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Making the Band 4 ~ Finding Your Voice

Posted in A Day in the Life, Making the Band | No Comments »

I haven’t seen this week’s rerun of Making the Band 4 yet, but the scene in which the girls from Danity Kane sing solo for the vocal coach is still running through my mind. The girls are so present in their vocal expression, and it reminded me of how far I’ve come in my own musical journey.

When I first decided that I wanted to be a singer, I kept it to myself – don’t ask me why. When friends (and strangers) learned that I sang, they would usually ask me to sing something on the spot. I’d hem and haw to try to get out of it, but I’d finally give in if it was dark outside, and they allowed me to turn the lights off – and sing in the bathroom.

Even after I first started singing on stage, singing to one person a capella was also difficult. Even if I was singing to describe a song I’d heard on the radio, I used this funny high-pitched voice which drove my boyfriend at the time crazy. He was an accomplished musician, and I felt very self-conscious singing around him.

Finally, the week before I moved to New York from Miami (with the accomplished musician boyfriend), I decided to practice introducing myself as a singer. I figured that most of the people I’d be meeting in NYC would be strangers, so I should get used to calling myself a singer. By the way, if you’ve ever moved to another city, it’s amazing how many new people you meet right before you leave, so I definitely got lots of practice.

So during this week, I meet a guy in Miami and tell him I’m a singer. He says, “That’s great. Show me what you got!” And I immediately went back to my hemming and hawing mode. I didn’t get too far before he finally said something I’ll never forget: “Singers sing! If you want to be a singer, you have to be able to sing at the drop of a dime, with no hesitation.” And as much as that message stung at the time, I knew he was right. So I sang for him – right there on the sidewalk, in broad daylight. And since that day 13 years ago, I sing for anyone who wants to hear, no hesitation. And I also sing for myself, around the house, in the subway, and of course, on stage. Now I won’t shut up! And this is how I finally found my voice.

Any other singers out there want to chime in on your journey to free vocal expression??

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