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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday and the Voice Lesson

Wednesday, I had a voice lesson with my long time friend Laurie Cosby of Studio Bella Voce.  We have known each other longer than either of us has been in Texas.  She has helped me recover my voice several times (1995, 2003, 2006, and post 2012). Except my sister, she has been my biggest supporter and the greatest advocate to ensure that I don't quit while there's music left for me to sing.

As most of you know me, you remember the posts and photos from 2012.  As I had to re-learn the simplest of things (like how to get in and out of the bathtub), I found out the most painful way, I couldn't sing at that time.  It is no exaggeration to say that I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.  I still remember the first time I tried.  June took me to see Erich, and when we are together, there is almost always singing. I could not sing a melody line! I could not make it come out.  I could not coax it out. I was shocked and bewildered that this could happen.
 June had to take me home right then.  (For those of you who know Erich, you understand that we went through a phase that singing entire conversations was not unusual.  Our interactions were much like a singspiel with flute overtures (except when in the hot tub, Ember, the flute, NEVER came to the hot tub with us).    When I was able to get back to work, I got my first hospice job, and I started singing to the patients.  I was happy to have some of my voice back, and they all appreciated the effort I made.  I was excited to make that effort as it made the patients feel better, it was help for me in getting my voice back.   Recently one of those first hospice patients passed away, and the family asked me to sing at her funeral.  I think I sang better for her at her funeral than I ever did at her bedside.  (But my church choir gig recently was utterly disastrous).  As I shared my recent experiences with Laurie, she invited me to have a lesson to see if she could help.  After that 45 minute session, I was vocally fatigued, but enlightened.  The injuries from the wreck still need a little rehab.  For those of you interested in the mechanics of breath work and support as it relates to vocal technique, I still have some right sided weakness, especially obvious with the use of the intercostal muscles. As much as I didn't like the discovery, it explains a lot.  It explains the vocal fatigue and pitch control issues.  As we were talking about my voice, I was talking to her about hearing the harmony for my recent funeral song.  I don't have a good explanation for being able to hear that which isn't audible, but a good example of that is the phenemenon that happens when you get a song "stuck" in your head.  For those of you who remember Tommy Two-Tone, the number 867-5309 triggers the melody, and we all begin singing about Jenny.  I also wondered aloud to Laurie about why clairaudience is only seen as cool when a composer is working on her next great work.  Her take on that is that clairaudience isn't weird or just for dying old ladies to hear heavenly music, it is an indication that there's still music in my body that has yet to be sung.