Yes, me and every 12-18 year old girl out there. But let’s be honest: it’s hard not to. She’s talented (writes her own songs, plays the guitar, performs live) and wholesome, which are both rare in the world of popular music. Her music is fun and catchy, and it appeals to people of all ages with different tastes.
But her targeted audience just happens to be the stream of tween and teen girls that come to my studio for voice lessons each week. And when I ask them what kind of music they like and want to learn, they inevitably answer, “Taylor Swift.”
There is a school of voice instructors that frowns heavily upon teaching popular music, not to mention – gasp! – country music. I should know; every single one of my voice teachers throughout my education hailed from this school. But it is for this very reason that I never even considered enrolling there. I spent many, many years learning songs I couldn’t stand because they were songs I needed to know.
The difference between the lessons I took and the lessons I teach is that while I still insist upon teaching those need-to-know songs, I make sure to devote time in each lesson for what my students wants to sing. Tackle “Caro Mio Ben” and then we’ll take on “Popular Song of the Moment”. This has been my modus operandi since I first began teaching, and it works. My students are happy, their parents are happy, and that combined makes me ecstatic.
This month, Taylor Swift is the shining star – what almost every one of my voice students works toward at the end of her lesson. It’s artists like her who inspire these girls to pursue singing, after all.