Monday, September 23, 2013

Sing out, Louise!

So, the singing lessons...

I wish I had something exciting and conclusive to report. As if the instructor shouted, "Holy Mother of God! Get thee to 'America's Got Talent,' STAT!"

Or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, that she shook her head, eyed me with a pitying gaze and mumbled, "I would suggest--strongly--that this lesson be your last. Put us both of our misery, please, right now." At least then I'd have closure.

But, no. My second lesson just rather sputtered and fizzled.

I didn't feel I proved horrific, but I'm pretty certain I didn't display much promise either. My teacher's outward reaction was best described as ambivalent: erring on the side of "Hmm."

She hinted that I take my sheet music for "Moon River" and see if any local jazz vocalists might be willing to work with me on it. She didn't mention coming back for a third lesson, until I brought up the idea. I said I would consider it and get back to her.

Granted, I discovered she is an opera singer, and my area of interest is way outside of her expertise. (For example, she wasn't familiar with the song "You've Got a Friend," which I consider a contemporary classic.) Also, I had explained The 52/52 Project to her, and she knew I was likely not in this for the long-run. 

As lovely and immensely talented as she is, we probably aren't a good match, even if I happen to possess even a glimmer of promise.

Which is still exceedingly questionable.

The real question comes down to this: Is this something I want to continue to pursue?

I'm not so sure. Perhaps I could seek out another teacher to help me hone the voice skills I have, however minimal they may be. Or, the voice lessons might go the way of my belly-dancing lessons. I may tell myself I gave it a shot, but that it's just not my thing.

If so, I've reassured myself I didn't fail. In many ways, singing in front of a stranger--seriously giving that experience my all without taking my usual escape route of hamming it up for humor--required me to push my personal boundaries further than any single item on my 52/52 list thus far. And that's what this project is all about.

Thirty-two new experiences remain on my list. The year still holds many opportunities for me to expand my horizons. I'll laugh through some, whimper through others.

One thing I've learned these last few months is there is no shame at all in putting myself out there--and then choosing to move on.

Can you keep a tune? What talent do you wish you possessed, most of all? When do you know it's time to throw in the towel?


  1. Try a jazz teacher, Sherry! It could be New Experience Part B (not that you don't have enough to do).

    I can keep a tune, as long as someone else has it, too. I wish I could paint . . . And I think it's time to throw in the towel when what you're doing isn't fun any more.

    1. I have no idea what happened with my ID . . .

    2. Part B is an option... And yes, having fun makes anything seem worthwhile!

  2. Whoa, she doesn't know "You've Got A Friend?" She's just not the teacher for you. That said, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with trying something and then moving on. In fact, I hope you expand on that point when you write this chapter for the book, because it's such a common occurrence that most of us don't even recognize.

    I know for a fact that I often do not try things because (a) I know I won't be good at it (like real singing!) so why bother, and (b) it would be a waste of time and money to take lessons if I'm not "serious" about it. Imagine what I've missed (AM missing) with that thought process...

    1. But think about all the things you didn't waste your time with? ;-)

  3. I couldn't carry a tune with a fork lift and an end-loader.

    Seriously, she didn't know "You've Got a Friend?" Sounds like one of those people that never heard of MASH because they only watch PBS.

    1. Actually, she's a very nice and warm person--she's just focused on a much narrower type of music.

      A fork-lift and an end-loader, eh? I guess it wouldn't matter how off-key you were. Maybe that's a good option for my back-up music...