I read another thought-provoking blog from Zapier this morning (https://zapier.com/blog/a-company-is-not-a-family/), and it got me thinking.
Singing teachers and singers are social beings, and social beings like being part of a “family” – for some it even defines who they are.
So we have facebookgroupies, twitterfiends, instamates and a whole host of “family” replacement titles.
What’s the reality? Is Vocal Process your voice family?
Vocal Process is a company (and therefore a legal entity in its own right), but in reality there are two very alive people behind it. We’re the definition of a “mom and pop” company (except we don’t have children and we have an international reach…ok maybe it’s not the actual definition).
As it says in the Zapier article, a company isn’t your family and doesn’t behave like one. Your mother is unlikely to fire you for doing something stupid. And, even though some of your relatives might love this, you can’t leave your family, you can only distance yourself from family members. You also can’t suddenly become a member of someone else’s family (unless you’re in a binding relationship with one of its members, or you favour polygamy).
Likewise a Facebook group or a teaching community isn’t your family as such. You can join it, interact with it, enjoy the interaction, and then you can leave.
So do Gillyanne and I think of Vocal Process as a family? Well, we’ve used the word “tribe” frequently, because that’s what we feel is appropriate. We know that singing teachers and singers can feel isolated in their practice, and we provide a safe space for people to join us, to learn, to share and to grow.
The thing is, we know that you can learn from many different tribes. The days of the apprentice/guru model are long-gone. The arrival of the internet during my adult life means information has become much more freely available. The newer generations growing up in the 21st century haven’t known any different. And the global pandemic has meant the sort of online training we championed 16 years ago is now everyone’s norm, and part of daily life.
So no, Vocal Process isn’t a family as such. But we do feel like we’re leading and inspiring a close community, sharing and growing together. People come, people go and people stay, people bring their own skills and we celebrate that and them. That’s to do with our ethos, how people feel about what we do, and where they are in their own growth cycle.
Perhaps it’s better to think of us as those knowledgeable people in your neighbourhood that you can talk to. Every day, occasionally or even not at all (“ew, I’m not talking to THEM”). We’re here, you know what we do, we’re happy to lend you anything (garden shears, the lawnmower, our knowledge). Pay it back or pay it forwards. We know what goes around comes around.
Or don’t if you’re busy with another tribe. It’s all good.
PS Check out the details of our #ThisIsAVoice Podcast episode here – Season 2 Episode 11, The Vocal Process Ziggurat, or What We’re Doing Now. It’ll bring you bang up to date on how you can share in what we’re creating today.