Summer Voice Lessons

I think every artist needs challenge in their life in order to move forward, and that’s why I really enjoy my voice lessons in the summer. This summer, I only get to squeeze two in, but I’m thankful for them either way. I had my first one this Wednesday, and even though I haven’t seen my teacher in a year, I feel really good about where I am.

Since I grew up in a pretty quiet house, where people didn’t really sing often, and I was shy in school, I really never experimented with my voice much. I had no idea that I was even capable of filling a room with my voice until very recently. The first time I actually let go enough to my fullest volume, it scared the crap out of me, and even my teacher’s eyes bugged out a little.

I was just telling one of my students today a story about my freshman year of college, when during a sight singing test, my professor stopped me right in the middle of a phrase:

Dr. N: “What instrument do you play?”

Me: “viola and piano”

Dr N.: “OH. That’s why you never breathe”

At the time, I had no idea what he was trying to say, but when I finally took voice class with my teacher a few years later, it ALL clicked, and my voice studies have improved my piano playing, because (as I was saying to my student) I play much less like a robot. So basically, I feel like learning atleast a little voice is important for any musician, it keeps you human 😉

“Dolente immagine di Fille mia” by Bellini

This is the song I have to learn for next week. I used to really hate singing in Italian (I think it’s the flipped and rolled R’s that don’t appeal to me).

I’m working on expanding my horizons and not sticking only to German/French (the two languages I semi-understand).

Translation (I think this is only partially accurate, I’d have to grab my book to give a better one)

Sorrowful image of my Phillis,
why do you sit so desolate beside me?
What more do you wish for? Streams of tears
have I poured on your ashes.

Do you fear that, forgetful of sacred vows,
I could turn to another [lit.: that I might burn by another flame]?
Shade of Phillis, rest peacefully;
the old flame [of love] cannot be extingushed.

Obviously I do not have the kind of control this woman has of my voice yet, but hey, maybe someday!

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