Today I had my first singing lesson.
A professional singing teacher and friend through the local Am Dram group (we were in a play together in the autumn) has taken me under her wing and offered to help me find my singing voice. Apparently from today's session I have a big voice, which is a Good Thing but needs discipline. (Or maybe I am just a noisy bossy type!)
I remember going with a group of us to sign up for the school choir which had just lost a lot of people leaving school and so weren't being fussy about who they took on. After a couple of times I was asked to mime - I was bad, but worse than that I was enthusiastic and loud enough to drag those around me off piste too.
Yep, you did read that right - I wasn't asked to leave, they were keen enough to have bodies on stage, so I could stay if I mimed! Didn't see the point of that and left of my own accord. Since then I have believed that I can't sing. Not the greatest problem in the world - I can't catch a ball either - but it does have an impact in this job. I have had funeral hymn solo moments, and it would be good to share new music with congregations but that takes enough confidence to lead it from the front.
So having some faith in my voice would be helpful for work - but more than that it attacks the ideas I have which focus on all the things I can't do. As a child/teen I was told by the bullies that I was ugly, and no-one would ever fancy me; I had been bulllied at first in primary school because of my speech therapy, and then told my attempts to sing were a distraction and to mime. Is it any wonder that my confidence and self esteem were low!
We can go through adult life in a trimmed down version of ourselves - wings clipped by those ideas others put on us in our early days. Or we can gradually spread our wings and find that the bullied ugly duckling is actually a swan.
I stood in the music room today struggling to believe that I could have a trainable, useable singing voice - but if I dare to believe and work at it who knows what is possible? Okay so I might be a bit too busy for X factor or Pop/Opera Idol, but if I can reach the point of believing in myself and singing with confidence in church that will suit me fine.
So I will be practising my suppressed yawn (to get the 'open throat') and my posture, and if you hear a scream or shout it is just me finding my full volume and range!