Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Women Sing, Women Lead

In her article “Women Sing, Women Lead” Dr. Kay Kleinerman examines how vocal training can foster leadership skills. In the course of interviewing nine women who had at least three years of singing lessons, she concluded that the requirements of successful singing mirror those of strong leadership.

Many of these women sited the commitment and discipline essential to develop their vocal technique and the focused practice and patient perseverance necessary to progress towards their vocal goals as traits that significantly enhanced their leadership abilities.  As vocal students, they were responsible for learning music for their lessons and performances. They collaborated with their teachers and accompanists, honing       their listening and  communication skills.

Successful public performances became powerful affirmations: fueling their sense of accomplishment and encouraging them to stretch their potential by discovering and acquiring other skills and talents. They were empowered to take on new and challenging projects. As one of the participants acknowledged, “ once…you discover you can do that, it opens up a host of other possibilities for taking risk”.

Singing engages the cognitive and the  physical along side the emotional and expressive. The rich experience of sharing such a personal, private part of who we are, with an audience, heightens an awareness of self that cannot be easily assailed.

Commitment, focus, resilence, confidence and collaboration were just some of the qualities reinforced over the course of several years of vocal training and performing. They are also characteristics found in successful leaders. Through their vocal training, these women learned to explore and push their boundaries; to welcome and utilize feedback, to be open to new ideas and to accept that there is not just one way to get to where you are going. In discovering the uniqueness and fullness of their voices, they also formed a clearer self-awareness of themselves, an identity and self-knowledge to share with the world.

I will end with a quote from A. Karpf’s book, The Human Voice: How this Extraordinary Instrument Reveals Essential Clues About Who We Are (2006), “Finding one’s voice …is a powerful experience, with the capacity to alter one’s view of oneself and one’s place in the world”

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