Singing teachers are being urged to take stock of their mental health and to check in with their colleagues as part of the #fightthefatigue campaign.
2020 has been a doozy for singing teachers, and many feel exhausted after a year of change, restrictions and lost income.
But with the vaccine roll-out getting started, the end is in sight – although we’re by no means there yet.
We’re still months away from things feeling ‘normal’, which is why the National Association of the Teachers of Singing (Nats) – which has 7,000 members in 36 countries – is running the #fightthefatigue campaign.
Whether it’s mental fatigue, Zoom fatigue or social distancing fatigue, singing teachers are being encouraged to stay strong and keep going.
Remember you’ve made it this far and swerved all sorts of curveballs thrown up by the pandemic, and that is a mighty big achievement.
Allen Henderson, Nats Executive Director, admits he feels a mix of emotions right now: tiredness, frustration and sorrow.
“But I remain hopeful,” he says. “It is encouraging to hear about the latest developments of vaccines, but we still must remain vigilant.”
It’s essential, he says, to “take stock of our own mental health on a regular and frequent basis”.
Be kind – to yourself and others
If you’re feeling low, speak to a friend or family member. Mental health support is also available from Help Musicians UK, the Musicians’ Union and the Samaritans.
More general Covid-19 advice is also on offer from the Musicians’ Union and the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ Advice Hub.
It’s also worth checking in with colleagues and students. Even if someone has coped well with the situation up until now, it’s possible that the cumulative effect of the pandemic has started to take its toll.
The 2021 Nats Winter Workshop (January 8 to 10) will explore practical ways to sing and teach with self-care.
The three-day virtual workshop will feature presentations from Performing Arts Medicine specialist Jennie Morton, laryngologist Brandon Baird, dance and movement specialist Dr Ting-Yu Chen, composer and artist Damien Geter and vocal coach Eden Casteel.
In the meantime, stay safe.