Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Music As Mentor

I've been reading a great book a dear friend gave me called "Athena's Disguises" (thanks, Kim! finally getting to it!) Author Susan Ford Wiltshire, a professor of Classics at Vanderbilt University, published it in 1998. The book uses the multiple disguises of the Greek goddess Athena in Homer's classic epic "Odyssey",  to show us where to look to recognize the mentors who have helped us along the way.  For me this book really increased my gratitude for my own mentors and my determination to pass the good stuff forward.

Anyway, I'd like to share a quote from the book. Millard Sheets, a leading watercolorist and public space designer, was giving a lecture at a local university at which Wiltshire was present. In the chapter of the book which discussed how the arts can mentor, Wiltshire reports:
...Millard spoke of art as a tripartite activity. The first part, he said, is to learn the language, to acquire the skills necessary for our work. The second is to bring everything we know from the life we have lived to the work we do. The third and final part is to build bridges back to the world, to give to the world in our own voice the stories we bring to the language we have learned.
Dear readers, is this not what we should do to be most effective with our voices?
  1. learn the language, acquire the skills...
  2. bring all our experiences individual voices to the work...
  3. create bridges of communication, giving our stories back to the world to help mentor others to higher ground?
To me, this triparte goal would sure beat winning American Idol. What about you?

Oh... and here again are links to the books mentioned...

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