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I hate music! But I like to sing...

I hate music! But I like to sing...

I've hated and loved singing since I was 8 years old and was rejected in my first talent show audition.  I sang the same song that my best friend had performed the year before, and, either they didn't want to hear it again, or I just wasn't good enough.

Fast forward 10 years.  I was 18, in junior college, not sure what to do with the rest of my life.  On the first day of Music History class, the teacher put on a recording of Beethoven's 9th symphony.   The dark and stormy introduction began and Mr Salazar wrote Frustration. Then he wrote a grade on the board, a 'D'. We need something, something's missing.

My ears perked up. This teacher is different, this music is different.  I'd never been to a live classical performance or heard classical music played loudly before. 

He played the entire symphony, guiding us, judging the piece, moving the grades up from D to C to B. Its getting better... Then, in the 4th movement, we heard a voice! Ah this is it...this is what was missing.

I was not just intellectually engaged, I was in the middle of a full blown vision.  Light was pouring from somewhere above me and through my body and healing all of the dirty, nasty shamed places.  I felt whole. 

I wanted more of this joy so I took voice lessons.  I won a few local competitions, applied to San Francisco Conservatory of Music and was accepted!

On the morning of my senior year opera audition, I got a call.  "Your mother's in the hospital, she had an aneurysm in her brain.  She might not make it". 

During my mother's year of recovery, I somehow remained enrolled in college, dividing my time between traveling home and my studies.  I graduated with honors. And emotional scars.

I felt relieved that she had lived, but also angry and confused.  Music, which had healed me at 18, felt hollow at 24. So I quit singing for a few years and worked in marketing and medicine.

Then I decided to sing again.  I was terrified.  What if I open my heart again and she dies? 

I stared studying with a teacher who taught a method based on exercising independent muscle groups, and I only made noises for the first 3 months.  That was fine by me. Noises aren't scary, and I don't have to sound beautiful or perfect.  But then when she gave me my first piece of music, Mozart C Minor Mass with a 2 octave leap.  I nailed it. 

I was amazed at this method of singing.  Yes, I had to then work harder on line and breath control to sing increasingly difficult opera arias, but fundamentally, I knew how to sing, and I could figure out myself what was not working if my voice didn't sound or feel right.   I began listening to my voice with more curiosity and less judgement.

I started teaching voice in 2002, alongside my studies in Reflexology, Craniosacral Therapy and Massage.   My bodywork practice has helped me to bring both my singing and body awareness to a new level.  I began adding Jaw Massage and Craniosacral therapy to my voice lessons because it deeply relaxes my clients and connects them to their bodies.  And I'm thrilled when students who never thought they could sing suddenly tell me they've found their voice.

 

It is my vision to create a whole new school of singing based on peace and centeredness within, body and small muscle awareness without.  If you have a belief that you 'can't sing' or that you are afraid to sing, I can help you relax, breathe, get in touch with your body and make noise on pitch.  That's the basics of singing. Simple. Sweet.

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