28 Jul If you weren’t a singer, What would you be?
I sat in a vocal teacher training seminar and our guest lecturer, Jennifer Hamady, certified vocal coach and therapist, simply asked the question. Before this moment, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a group of vocalists go so silent. Yet, it seemed in a single instant, she drained the room of its’ identity.
Last March, I was set to graduate in a year, was in the process of attaining an incredibly hard internship with Hulu, and felt invincible. Singing with a fifteen year passion, nothing more. Fast forward a month, I was living in my childhood bedroom and my new roommates were my mom and brother. I no longer felt invincible.
When I finished High School and started applying to colleges, I knew what was expected. A good school, a good internship, followed by a good job. So, I applied. Any thoughts of applying to a music school was put in a tiny box and pushed to the back of my mind. I could never. I wasn’t good enough anyway.
I let myself indulge a little bit of course. I signed up for a music minor, I took vocal lessons and involved myself in a local studio. I told everyone that I thought it was important to have something “outside of school”, and it was better because it kept the “passion alive”. Maybe it was better.
Then COVID hit, and there were no more excuses. I lost my internship. Those who did the right thing, and “got the degree,” were scared of losing their job. My music mentors had their income cut in half. So, everyone was lost, scared, and the joy seemed to drain from the world. The people that I looked up to most, didn’t know what to say, and definitely didn’t feel like singing.
So, I did what I knew how to do best. I locked down my feelings, and threw myself into the process. Worked and worked and worked. I slowly created my own music school curriculum. I looked up the top conservatories in the nation, talked to heads of departments at top Jazz academies, downloaded syllabi, and started to learn. I was invincible once again, and for a little while I sang with joy. I breathed music into the air. I got two different certifications, consulted and ran social marketing for two different studios.
Yet, something still didn’t feel right. I wasn’t satisfied, and as scared as I was to admit it I began to really hate music. The escape was gone. It was homework, and it was hard, and I the thought of admitting to everyone that they were right, that I wasn’t a real musician…
I had burn out, and I had it bad. Then Jennifer asked the question, “if you weren’t a singer, what would you be?,” and all of the sudden my world seemed to open up again. It dawned on me that I wasn’t a singer, no one is, they’re people. Multi-faceted people. People who are filled with feeling and talents. Most importantly the desire to share. I had a strong, overwhelming desire to share what made singing so special to me. That was the precipice of Arabella’s Voice Studio. I wasn’t a singer, I was a person who wanted to share something so special to me with others.
So, fast forward to October, and I found the joy once again. I sing because I want to sing. More importantly though, in between all the music, I work out and teach pilates. I eat healthfully. I take classes completely unrelated to music.
Now when I teach and students ask me how to do I get “good,” or tell me I want to be the best. My answer is to be good you practice and practice and practice. To be the best, you practice, and then you practice something else, and you take a break. You let your instrument (your body) recover and rest. Take a breath. Ground yourself. And Sing.
In Health and Music,