My dear podcast listeners, how are you doing? Have you checked in with yourself recently? The perpetual fatigue and horror of the current societal and political upheaval seemingly numbs everything. Hopefully you are able to ward those feelings off as it is so important to be in tune with our sense of self and being, but especially so for artists.
This week, our guest Lee Hoffman, emphasizes the understanding of oneself as a cornerstone of artistic pedagogy, but also living. Her journey to becoming a music educator is filled with a lot of reevaluating and discovery of the world, with music and art being the one guiding through line. Her ability to reconcile her fundamentalist Christian upbringing with her queerness and discovery of the world is a great reminder to always be learning, growing, and thinking.
This philosophy becomes especially apparent when you learn from her. I have taken voice lessons from her for almost 2 years, and she has demanded that I trust myself and acknowledge my unique being as she has guided me through this nakedly personal art form. The exact science of the human voice is still not fully understood, so a lot of what a trained singer does is acknowledge and engage with their body. Lee never reduces it something dry and technical; she helps plumb deeper into your personal depth to make honest, affecting music by asking insightful, incisive questions.
Her ability to disarm with questions is apparent in all aspects of her life; I was so tickled when she would turn the interview around and ask Mason and I questions! The wisdom with which she approaches her calling as an educator — and is then able to pass it on to all of her students — gives me hope for a generation of artists who can truly love and embrace themselves.
Thanks for listening,