Thursday, April 22, 2010

Voice Lessons from Heavy Metal Hair Dude

Oh, what an interesting little road I am traveling!

On Tuesday night, I received voice lessons from a third vocal teacher, this being the heavy metal hair dude pictured on the far left.

His name is Nathaniel, and he leads a heavy metal band called Winter's Mistress.

I've always seen him around, for he not only stands out in a crowd but also was on the periphery of some of my friends' friends' friend lists.

I encountered him last week at a record shop.  He was excited to hear about my band, and--before long--he was offering to give me a voice lesson or even drop by one of our band practices, if we wanted.

Despite our massive musical differences, he was gracious in listening to me sing the Flyleaf covers I preferred and critiqued me with honesty.   I sang, sang, and re-sang each song for him until his head bobbed and he raised a pumped fist with glory to indicate that I had finally nailed it.  He showed me how to sing falsetto, and he defined success as a great show, followed by free burgers paid for by the band fund.  How simple and spot-on he is!

By the end of the night, he said, "You've got what it takes.  You don't need me.  You just need to keep singing until you grow more in confidence."  Yay!  I was so excited to hear that.

My first volunteer vocal teacher was my friend Jesse, a classical musician who is a professor by day and a composer by night.  His knowledge of music theory is incredible.  With him, I was a horrible student, for I was terrified of singing in front of him.  He was only the second person in my entire life who had ever heard me sing.  His great sense of humor began to break me out of my shell.

This past Saturday, I had my first paid lesson with a professional, and we'll continue to work together every week.  My teacher is a brilliant, middle-aged woman who has traveled the country, singing in opera houses and teaching others voice.  Her studio is well-equipped, and we have our lesson with a beautiful upright piano there to help.  She had me singing scales and doing various vocal techniques to get my singing and speaking/teaching voice in the proper place, which--she says--is a whole lot higher than I thought!

I loved every second of my lesson with her.  It was soooo enjoyable and I learned so much about myself and how music should feel as it comes out of my body.  She said that I hit all the notes she wanted me to.  She said I sang on pitch, have a good range, already breathe properly, and said that I am a high soprano!

Thank you, Jesus, for my vocal chords.  I pray that I may develop my talent to serve you.  May I grow in confidence without pride!