The Heroine’s Journey of Elisabeth Pawelke

What is the best thing that I love about my work? What I love about my job is that I can be so versatile and I can use every field of my education. As a singer, voice pedagogue and voice therapist I am currently working in various fields, both artistic, educational, therapeutic and scientific. I love being able to help people by identifying their needs and resources, to motivate and support them in their development. Be it in teaching at the university, in singing lessons or in voice therapy and coaching. At the same time, I love being creative and communicating on a musical level with the wonderful musicians I get to work with as well as with the audience. This kind of communication is like a language beyond words and touches me very deeply. So I hope that I can also touch other people with it. Every good concert, every good lesson always has something therapeutic for me at best. Therefore, these different areas are not separated for me, but connected on a deeper level and enriching each other.

What is my idea of happiness? When I feel that I can give people an impulse with my work which initiates a positive development in them, that makes me just as happy as creating something, be it a scientific text or a piece of music that I compose or practice. I feel just as much happiness when encounters happen on a musical level and a deep understanding between people, also in my private life. Music fulfills my need for harmony and has been releasing positive emotions in me since my childhood. I’m also happy when I feel free to go my individual way in life, develop my strenghts and enter a flow process during my activities.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Sometimes it is difficult for me to decide for one thing, although of course that also has advantages, such as versatility.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? As a singer, I admire Emma Kirkby or Lisa Gerrard, for example, who are pioneers in their musical fields. I admire equally brilliant scientists, philosophers, but also educators and therapists who have dedicated their work to creating something new, helpful, beautiful and relevant.

What is my greatest extravagance? I have a canopy bed from India.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I think it touches me personally the most when I am on stage and feel deeply connected with the music, the other musicians and the audience.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Of course it is a feeling of happiness when your works, such as CDs, are published and other people tell you how much they mean to them. So for example when the last album „Carmina predulcia“ of my ensemble Almara was released by the label Naxos. It was also a collaboration with experts of other disciplines, such as linguistics and art history. And all the other CDs with different ensembles as well, like with Faun, VocaMe or The Muses ́ Fellows. But it is just as important to me when I have been able to successfully support people on their individual path. I am also currently working on my doctoral thesis and hope to publish a book from it. Surely that would mean a lot to me as well.

Where would I most like to live? I am really happy to live in Bavaria, currently in Munich where I was born. But I could also imagine to move to another city or more to the countryside.

What is my most treasured possession? I think it’s my musical instruments, especially my beautiful Baroque triple harp.

What is my most marked characteristic? To motivate myself again and again and to want to learn something from every situation.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? For a long time it was the forest near the place I was born, but at the moment it’s also the park at a Palace, near which I am living since a couple of years.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? There are many 😉

What books influenced my life and how? Many specialist books on voice science, voice pedagogy and voice therapy. But also for example „Education needs personality“ by Gerhard Roth, „Music as speech“ by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, „The alchemist“ by Paulo Coelho or „Music“ by Hazrat Inayat Khan.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? The voice of a person I love.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Maybe Arwen in Lord of the Rings because of her devotion, her trust in love and in the good in mankind.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My parents and sister for being such strong, supportive and loyal persons. Besides musical heroes also people like Gandhi, Einstein and everyone working for human rights, respect, health, peace and the environment. It’s also the silent people who fight every day for other people’s lives or for educational or therapeutic advances, who are not appreciated and seen enough, but constantly devote their lives to their values. And for me, these are heroes and heroines, too. And also people who are not doing well themselves, but don ́t lose hope and try every day to make the best of their lives or that of others.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Baraka, it does not need words.

What role play stories in my life and work? I think stories in literature influenced me most when I was younger. They opened up a world of my own and stimulated my imagination. Since I believe that a strong imagination is a way to perceive something in yourself that you may not have experienced in real life, they can be very helpful in the process of recognition. As I am a singer I also tell stories and hope the words will have a positive effect on my listeners.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ mean to me? It means that we can take many things in our lives into our own hands and change something if we want to. Not only in our actions, but also in our thoughts. Imagination is also an essential factor to develop something and it is good to know its impact.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I think my family but also my close friends and my life partner.

Which people or companies would I like to work with? I would like to work with scientists and musicians of different fields, with universities and concert organisers. I am interested also in interdisciplinary and intercultural work.

What project am I looking forward to work on? Currently, I hope to complete and publish my doctoral thesis. I am also looking forward to new musical, scientific and pedagogical projects.

Where can you see me or my work? You can see it either online on Youtube, on Amazon but also on my personal website, on the website of my ensemble and live at a concert.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? For me it means that devotion to something you love is possible at any age. Passion is something that can keep a person alive, active, motivated and healthy. It gives meaning to life, drives people to great achievements and inspires others. It can create strong emotions and makes you spend all your money livelong on musical instruments 😉

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story? There are so many and for me it ́s basically all the people who try to bring their unique art to a higher level while not neglecting the communicating, human and at the same time uplifting aspect of music. So for example the extremely talented, creative and sensitive photographer Claudia Reiter who also made my pictures here.

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