Hitting a High Note
All of her life, Stella wanted to be a singer. She came to me a year ago with the desire to improve vocally and eventually sing well enough to perform in public. The good news was that she came equipped with built in musical skills – a wonderful tone, a great sense of rhythm, and a strong sense of pitch.
The bad news was that she carried an overwhelming belief of inadequacy; that she would never sing well and that it was somehow hopeless. Despite my repeated attempts to assure her that she had all the natural components for an amazing voice, she still had a hard time believing that she was good enough. I considered her a soldier and a warrior because she was so willing to keep trying; coming back lesson after lesson to continue working at it.
“Why can’t I sing this part! It’s too hard. God, I feel like an emotional wreck today.”
“It’s more about letting go than trying harder.”
I could see the sadness begin to flood in as she struggled to get the phrasing right. The skin around her eyes softened and the tears started to flow. We took a pause together, talked it through and began again.
“Let’s go over this spot one more time,” I said.
We were working on the bridge and it required a bigger voice than she was comfortable with. I was doing my best to assist her in opening up her muscles and supporting the musical phrasing with her breathe. The music started and she launched in.
About half way through the bridge something remarkable happened. A voice came through her that had such clarity, strength, and commitment behind it that I almost fell off of my chair. It was a voice that I did not recognize and it sounded as if it was coming from someone else. As she finished out the phrase, there was an instant, palatable silence between us. We were both in disbelief at what had just occurred.
“Oh my God, where did that come from?” I said.
Silence turned into laughter then turned into tears.
All of us have a bigger voice inside of us that is waiting to tell the world something amazing if we allow ourselves to move through our emotions and connect on a deeper level. With some attention, delicacy, support, internal strength and perseverance, we can achieve what might otherwise seem impossible.
- Lisa M. Arreguin