I had my very first lesson with my new voice teacher last night!!
I’ve already decided what to call her: Genki Girl. She is remarkably enthusiastic and giggly while at the same time she’s very precise and explains things in a clear and relatable fashion. Actually, she makes me think of what I imagine my BFF’s teaching style must be like!
I forgot to mention last time, but Jordan Hall is where the NEC teachers conduct their lessons. Jordan Hall is (maybe obviously?) a concert hall, and it feels very official and fancy to be practising right across the hallway from a gorgeous concert hall!
Needless to say, my first lesson went very well.
When I first got there, GG was practicing in the room where I’d be having my lesson later and I just sat and listened to her go through her vocal exercises and marveled at her voice outside in the hallway for a little bit. I have to say that the lady who placed me was being unneccesarily generous in saying I had a similar voice. I mean, I guess I have a similar voice TYPE but she is light-years ahead of me in technique and vocal quality. Which is good: I have much to learn from her!
As soon as I got in to the rehearsal space she sat me down and said she likes to find out what kind of a background her students have and how much they already know about singing. I told her about my past couple of years with MP and how I felt as though she was assuming as though I already knew what I was doing rather than walking me through the mechanics of vocal production step by step, that my main issue at this point is technique and breath and my breath being the very first thing to go when I panic (and also panicking in general). She assured me that that’s very normal, that there are lots of physical reasons for that to happen and that training the breath is absolutely the first thing she would work on with any new student, but since that’s one of my big issues that she will concentrate a lot on that at first.
I explained to her the idea that “sometimes it is good and feels right and not strained and then other times it’s bad and I don’t know why” and she knew exactly what I meant about being able to replicate the “good” results in a physical way. As much as singing is a mental process, it’s also a physical process (anyone that’s sung for any length of time on a warm day or in a warm room can tell you that). It’s both, equally, at the same time.
I also spoke to her about my musical theatre background and for some reason couldn’t remember any of the roles I’ve sung other than Rapunzel. :D?
After that she started walking me through a lot of the physicality of singing, the production and expulsion of breath, and how posture and facial relaxed-ness (??) also come in to play with singing. She gave me a bunch of exercises for posture and for breathing and for vocal placement warming-up. I am so excited!! It’s so much WORK but I love it! I love feeling like I’m really, actively learning things that I can replicate at home, that I can use to make myself more comfortable with and in my own voice.
EXCITEMENT ALL OVER!!!
She had me write down all my exercises in my Moleskine and wrote down a bunch of arias for me to look at as well – a lot of Mozart (♥!) and a few Handel.
She also mentioned that she’s going to be starting rehearsals for The Magic Flute soon and that she’s playing Pamina, which…I don’t think I can express in words how exciting it is to be working with someone who is actively practicing and performing their craft and out there performing roles that I would kill to play. ♥!
In other exciting news, I’ve roped PC into learning both “Maybe” and “You Don’t Own Me” so he can help me practice for my Grease audition. Tonight is our first practice session. Maybe he can get over his existential hangups and we can start working together on a regular basis. :D? :D? Is this too much to ask? Maybe?