Voice and Dance Lessons

A lesser known fact about me is that I believe I can actually sing. I don’t mean I know all the greatest hits and belt them out with the radio, I mean can see a sheet of music and when played hit the notes. Now my friends have been egging me on for years to enter a competition. I think the main reason was to see how daring I really was and how much of it was bravado, and truthfully many times I do have more bravado than real guts. But then I heard of a singing contest in New Jersey. No I do not live near New Jersey but on a whim I applied. By some major accident I was accepted!!!! OK now I am in deep do-do as I have not sung a solo since 1997. The time before that was 1990, soooo needless to say I am out of practice by oh a few years.

I won’t lie I had an attack of the nerves and told my friend I wanted to quit and she immediately read me the riot act. I told the girls and M2 sighed heavily and said “great now I am going to be bored half to death while I am waiting” OK so home support was lacking. I told my family and my sister said “Why not YOLO.” OK better support from the home front, no my parents didn’t say anything nor did my brothers. I also relayed my case of nerves to my counselor….ok in hindsight should not have done that…she was completely for me performing and told me that I should try out for The Voice.  Ummm no I have a real job and kids to care for.

I met with the voice teacher last week just as a meet and greet. Can I tell you how nervous I was!!!! OK so this is how my kids must feel when I suggest they do the Children’s Choir at church…yikes. Worst part is that I have a raging case of dry mouth because I am sooo nervous. She was absolutely lovely. I had done a bunch of background checking on her and she was a legit performer. I heard her voice and it was amazing. She sings mostly opera, not my thing, but I can appreciate a good voice regardless of the style of music performed.

Of course we got to the part where I have to sing. Now for real I am nervous but I tell myself nothing to lose if you can’t really sing, have been delusional for years and your friends (and counselor) are all liars then this woman will tell me as I do not have to pay for this session. She played some scales and I attempted the notes…uggg I was glad I had used the word rusty when I described my singing. I was disappointed and mad at myself I was convinced it was all wrong and her shaking her head was not helping but hey that’s what these tests are for I suppose. We finished and the conversation goes like this:

Madam: Do you know you shook your head no about 4 times when singing?

Me: Yes I was sure I had missed the note.

Madam: Do you know why I was shaking my head?

Me: Because I was missing the notes

Madam (laughing): Oh my goodness no, it is because I was wrong. When you came in and told me you were rusty I thought the worst and yet here you are nailing every single note in the range and demonstrating you have good pitch. I was shaking my head at myself but then I realized you can’t hear yourself which is why you were shaking your head. (I looked confused and she continued) Your pitch is good and you are not ‘tone deaf’ to use a phrase I am sure you know. You need some work and to open your mouth better but I am feeling confident about this. Your toe is in the door now, by September, your foot should be in the door.

Floored…completely and totally floored. We set up the next meeting and I went to get the girls. I told them the lesson went well and that the teacher said I needed to practice and open my mouth more. M2 said “Well did she say you were good.” I told her I thought so and M2 said smugly “I knew it”. N just rolled her eyes and remembered how she was told to practice a few hundred times by the director of the Children’s Choir but she never did. I said to her “Right but the difference between you and me is that I want to get better AND am willing to work at it. You just want magic to happen.” N agreed.

Fast forward to yesterday when M2 was on the couch next to me complaining that it was not fair I get singing lessons. I explained it was my money and I can spend it how I wish and she protested because she wanted dance lessons. I pointed out the half dozen or so sports she has tried and refused to work at and while she agreed she said she really wants to dance and promises to practice. No I am not falling for it but I did look up adult dance lessons to see if there was even a place that did it.

I was excited to see a place near us that did do it but then the reality hit me. There is no way M2 or N could keep up with a regular class. They lose focus, they are uncoordinated and both hate being made to do things over and over again. I sighed, I wanted to try some lessons though so started thinking long and hard how it might happen. I looked at the price for private lessons and my wallet screamed no. I was frustrated for a bit but then I remembered STRIDE an adaptive sports organization in my area. I looked them up and sure enough they at one point offered dance lessons. I was super excited and immediately set off an email asking more about their program. No I have not heard back but hopefully we can get some creative things going on at Chez ANYM.

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