Monday, August 17, 2015

I'm working with an incredible voice teacher right now. 
I HEARD her sing first...and my mind was completely blown! Her voice was so high and light...beautiful the way it resonated off every part of the room. I'm so fortunate to now have her as my teacher.

I hadn't done much singing at all in the past year and a half {other than choir...which I LOVE!}. Plus, I lost my voice for several weeks while teaching in the classroom.  So, my singing voice, particularly my high notes, are no where near where they used to be...and it should be the opposite. I studied opera through part of high school, and all through college. I saw how my voice grew and developed, and now it's gone backwards.

Just like with ballet...if you don't use it, you lose it.

During the past several lessons I've had with this new teacher, I've been so frustrated with the fact that my high notes just don't come out anymore. I used to be able to hit, and sustain notes ABOVE high C...and to not even be able to get up to a C anymore has been disappointing. During warm ups, I try, and when it doesn't happen, I react with pure lack of confidence.

But today she said, "It's a risk. There's a vulnerability to it. And it's scary. But TAKE the risk...take the plunge. This is a safe space." 


The two scariest words in my vocabulary. And why?
I've wanted to enter voice competitions before...but I stop myself because I don't think I'm good enough.
I want to enter now, just for the experience...for the feedback...and because singing is FUN for me!

I have, like, TEN topics in my head to write about...but I stop myself from writing them, because I convince myself that no one actually wants to read what I have to say. 
The people who MATTER will read it...those people who really do care. And writing is FUN for me!

On my 101 in 1001 LIST, I said that I want to learn a ballet variation and perfect it...but then I think, what would be the point of that? I'm not going to be able to do it.
And why not? Why not just do it because it's FUN, and it's GOOD for me?

I was very underwhelmed by my own choreography this summer. My students all danced very well, but I couldn't get excited about my work this time. It felt very inadequate.
Okay? So? I'm growing as a choreographer all the time. So what if I've hit a "lull"...it can only become better, right?

I've taken the risk, and been vulnerable with people in my life. They eventually decide that they are tired of Emily's "ups & downs" and walk away.
Again...the people who MATTER will stay. The rest don't matter.

"Take the risk...Take the plunge."

After leaving college, I learned how to find a new sense of confidence. The way everyone saw me during my college years, and even before college, didn't matter anymore because I was a completely different person. All I cared about was who I was in THE NOW
What happened to that? Why is my fight or flight response ALWAYS *flight*...or *freeze*? Never *fight*.  My gut reaction is always, "But I don't think I can..."

Returning to singing was a good choice. I have a teacher who is going to push me to "the plunge"...and that's a very good thing right now. I'm gonna need that. 


  1. Emily, such a wonderful post! I am also a singer, so I can totally relate. When I was in college I went thru a season of frustration and fear as well. While reading your story, I could see myself back then struggling. Continue to push forward, be bold, brave, and vulnerable! God teaches us such wonderful lessons when we choose to look to him for strength.

  2. Lovely post! I hate feeling vulnerable but God has been teaching me so much about it.

  3. This could be my story, too. I was a music education major, and my primary instrument was voice. I spent many years of my life singing and taking voice lessons, but then when I started my teaching career, it all sat on the back burner. When I have tried to sing again, it's just not the same. It is about risk, isn't it? We have to be willing to make mistakes, which is SO HARD! Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Yes! I have been thinking so much about vulnerability lately. I actually just read a great book on it by Brene Brown, (it's called Daring Greatly....a great read!) Being vulnerable is so hard, but the only way we can accomplish new things!