So excited to be performing at the Gate 403 next Sunday. I've been working really hard to get the singing thing together. It's been a very long road, but is finally feeling really good and comfortable (almost). Funny how singing is seen as something you're born able to do or not. I was definitely in the category of "not able" for most of my life. It was really the only thing I was ever told I couldn't do, somehow it's all I really wanted to do. After many years of training in music as a saxophonist- a bachelor's degree and college diploma, I finally felt it was time to pursue my real dream. That was about 12 years ago! Of course with 2 young children and a full time job that was easier said than done. I didn't really put in serious time until the last few years. There were a few hurdles to jump over along the way!
The short version is that I ended up seeing speech pathologist Aaron Low who has been helping relieve the laryngeal tension that I have built up over the years- when I first started with him it was locked in place! Finding out that singing well and in tune had been physically impossible for quite some time was shocking, but answered some important questions. It didn't really make sense that with a strong musicality and many years of training that I wouldn't be able to get closer to the pitch! Maybe I could actually do this! Thank goodness for a full time job with benefits, laryngeal massage is not cheap!
Studying with the very patient and always encouraging Shanon Gunn was amazing. I learned a lot from her, but unfortunately couldn't afford regular lessons. And my girls were still small. No time, no money. But things started to improve. Also, within the same time frame I took the Kodaly and Orff teaching courses. Those are both vocal heavy programs and helped my understanding of vocal production and confidence.
One of the hardest things has been getting over the need to be perfect. It's hard to do things as an adult and in a field that I know a lot about. The sound that I had in my head was definitely not coming out of my mouth. I felt almost apologetic every time I sang in public. I couldn't shake the idea that the audience was wondering why I would bother singing when I clearly wasn't very good. A hard mindset to shake.
Fast forward to the summer of 2012. I took a summer singing course at the MNJCC- SICA. It's basically a week long summer camp for adults. That's where I met Micah Barnes. It took about a year before I had the courage to contact him and arrange some lessons. Now that my kids are more independent and I'm working a little less I have time to practice. And honestly, there's no way I would show up at a lesson with Micah without practicing! One lesson although prepared, I had not done a lot of work with the CD that he made me of the previous lesson. He knew within the first 10 minutes of the lesson that I hadn't been practicing with the disc and called me out!
So here I am today. Finished a new demo to shop around. Feeling very proud of my progress and ready to share the results. I've replaced those negative thoughts with all the great feedback I've gotten and am working on not really caring what other people think. Not easy. But I feel so lucky to be able to sing now that I can focus on how much fun it is!
So come hear me at Gate 403 on Dec. 15th! I know I'll be enjoying myself :)