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Seems like an obvious question – to learn to sing; to become a famous star on stage; to be rich and successful! I read about an established professor at an Ivy League university who wanted to quit smoking, so he took voice lessons, which launched him into a significant career on the stage in mid-life; a true life experience with surprising consequences. However, there are many reasons that people take singing lessons and fame is only one of them.
As I’ve observed, people engage in the process of singing for many reasons: to be more confident in life in general; to overcome some of their fears; to fulfill a life-long dream of taking music lessons; to have the opportunity to receive the personal focus and attention that private voice lessons provide; to discover a latent talent that you didn’t know was there; to be more assertive; to speak more clearly; to hear peoples’ comments about one’s beautiful voice; or maybe to have a new life adventure.
In my experience as a voice teacher, I’ve enjoyed watching people discover what happens inside when they confront their desire to engage in the process of performing and singing. Sometimes a light comes on, or old fears get triggered and need to be worked through. One of my voice students would finish each lesson with the statement: “This is so cool.” It can be an inspiration for a teacher to observe people take on these challenges and come through to a new level of confidence and discovery.
It can also be inspiring to be a part of that process by engaging directly with the voice student when their fears come forward, and discovering creative ways to overcome the fear and emerge on the other side freer and more confident.
Why take voice lessons? If some of the above lead to fame and riches, great, but maybe the fame and riches can also be internal rather than external and occur outside the spotlights and more in the soul. Both can be important.
Remember, you’re never too old to start singing lessons in your town. You’ll benefit personally and, who knows, maybe you’ll get rich and famous!
- Guest contributor, Richard Fey