Over the last couple of months, I gave workshops to choirs in Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, United States, Canada, Manila, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and China. I am very happy that all of the competing choirs abroad won in their contests (ACJC, Holy Innocents, and St. Gabriel's in Singapore, MRC in Indonesia).
Just yesterday, I gave a seminar on vocal and choral techniques to 10 choirs from all over Manila, with students numbering almost 300. It was a very happy occasion, as all of their conductors came from one choir, the Philippine Normal University (PNU) Chorale. This being the case, they were like a very big family but I had to keep them all awake with my jokes as the workshop was held right after lunch and it was raining outside, which made it very comfortable to fall asleep.
Last night the Cebu Chamber Singers won the Grand Prize in Busan Korea and I felt like I also won the Grand Prize because they sang three of my songs and I also coached them some time before the contest.
During my discussion with the conductor of PNU, she mentioned how tired she gets from the continual turnover of the singers, and the arduous process of annually training new members. But she is glad to see that I still work hard and have the same passion for teaching as before, which of course I attribute to the fact that I don't have a regular schedule.
You get burned out from usual problems that a choir faces, but if you just go and visit choirs days at a time, this problem is non-existent.
Of course I have a new choir now, but we meet only once a week, and we spend more time eating than singing. Maybe that's how I can always maintain a spontaneous approach.
In a few days, I will be in Japan to give workshops to 6 choirs, and with all the food, drinks, and nightly parties there, I am sure the teaching perspective will all the more become "fresh" :)