Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Waiting for the Bus

News of Note

Waiting for the Bus

I am finally at the point in my life when I can actually take the time to just sit and watch and listen to the rain. It feels like a luxury, but it made me think how often these types of days used to make me impatient and irritable!

This may seem an inexplicable non-sequitor, but I see parallels of this in my studio. Many of my adult students study voice for their own pleasure, enjoying the warm up, the work to improve musical and vocal skills, and then singing through repertoire. My younger students, children of the electronic and digital age, have less patience for these steps, wanting to get right to the song. Admittedly this is partially due to their age, but You Tube and cell phones have also contributed to the rush to the finish line.

On my piano is a miniature school bus to remind my students that sometimes you just have to wait for the bus (credit to Jeanne LoVetri). But this waiting is active, not passive. It involves trying, re-trying, re-vising, absorbing, settling in to something and then eventually, new skills emerge. So called “Aha” moments are really the culmination of the large and small things that go on during the doing while waiting. They don’t occur out of a void. There are no shortcuts!

So while my students wait for the bus, I encourage spontaneity in their responses to trigger new sensations or reactions. For some, encouraging them to let go of control can be rather frightening, taking them out of their comfort zone, their “knowing”. But they also experience a type of freedom and joy in not having to worry about doing something “wrong”. To allow rather than to make. All of this is just more of the “stuff” that incubates during the waiting period, giving the brain time to take it all in and synthesizing it into something new and different.

Today’s relentless pace challenges me to convince students to slow down, focus on right now and wait for things to happen, because what they get in return are exciting discoveries of what they can do.

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