Julie Stevens (no login) Posted Sep 4, 2008 11:30 AM
I feel your frustration, I really do. I was told the same thing in school - that I had already had my "moment" and to step aside and let someone else have theirs. I was the only person double cast in my 8th grade musical because the teacher told me that he couldn't be sure I would be there for the 4 performances, due to my habit of leaving school for auditions or work. How do you explain to an idiot that I am a professional and take every performing opportunity seriously and would NEVER miss a performance. In High School, my music teacher took an almost instant dislike to me and went out of his way to be nasty to me in class (in front of everyone). It even happened at NYU where the director of the musical (the only one we did in 4 years, mind you) didn't include me because he felt I already had professional experience.
I agree that many high school music/voice teachers are not qualified to give private lessons. It's great to be involved in a choir or ensemble because it gives you ear training and you learn how to blend your voice with others. Teachers are human and many of them get consumed with jealousy towards their talented students. Just as many casting directors started out wanting to be actors, many voice/music teachers wanted to be professional performers. If they are harboring resentment or disappointment, it can end up being directed at the students with the most potential.
My advice is to seek performing and training opportunities outside of school. The training and experience will probably be a whole lot more valuable and it won't interfere with school dynamics. I was never able to deal with favoritism or school politics, so I just ignored it completely and did my own thing. In fact, the only reason anyone in my high school even knew that I could sing was because they would see me come out and sing the National Anthem at the Sixers and Flyers games (that's Philly's professional basketball and hockey teams). That made me a big hit with the boys in High School!