Musical is never a word I have used to describe myself. Somehow my brother and sister both manage to be not just not tone deaf but an impressive guitar player (brother) and vocalist (sister). I took kazoo in grade 8. That is still the extent of my skill. Reading music is not a skill I possess. Much to my disappointment, I am not a musical prodigy-who-just-never-got-the-chance nor did I discover a latent gift of perfect pitch. Although, according to this long and tedious tone test I’m average at whatever it is they happen to be testing (musical memory and relative note comparison?).
All of this build up to say: I’m taking voice lessons. It is probably a little late for me but I’m willing to try (sorry voice teacher). You’re wondering where I get all this money to spend frivolously on voice lessons during my masters. This is the great part: it is FREE! There is a class at UofT for music students called Vocal Pedagogy. It is a class where music students learn to teach voice lessons. In order to teach, of course, they need students. Poor girl. I had the first lesson of 8 last night and she has her work cut out for her. Luckily it is overall improvement not absolute final product we’re looking at. My part of the bargain is to show up for 8 lessons, practice at home on my own (which may be difficult without much of an ear for notes on my part) and allow one lesson to be videotaped and perform (PERFORM?!?) my two pieces for her prof at the end. Oh boy.
As for the lessons themselves they are hard work. On my first day I’m trying to remember to breathe with my abdomen, keep my head in the right posture, feel vibrations in my face, tuck my tongue behind my teeth to get a bright* eeee (IPA now people: /i/) sound and be louder.
The first day we did scales. And she made me sing Oh Canada right off the bat to get an idea of my voice…yikes. One big thing I need to work on is not second guessing myself when trying to hit a note she plays on the piano. Or worrying less about sounding really really bad, I suppose. Next week I find out my “repertoire”.
*I cannot for the life of me really understand this term in any applicable sense. I’m working on it.