The Roles I Play As Artist and Teacher
and how I got here by Elif Batman
October 2002, I was 7 years old, the sun was shining and me and my friends were dancing on a table that we used as our very own stage outside my kindergarden to ‚Aserje‘ by Las Ketchup. I vividly remember what an impact that song had on me. I spent my childhood watching music videos on MTV and VIVA. All the performers, artists and musicians inspired me to the deepest and awakened the desire within me to make others as happy as they made me. I started dancing in primary school and joined the choir and band later in high school.
In 2013, during my senior year in high school, I went to a casting for a talent show at the train station in the next city with my cousin. I wasn’t prepared and did not even tell my mother but later on I had to because I was only 17 years old and needed the permission of a parent to take part. It’s funny that in 2002 the first episode of ‚German Idol’ was broadcasted on german TV for the first time and while I watched every episode I manifested that I will be a contestant on that show 10 years later unconsciously.
So I called my mama and begged her to allow me to sing in front of the jury. I told her „Mom I’m sure I will not be selected anyway! I just wanna sing, please let me.“ She gave in. Little did I know that the most adventurous time in my life had begun.
It didn’t take long before I was invited to the following castings and was supposed to perform with cameras in front of the main jury. Everything happened very quickly and appeared like a dream to me. I got the chance to visit Cuba, gather experience on a big stage and with cameras, get to know many talented and interesting people and overall develop myself as a personality and future artist. I just turned 18 back then and was still a senior when the live shows had begun and I was a part of them. Luckily, most of the show took place during the holidays but gladly, I brought school and the show under one roof.
I graduated from High School but was not sure what to study so I decided to took a creative year, explore my talents and work on a plan. I thought about studying fashion design, archeology, English literature but never took into considering studying music and making it a part of my whole life and future. I found an interesting degree course at the university in the next big city though and tried my chance. I took part in the entrance examination and told myself that if I will be accepted I am going to choose making and working with music for a living and if not I will quit. The universe wanted me to continue because I was accepted to be a music education student in popular music.
From then I could get the education that I always wanted and needed in order to communicate my art. I learned to sing technically correct and dealt with musicological and music educational topics. I got piano lessons and taught myself to play the guitar.
I learned to educate and train my own students and to work with their vocal needs and strengths. It makes me happy that while I can expand my students skills I expand my own skills at the same time. It is always a give and take. Vocal coaching is not only working on the vocal cords but also a helpful training to master and use the whole instrument, the body, correctly and utilize its full potential. My students vary from young to middle-aged people. I wanna emphasize that singing can be learned and I am happy to accompany every singer’s journey because each is so special and unique.
Earlier I mentioned communicating my art. This part is very important to me because I feel art and music in every cell of mine. As an artist I constantly contemplate about what concerns me and continuously get visions of ideas and sceneries that I try to display in my auditory and visual artwork. I am thankful that I learned to use my craft and finally get to put what I feel inside to the outside world. Art is communication and therefore I am happy to announce that I will publish one song out of my debut EP „ÂURORA“ under the artist name Âlif (ألف /a.lɪf/) soon this year. I hope to be a voice for my sisters and that’s why I dedicate „ÂURORA“ to all of these goddesses of the dawn out there.
Both being a teacher and an artist, are roles of an exchange. Giving and taking. Educating and learning. Getting inspired and igniting the spark.
I am right here for this.
Musician, Singer-Songwriter, Vocal Coach
Academy Fellow 2021