Friday, May 27, 2011

Volume Knob

I alluded to an aha moment the other day. Let me elaborate.

I have been studying singing again. Ever since Jay died it's been hard to get the gumption. He was such a great match for what I needed that I despaired of finding anyone else. Not to mention missing the ever-loving hell out of him. Almost two years ago a friend, who had been recommending her singing coach to me for ages, finally snapped and said, "Here is your birthday present. It is a lesson with my teacher. Use it." And she followed up time after time until finally a few months ago she said, "Would it help if I made the appointment for you?" It did. A lot.

And this teacher has been wildly generous not only with her talent but her time and her policies as well. We didn't see each other for a few weeks because of my funereal traveling and when we got back together she gave me the gift of an extra session to get us back on track. On my way out of the lesson I had the aforementioned revelation.

Good things come from my singing. When I plan to sing people come to hear it (lots of people), they offer their voices and instruments and time. Jay undercharged me routinely and music directed for my shows and produced two songs for my CD for no extra fee. My first singing teacher in NYC would go as much as an hour over our scheduled time so we could get more done. Carolann and Mark have spent hours rehearsing and have, more than once, driven great distances to allow me to pretend I have my very own band. Alex has gifted me with recording time, space and expertise among other musical things.

And it's happening again. Julie felt I needed to be singing so strongly that she made the appointment for me. Elynn is exactly who I need. At the same time Julie was making my appointment I also won a session with another coach at a benefit for Audio Girl. All signs point to SING.

I'm only just noticing this.

Sometimes I'm a little slow.

Last night I got up in front of people and sang for the first time in a number of years. I think the last time was at Auntie Blanche's funeral. Carolann runs an open mic at the Christopher Street Coffee House once a month. I've never sung at an open mic before but I really just wanted to get up, sing one song and go to a corner to think about it. That's what you do at open mics, right? Turns out that you can do that but it's not exactly how things usually go. It's OK, next time I can do it the way they expect.

Even there when I sang good things happened. Many of the attendees are songwriters singing their own songs. I explained that I was doing another person's work but couldn't remember the woman's name. Immediately a man gave me her name, Annie Dinerman. Later another man spoke of her to me and gave me a qualified compliment. I found out by the end of the night that he rarely gives out any kind of compliment so I should treasure it. I thanked another performer for his work and he said, "You too, you should sing more." Finally, an old friend who happened to be open micing it, too, offered to accompany me on his guitar if and when I'm ready for that.

If I was looking for confirmation that I was right about needing to be singing I should look no further. So, I'll sing. And, after today's lesson, apparently I'll be singing some things that are challenging for me. I might even be songwriting (NOOOOOOOO!) Watch this space. Soon I might ask you to turn the volume up.

Photos: 1. Carolann's new CD (available June 1) which I received in the mail today. I took the photos for the packaging. 2. My celebratory meal after last night's open mic.


  1. Ives ways enjoyed singing. It's the getting up and doing it in front people that's always bothered me. I am super proud of you.

  2. I'm so so so proud of you. Your inner rockstar is about to bust you in the rhymes if you don't let her out.

  3. Anonymous5:47 PM

    so fabulous. so glad. stepping out of your comfort zone is never easy, is it? but so good.