After 15 years, last week I closed the Milwaukee version of my private studio, packed everything up and loaded an incredibly long moving van full of my stuff (as well as one very full Subaru wagon) and moved to Baltimore. That’s where I’m sitting right now, in my Baltimore living room writing this while my husband plays Supertramp on his brand new upright. My furniture isn’t here yet – the movers won’t arrive till next Tuesday or Wednesday, so I’m kind of in limbo.
My new in-house studio space is also empty – not only of furniture, but of students as well. I will need to start marketing myself sometime this summer. I’ve joined Maryland NATS, I might have a job lined up at a local community college, and I’ll be putting out the word at my alma mater, Peabody, that I’ll be ready to go after Labor Day. My summer project will be writing an article about the process of uprooting a successful studio and starting all over for the Journal of Singing (my due date is 10/2013, so keep me honest – ask me how it’s going!).
At this time last year, there was nothing more I wanted than to return to the east coast, to a place where I was appreciated as a performer. I didn’t start teaching until I’d been back in Milwaukee for about a year. Teaching voice was just supposed to be something I did so I didn’t have to work in an office between gigs. I didn’t know I’d be good at it. I didn’t know I would be passionate about it. I didn’t know that I would actually pass up gigs because I’d rather teach. (Not good gigs, mind you – but there was a time when I’d take any gig just to have a gig.)
Now I want to have it all. I want to perform, and I want to teach. This is a good move for me, I know that. But at the same time, I look at the picture of this empty room where so many people made beautiful music – and the room is not all that’s empty. I may fill the empty place in my heart with new students, but the ones I leave behind are the ones who made my heart sing. Not only aloud, but inside.
Thank you all.