Thursday, November 11, 2010
A New Adventure
I don't remember a time when I didn't love to sing. I always felt like I sang quite well. I remember when I was about 6 or 7 years old I would sit out on a rock in the front of my family's yard in Washington and sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to myself. In my imagination, that rock was HUGE and my signing was FABULOUS! Later in life, when I was 11 years old, I was accused of having a radio at my desk at school........"I don't have a radio" "Well, where was that music coming from?" "Well..... I was singing?" I guess I wasn't singing soft enough. It was around this same time that I realized that I could sing pretty high, and that I enjoyed singing high and loud, this realization came during Signing Time at Church. Flash forward 22 or more years and now I am the chorister, leading the children at church during singing time and I hope, hope, HOPE that there are kids out there each Sunday who are discovering that they love music, and love to sing, just like I did.
With that background, I will now tell you all about my new adventure. As of today I am a voice teacher. A few weeks ago a friend in my neighborhood asked me if I might be willing to teach voice lessons to her daughter. I at first said that I really couldn't do that. Yes, I had taken plenty of voice lessons and I have studied music, but I didn't feel qualified to teach lessons. A day or so passed and I kept thinking about it, Could I ? I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn't go back to sleep, my brain had turned on. It was what my brain was telling me that surprised me. It was saying, not only can you teach voice lessons, but this is how you could do it and this is what you could teach. I got out of bed and wrote an entire page of instructions for myself and I happily went back to sleep. I contacted my friend and told her that I had changed my mind, I outlined the types of things I would be able to teach her daughter and asked her if what I had to offer was what she was looking for, and to my surprise she said it was perfect.
My main fear about teaching was that I don't play the piano well- and all of my voice teachers played the piano during our lessons and once I got to college I had to hire an accompanist to play during my voice lessons. That has always been my hang up, If you don't play the piano you can't teach. But the impression that woke me up very clearly told me that I could use mp3 accompaniments, it would be lacking in some areas but it would work well for my needs. I also was impressed that I could very easily teach the basics of Music Theory and Singing and as my friends daughter is 10 years old, what she needs is the basics. My goal is to introduce her to theory, sight-singing/reading music and proper vocal/breathing techniques and my hope is that through the process of learning these things she will gain more self confidence and feel and know that she is special.
I feel like I have been lead in the right direction as I looked for theory books I could use and tried to come up with lesson plans. Our first lesson today went quite well. In fact my friend has told me that her daughter was "On Cloud 9" when she returned home, I loved to hear that because I too was on cloud 9! I think I could really do this, I am not sure how much of a demand there will be but if all goes well I might be willing to take on a few more students. I know that true voice coaching is something best suited for kids who are older, I think I started at 16 which for me was a great age, but I also think that what I am teaching, theory and the basics of sight singing and music reading are things that people need to know prior to starting vocal training, and I think that I can provide some pretty good training in those areas.
I am happy. I am hopeful. I feel so very blessed.