The Voice Lesson

He had me on my back in less than a minute. Well, maybe that’s exaggerating a bit much, but within the first ten, that’s for sure. I felt completely safe as he put a book on my stomach and asked me to make it go up. When I’d come in, there was a dark color to my low range, and he was trying to help me lighten up. He took the tension out of my shoulders, my throat, my chest… In short, I realized how far I’d come as a singer, and how far I still have to go.

My abuser has a gorgeous voice, and it tickled me that I still tried to fit in some of her appoggiaturas and other stylistic choices, such as forgetting the words and making them up, along with forgetting how to count in the middle of a phrase and making up the rhythm, too. My abuser may be my abuser, but she also taught me what it was like to fly.

The more I got warmed up, the higher I went. My B and C floated off and I fell in love with my voice teacher a little bit… As sopranos do when someone shows them the way to an even higher range.

Then my voice teacher and I started working on options for solos at church. First, we did “The Lord is My Sheperd,” by John Rutter. I wish I could remember the name of the other two, because I was so familiar with the Rutter than I wanted to sing something else to strain my brain. I chose the melody that got stuck in my head immediately like a mind worm.

I had to choose something I like and can get comfortable with, because once I’m in front of the congregation, there are so many things to think about that the words need to be muscle memory.

Even metaphorically, the book has to move.

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