One of the best things about working at TakeLessons is hearing our students’ stories – about their goals, their achievements, and how music has impacted their lives. For some, the goal might start off small: mustering up the courage to sign up for lessons to begin with, for instance. Maybe it’s earning first chair in orchestra or the lead in a school musical. For others, it might be dreams of earning a record deal, performing on stage or going on tour. Music is important to everyone in the office, and seeing students reach these goals truly reminds us of why we work here.
Recently, we received an email from one of our Ridley Park voice students, May. She’s been a student with TakeLessons since November 2010, and wanted to share her recent accomplishment of recording two original songs. She definitely caught my eye – or ear, you might say – and I’ve chosen to feature her as this month’s Student Success Story. Below, you’ll find my interview with May, along with a link to her recordings. Congrats, May, for reaching your goals!
– Suzy S., TakeLessons staff member and blogger
What is your musical background? When did you start singing?
I have sung and danced since I was a little girl, but never took formal classes. Money was scarce when I was growing up and extracurricular activities were not choices for my family. The thought never occurred to me that I could take professional singing lessons. I had also been told that I was not “born” with a singing talent, therefore it would be useless for me to try to sing. I do remember being ten years old telling my father proudly that one day I would be a singer and his answer was a firm “No.”
Walk us through your experience with private music lessons – how long have you been taking them? How has TakeLessons helped you in reaching your goals?
One day I was singing Barbra Streisand’s “Somewhere” when I was struck with the realization that I loved singing so much, I should take professional lessons, even if I wasn’t “born” with the talent. So I looked online for singing lessons, found Takelessons, and set up my lessons immediately for that very weekend. Takelessons helped me find professional singers, who are also educators, that I can trust. I have had two admirable, talented singing teachers, Valerie H. and Claire B., who have helped me be the best singer I can be to date. My singing teachers have helped me develop my breathing techniques, singing confidence, music theory comprehension, and my unique needs for singing my personal best, particularly for the kind of music I love to sing. I know I am still and will always be working on improving my singing, and I am happy to do so for the rest of my life.
What inspired you to record your songs?
That little ten year old girl, the one that always wanted to be a singer, would remind me on occasion how much I wanted to be a singer. I love all types of music, especially upbeat, fast tempos. I want to combine meaningful, substantive lyrics and messages with an eclectic array of musical instruments for an uplifting mood. I want to touch people’s minds, hearts, and souls personally with my music. Sharing my music with the world is my goal!
What advice would you give to beginner students?
The first step is to give yourself a chance. Do not listen to naysayers, no matter what their intentions may be. Try, do your personal best, practice, and keep at it… Like my first song says, “Never give up. You gotta keep on keeping on!”
Check out May’s songs here!
Do you have a story you’d like to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you might be featured in an upcoming blog post!
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Photo by wstyder.