This past year, I’ve ended my Wednesday night teaching schedule at the house of a fun young couple who inherited an incredible grand piano from a relative. They have the most beautiful space for it in their living room with 2-floor ceiling. There is a stunning chandelier that hangs from the ceiling above, and the husband even painted an incredible 10 ft x 8 ft abstract painting to hang on the wall beside it. He had to stretch the canvas himself and everything!
This couple is incredibly talented.
And, upon inheriting their piano, they decided to take lessons. The husband had taken lessons as a child, but nothing “stuck”, and the wife is a viola player.
Our first lesson, par for course, we went over the basics… where the notes are on the piano, where they are on the staff, and we had fun improvising (getting the fingers all moving!).
As the weeks went on, they grew incredibly in their abilities to where the husband could expertly play Moonlight Sonata, and the wife could play Vietnamese songs from her childhood with such skill!
But, one week the conversation changed from piano to voice. Both of them work in public speaking, and they thought that taking voice lessons would help them develop stamina and learn vocal health.
During the conversation, the wife shared that in elementary school, she had auditioned for the choir. The students were all scored based on how well they could sing, and she got the lowest points possible.
It scarred her so deeply that she decided to never sing again…. not in the shower, not in the car, not even humming. Never.
I can’t imagine that!
Now, when I start with a new student, I let them in on how I work: our lesson is a safe space to make mistakes, to try something new and hard, and to keep trying!
And, the truth I speak to my nervous voice students is this:
Everyone can sing, they just have to find the right song in the right key.
So many people compare themselves to singers on the radio (who, lets be honest… are processed and auto-tuned).
My goal is to help everyone find their voice, and to help them sing in a healthy way so that they can sing for their whole life.
So, I let my student in on all my thoughts, and we started with finding her range.
She could sing over an octave, all on pitch! For someone who has NEVER sung, I was super impressed with her!
Once we got the initial jitters out of the way, and with even more encouragement from her husband, she sang “You are my sunshine” perfectly.
It was so beautiful!
For Christmas? She is singing “Mary did you know”, and the sound that comes out of her is absolutely stunning. I get goosebumps every time!
I am just so blessed and honored to be a part of the story of this amazing woman finding her singing voice.
So, what about you?
Have you ever been told you couldn’t do something and you actually never tried again?
What would it feel like if you actually took a chance?