Today was my second vocal lesson and I'm already feeling a lot more confident in what I might accomplish if I stick with it. We worked on seeing how far I could sing along with scales using a variety of sounds. I went ~2 octaves and my instructor thinks I can go farther still, both high and low. All these techniques for focusing on projecting sound, for imagining sounds, and paying attention to the shape of your mouth, and where the sounds sort of resonant inside your body is all oddly fascinating to me.
This was the range I did today while keeping my voice in harmony with the piano. Exciting stuff!
I'm hoping I will soon be able to look back on this starting point in signing the way I look back at starting piano and being amazed at how far I've come in so short a time period. I wish I'd not fallen out of playing music for so many years...I would be so much farther. But I can't undo that so I suppose there's no sense fretting over it. Eyes forward!
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Today, after years of being too terrified to take the step, I went to my first voice lesson. And it was a freakin' blast.
When I arrived I was really hoping there would be no one else there, that no one would be able to see me, and that we would be in an air-tight room where no sound could enter nor escape. Obviously not a single one of those hopes came true. But part of the reason I wanted to do the class was I thought it might help me with my shyness, so what better way to put that to the test. I'm 33, it's time I stopped being shy. I managed to make it through without fainting or voiding any bowels or anything else that fear might cause a person, so I call that a victory. I was slightly comforted when I entered and this tiny little 6 year old said in a cute voice, "hi! I take singing lessons just like you!"
Who knew there was so much going on with the voice. Head shape, neck length, how you picture sounds, all sorts of things I never imagined mattered. I don't know what I truly expected out of such a class, but I think it involved an instructor just going, "okay do what you just did, but try to make it sound good."
The majority of the class was discussing what to expect, my experience level, my goals, and so forth. I was really put at ease during that portion so when the actual work rolled around I didn't completely freak out. Okay, I'm making that dramatic. It wasn't bad at all, I just had built it up to be a lot more intimidating than it was. I was given the option to either try and harmonize with piano scales, or sing a song I thought I was good at singing. Obviously I went with the former.
The exciting news is that she said I hit every note almost perfectly, I only had trouble when switching from a chest voice to a head voice, which she tells me quite common and that I corrected for the problem quickly. We did a little over an octave and a half, and she said she thinks I'll be able to go a bit higher as well as probably a lot lower, so maybe I'm not as big a lost cause as I thought. I'm pretty pumped about the whole ordeal. There's little I love more than belting out a favorite tune. This gives me a lot more confidence to try and write music someday.
Interestingly, I warned her I might be a troublesome student because I have no uvula... or the "hangy-down thingy in your throat" as people tend to call it. I figured since that causes problems with me doing certain things like rolling letters, that it would be an issue. But she believes it will actually be a boon and seemed super excited to use me as an experiment to see how high she can get me hitting notes. Evidently I'm her first uvula-less student. Finally a positive side to not having that thing, hooray. Hopefully her theory is correct.
Thankfully I made it out without her requesting to hear my Aaron Neville impression, which earlier in the class she'd said she wanted to hear. Bullet dodged for now. Not that I'm worried because my Aaron Neville impression is amazing.
All in all, a fantastic experience and I'm glad I finally went. I'm looking forward to next week. Ariel will be back teaching piano and I'll get my next vocal lesson which I'll feel considerably more confident at. Good times.
Getting back into music has really been a wonderful move for my life. It's not only opened me up to a lot of other things, but I had forgotten just how much I like playing instead of simply listening. And nothing makes me feel more alive than learning new things.
"She's the sea I'm sinkin' in"