Here is what I wrote after my first voice lesson this summer:
Today I had my first voice lesson.
My teacher is a young woman who teaches music to children at my church. Amanda is fairly adorable and I've always liked her. Because she is so accomplished I forget how young she is; the age of my own children. When I came to her apartment for the lesson I said I was a neophyte singer. She looked at me funny and then said, "I don't know what that is." Oops. I get into trouble that way fairly frequently. Probably more often then I know. I told her neophyte means beginner.
However, once she started the lesson I realized she was no neophyte.
She said "the energy needs to be high, come through you and out the top." I didn't know what she was talking about really, and yet I did. Singing is an expression of energy and it has to go somewhere. she explained that she likes to talk in terms of energy because it works, and the voice will follow the mind.
It wasn't exactly easy to sing in front of her but I had decided not to worry and just allow myself to be taught. After all, I didn't want her to feel that she wasn't needed. She didn't waste time looking crestfallen, she had just cured her last student of tone deafness. Amanda told me, 'the second word is too glottle." Now it was my turn not to know what someone was talking about!
In spite of my determination to NOT be embarrassed, I sometimes felt very exposed. Singing is an extroverted act. In fact Amanda wants me to stand straight and breath and be, well, loud. Amanda reminds me of the nurse that sees you naked. You think 'I'm fat', the nurse thinks, 'hmm, i need to get her blood pressure.' and could care less that you are naked.
Still being a loud singer is a novel energizing experience. Singing IS energy, and you can't feel bad while pushing melody and words up and out the top. Even when it sounds pretty terrible your body is breathing in such a lovely way.
Amanda noticed right away that I had a dog trot of a range. Everything I sang I brought down to my comfortable Alto range. I just naturally transposed to the lower octave. She gave me a shrewd look with her big brown eyes. 'Lets get you singing higher'. Well she did get me singing higher. It felt great. It didn't even sound so bad, at least not all of the time.
I can't wait till my next lesson, I went home...singing!