every single one is a person whose studio I leave reminded of why music is literally the best thing since sliced bread, leggings, and champagne. That is not to say I don't often have to process hard truths about my singing and myself. But the music...the music-- when you realize that you are there basically to sing it in a way that others will love it as much as you do, to represent it honestly and as the composer would appreciate-- it makes it easier to swallow the harder pills about a certain aspect of my technique, say.
Sometimes as singers I believe we all get a bit of the "shiny and new" syndrome sometimes. We go from coach to coach, teacher to teacher, hoping to finally find THE ONE who, upon entrance to their studio, the calls will start coming in.
We know how dumb we are being, right?
True, it has taken me a long time to assemble the team. Number one criteria: you have to believe in me, and I have to feel like any criticism is coming from a place of repsect.
And here is what that does not mean: letting me get away with shoddy musicianship, ridiculous mistakes or bad diction. It also means telling me if my audition dress is unflattering or if I need to lose twenty pounds to be believable in my fach. Essentially, you have to believe I am worth telling the truth to.
Now that we have that cleared up-- I can tell you that each one is in the circle for a specific purpose. At least in my own mind.
-I have my vibrato and resonance nazi.
-I have one that makes me sing out and be generally fabulous and expressive.
-I have one that forces me into rhythmic submission makes sure I am singing stylishly.
-I have a german diction/Bach/oratorio/mother person.
-I also have a husband and those are much harder to come by, especially with advanced degrees in piano.
Spend some time thinking about your people, who you need, what you need. And remember that it is never worth it to spend money and time on something that is not really helping you love singing more.