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Monday, May 30, 2011

New Direction

So today I wrote a vocal instructor to start lessons again. I think it is a step in the right direction. I think if I know I have someone else's ear I can turn mine off and concentrate on the feeling of proper singing.

I need to make this a commitment, however, and not let things I'm doing with other people stray me from my path. The path only gets exciting if you're making progress and not ending up at the same spot over and over again.

Besides, maybe some of the qualities in my voice that I'm obsessing over may be my own vocal idiosyncrasies. It's better to just get a professional opinion, and stick to it.

The only thing that makes me nervous is that I don't already know this person, but I also think that will be better.

Friday, May 27, 2011


I guess I'm writing this to put some sort of energy out into the world that will come back and manifest itself in my life, or more importantly, my voice.

I finally started vocalizing every day (again), and felt so much improvement in the ease of singing, and placement of the sound. I promised myself that this time I wouldn't stop practicing, and for the most part I have upheld that promise for the past couple of weeks, but the events of this week proved to be an effective deterrent and psychological block.

When I finally mustered up the courage to take singing lessons last year, my vocal problem was identified as singing with a closed posture and too much tongue tension. I've been lip rolling and tongue trilling myself into a frenzy, over the past few weeks and was really noticing a difference.

Today, however, brought a new surprise. I just got a new computer this week and decided to record my voice to listen to all the great progress I knew I had made, only to feel like I hadn't made any.

I'm wondering if external events are putting a negative spin on how I perceive things. Even as I type this I'm starting to feel as if I was way too critical when I was listening. I feel like I could "hear" my tense tongue when I was vocalizing the notes, and hear the tentativeness in my technique and intention when I sang a couple of lines from a song.

In the back of my mind I've been thinking to myself, "Does a calling require this much of a struggle?" It's making me question why I feel like it is my calling to sing in the first place. I only know that no matter how much I feel like I'm struggling, I just don't want to give up. I just want to be heard by someone one day and for all people involved in that exchange of feeling and sound to be pleased with what they experienced, myself included.

I remember listening to Eckhart Tolle talk about the symbol of the cross, and how it was the symbol of both suffering and salvation, and that we each have our own crosses to bear. I have never looked at a cross the same way, and I have felt that my struggle to be heard and gain my voice, though currently the source of my anguish, is the ONE thing I hope sets me free. I never prayed for such a long time, but did so for the first time in a long time when I was laying on the table in Thailand about to be put under for reassignment surgery. My prayer was, "God, if I am not going to sing, don't wake me up." I vowed with my whole heart that if I woke up I was going to take this seriously.

It all sounds so simple, but I feel like there is some spiritual or physical reason why I can't let go of the tongue tension. I know that my voice teacher said it is really just a habit that a lot of singers have to unlearn, but I really see it as a fear of letting go. Despite the fact that I know it is not the most efficient and free way to make sound, I feel that something else is making me hold on to old ways.

I definitely need a breakthrough . . .