So I have been taking voice lessons for the last year. I have to say, I am not the most confident of singers in the world. In fact, singing in a small room, with one person who critiques everything about the way you sing is a little unnerving.
I know I am not the best singer in the world and there have been moments that I have wanted to quit because I can’t hear that I am really improving. But my voice teacher tells me things like, “You are doing great!”, “You sing like a young Justin Bieber” and “You really made that song your own” so I have kept at it, because obviously she is seeing something I am not.
So this week I arrived early to my voice lessons because I didn’t need the usual positive self-talk session that I require before each voice lesson (I usually have to sit in my car, look at myself in my rear view mirror and talk calming words to my inner child so I can make it through the next half hour singing my guts out, while sweating buckets).
So as I sat outside my voice teacher’s studio door I listened to the last part of the girl who has voice lessons before me. She was singing a song that I didn’t recognize, but after listening to the lyrics I realized it was a Taylor Swift song, which I liked until I heard her sing it. Bless her heart, she couldn’t hit a right note if there was only one key on a piano. It was painful to listen to, but she sang with such vigor that I had to admire her courage to sing that way in front of an actual human being.
After she finished her off key rendition of the massacred Taylor Swift song, I was anxious to hear what my voice teacher would say to her. And here are the words that fell from her lips, “You are doing great!” “You sing like a young Taylor Swift”, and “You made that song your own”.
I sat there in shock. These are the same words she says to me almost weekly. Was I the male version of this young girl? Do I sound so bad that the only way she can get her “short bus” vocal student to come back is by stroking their already fragile singing egos? How dare she turn her vocal studio into a den of lies!
Needless to say, the whole experience has left me a little uneasy about my recital on Saturday.