Life Lessons I Learned through EVT

By Min-jeong Kim

The lunar New Year’s Day of 2019 has just dawned on 05 FEB in South Korea. I now have the chance to look back on how Estill Voice Training has affected in my life so far while writing my new year’s resolution. Through my journey into EVT, I’ve learned a lot of things not only in the field of voice, but also in my attitude toward life. I’ve certainly learned a lot about myself personally! Here are some of things that this EVT journey has taught me.

Letting go of your ego.

The great ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus said “It’s impossible to learn what you think you already know.” In the past, while obtaining the certification through teaching observations, and in the present where I stand as an Estill Master Trainer leading practice groups, I’ve gotten lots of feedback from EMCIs and the participants. Sometimes, my ego gets bruised and yes, it’s painful. In order to progress, learn, and grow, I have to accept the feedback.

Challenge yourself

My journey with Estill Voice Training started in 2012. I attended a one-day course led by EMCI Anne-Marie Speed for a year and it has completely changed my perspective on voice. It gave me the dream to help the Korean voice users sing beautifully with EVT and it inspired me to pursue Estill Master Trainer certification with a brave spirit. Since there was no Korean EMCI, I visited four different countries. I wound up visiting London, England six times in five years! As a non-native speaker, I had a fear of leading native English speakers during my teaching observations. It was mentally and financially challenging process, the result has grown my faith and endurance in myself, giving me a great sense of accomplishment. Above all, it broadened my horizons in the voice field.

Build companionship

In the EVT community, we have a wealth of chances to meet various people from several countries. The courses introduced to some good friends from England, Italy, and beyond, and we keep in touch to share our passions. My certification journey would have felt much longer and more difficult without the friends who kept supporting and encouraging me. The EVT community is also a great help to me as a new and young EMT. As in many other countries, bel canto singing technique is deeply ingrained in Korea, while Estill is still new and unheard of. It is wonderful to connect with others around the world as we bring Estill Voice Training to singers and audiences everywhere.

Be honest and respect others

This may be the most important point for me this year, and here’s why: In order for the lessons to work, I must be truly honest with myself. If you’re not honest with yourself, you will limit your growth and lower your chances of success. After I became an Estill Master Trainer, I found I still had a lot to learn about EVT Community policies and communicating with colleagues. Through trial and error, and with help from my mentors, I learned to look back at the past, admit my faults and mistakes, and set goals to improve for a better future.

Be Brave. Take Risks. Nothing Can Substitute Experience. – Paulo Coelho

Whether I achieve my dream or not, these life lessons will help me in my life. In the meantime, I’m proud of the things I’ve achieved on this journey so far. Korea has now hosted Estill Voice Training Level 1 & 2 courses twice, and the first EMT candidate group will begin this year. I just can’t wait to see more Koreans discover how their voices work and recognize they already have a beautiful voice!

About the Author

Min-jeong Kim is a vocal coach and the first Korean Estill Master Trainer. She is a professor at the Musical Theatre department in Kyungbok University. She is a member of the academic board of KAVPA – Korean Association of Voice.

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