My voice cracked as I broke the silence and began the conversation.
I introduced myself and told her about our family.
I told her about our home and pets.
She hiccuped and stared.
I told her about my dreams for her future.
The hiccups subsided. Still, she stared.
It was time for a change up. I started to sing.
I hadn't sung in front of ANYONE since I was a small child, so though I was singing to a completely nonjudgmental newborn, I was nervous. Plus, what if my husband walked in on us? What if he HEARD me?!
For months, I only sang when I was alone with the baby. I'd never received vocal instruction, and I wasn't sure I could even carry a tune. Oh, sure, everyone THINKS they can carry a tune, but some can't. You know who I'm talking about. We've all heard them. I was afraid I might be one of those. Still, E didn't care about vocal quality or tune. She didn't judge. So I sang.
Then along came V, more music, public displays of toddler tunes. The girls were singing beautifully, and it hit me: Maybe I should stop now. Maybe, if I can't carry a tune, I'll be a bad influence. But I didn't want to stop. I needed to find out if I qualified to continue singing aloud, or whether I should return to my previous performance stage: alone, in a vehicle with the windows rolled up.
First I opted for voice lessons through our local city rec program. Big mistake. The teacher told our class of women that ALL women are sopranos. I
Then I decided to look up my local chapter of Sweet Adelines. They took me in. They nurtured me through the holiday season allowing me to sing lead. Then when I committed to stay on beyond "Jingle Bells," they assigned me a new part - baritone.
Was this their way of telling me to get out? I don't know vocal performance etiquette. Maybe they don't actually simply ASK you to leave. Maybe they're too kind. Maybe you're supposed to take the hint. Seriously. What does a baritone do? I mean, really, listen to it sometime. Pick it out from a crowd, if you can. Those notes don't even make SENSE!
But if assigning me to bari was their way of politely asking me to shove off, it was only slightly too subtle for me. Instead, I learned that bari does, in fact, fit in, though I still don't understand how or why it provides that magical fourth note that helps make those chords ring.
Still, I've been flailing along and in serious need of basic vocal lessons. Perhaps, "Singing 101." Today, I got a really great dose of that. Our chorus spent four hours working through two songs, under the tutelage of two great coaches, Laura and Lisa. Four hours, two songs. These are SIX MINUTE songs....MAX! We worked them over and over, in parts, but seldom in whole. We worked on diphthongs and breathing and vocal quality and no break, no coffee, no chocolate.
It was worth it.
Then I found this video. Though I sing bari, I'm Lucy in more ways than I ever thought was possible:
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