Taking Risks

I recently returned from the 9th Annual Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal Pedagogy Institute in Winchester, VA. This was my second time going, and it was once again an inspirational and informative experience. It was nice to meet so many wonderful teachers and singers and make personal connections.

I took two classes that helped me move out of my comfort zone: Pop/Rock Styles, and Speaking and Singing with the Same Voice. In these classes I witnessed many people trying new things. In the Pop/Rock class in particular, I hesitated, but eventually volunteered to sing a song. I was glad I did. ALMOST everyone else did too. I couldn’t help noticing that a couple of people who are on university faculties did not, however. I wondered what must be going through their heads. Were they afraid of looking incompetent? Were they simply scared? I definitely get nervous singing in front of a bunch of singing teachers, but it feels so good to feel the fear and do it anyway. It makes future singing easier.

With the Pop/Rock class, I knew that my competence was low, but my desire to learn was high, since I have so many singers in my studio who sing in these styles. Instead of just demonstrating isolated sounds for students, I want to go further in interpreting and performing in these styles, and to figure out which songs or subgenres would fit me vocally. Mission accomplished! After I sang “Yesterday” by Paul McCartney, I received suggestions to look over Coldplay and Radiohead. Radiohead would be geezers of about my age and Coldplay would be a vocal style of a more current band, so sounds good to me! And I think more Beatles is in my future.

OK, time to prepare for tomorrow’s art song coaching…


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