What is that extraordinary singing experience, and where does it come from? Is it a moment? Is it magic?
We sing different kinds of music and we sing in different situations, but we can all relate to the feeling of not being enough, of not having enough time, of not doing what we could.
And then... things change.
Nan has allowed me to share this beautiful story with you. Read it and see how this applies to you:
I can’t begin to tell you the journey with trying to work in the lessons. I am 71 and a nurse 24/7 along with my husband in a care home for the sick and terminally ill. I am also the mother of 10 children --all girls and all with beautiful voices. Anyway, I am also a Cantor at my church and have been having a lot of trouble with my throat being raspy and other difficulties. One Sunday while cantering, I was having this trouble and apparently other troubles as well. I thought I had covered my mistakes well, but I apparently was not successful, because my daughter who was at the same Mass gave me an unusually big hug with a sympathetic look on her face. I said, “What’s wrong?” Reluctantly she told me that a person beside her said, “I’ll give you $20 bucks to go up there and replace her!“ She had such a look on her face. I couldn’t believe it. I have cantered for years!
That did it and I was determined to take some kind of voice lessons. I saw lots of things online, and then I stumbled on your presentation on YouTube. From the moment you opened your mouth and began to speak I was sold. Your voice and attitude was so caring for those you were working with (students) and I was given some assurance in my heart that you were sincere. I just had to find the money to join your students. So, I bought the lessons and joined The Singing Zone! I believed that you were going to give me a new chance. I had sung all my life and I was losing it!
I joined and that is another story. Trying to get going was an unbelievable war zone for me. Time, money, sickness, you name it, stopped me but I finally began! Oh boy, how silly did I feel with the AAAAHHHHH and other exercises. I was exposed to the whole world it seemed! I kept getting interrupted. It was extremely frustrating. I kept saying to the girl in customer service. Don’t give up on me. Please! So the point of this story is that I feebly got through lesson one and listened to lesson two and three but did not have any time to really work with them. This I say with all sincerity. I tried and became sad because I felt like such a failure.
But, I remembered your encouragement and your patient way of teaching. The best I could seem to do was to go back and begin to refresh lesson one and lesson two before I would be called to cantor.
This last Saturday night it was my turn again and when I began to practice I was mortified! I quivered, I tightened up, I screeched, I strained and I could not get over it. Then I remembered the “relax”; “AAAAAHHHHH”; “ brrrrrrr”; “Loosen up”;. No time to finish practicing at home. I went to the church hoping to practice there. I got to the church and took a deep breath and prayed. But when I got there everything that could go wrong did, and I had no time to practice and set the “key”. It was time and I was scared!
This is no joke, but just then your face popped up before me in my mind’s eye, and I felt calm as I could hear that calming voice in my head, just like a coach. “Breathe” I said, “relax! Loosen that jaw. Now feel the muscles in your face, just relax!“ Then I began to sing! Oh My! It was clear as a bell, strong, with a meaningful delivery and every time during Mass when I got even a little apprehensive, I could hear you coaching me. This was an awesome experience and a total surprise.
I received so many compliments that night. But even more, the Lord was glorified.
I guess, the big story is that if the lessons can make that kind of a difference in that short amount of time and with the small amount of practice and lesson time, just think what really taking advantage of everything you give us would do!!!! I have told this story to encourage others. You can use it if you want to.
How does this story apply to you? What is your takeaway? Please share your thoughts and an extraordinary singing experience below.