I had fun at my voice lesson today. Those are words I never thought I would say.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m taking a beginner’s voice class at my local community college in order to satisfy my last requirement to earn a Music Supplement to my teaching credential. Learning, and trying to master my singing voice never held a shred of interest to me. The thought of taking a voice class seemed absolutely terrifying, so when I discovered that there was no way to get my supplement without it, I made my brother, Kevin, take it with me.
I left each of the first three class sessions knowing in my heart that I would never come back. I even thanked Kevin for trying with me, but told him I would understand if he wanted out. I just could not see myself actually singing to my classmates at the front of the classroom, not to mention singing solo in the concert hall for three recitals. Nope, there was no way I would do it. That is, until I heard others sing.
Most of the students in my class could hold a decent tone; but no one was amazing. Some people sang soft or pitchy, and others were just flat out bad. If anything, I knew I wouldn’t be the worst singer in the class.
A friend I met during my Peace Team adventure back in ‘03 nicknamed me “Horse Whisperer” because while goofing off and singing out of a hymnal book we’d found, she noticed that although I was whispering out my songs, I was actually singing pretty well. I never took her compliment to heart until I entered this class. I started thinking that maybe her words were more than just a friendly opinion, since I knew I could sing better than a handful of the kids in my class.
The first day that I bit the bullet and sang in front of my peers, I was shaking so much I thought for sure everyone could hear it in my voice. However, I was told that I sounded good, I got some decent feedback from my teacher, and most importantly, once I was done, I felt relieved because I knew without a doubt that I would be able to handle the rest of the semester.
The class sessions have since become enjoyable for me, and I’m learning more about my voice and pushing it to places that I never thought it could go. I’m also finding it easier and easier to sing in front of my class. While the nerves will never dissipate completely, I don’t let them fill me with terror like they used to. I’ve already sung successfully in one recital, and my second recital will be on Monday. After today’s individual voice lesson, I’m feeling confident, prepared, and actually eager to sing. Who would’ve thought?