Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In My Element

I promised you the back story of High G's and here it is.

When I was still doing singing lessons (before we started saving for Europe) with the genius that is David Tillinghast, we were working on a rendition of 'Beautiful' by Christina Aguilera. Everytime we got to the climactic part of the song where she is doing the super high vocal acrobatics, I would sing a lower, more modest version of the arrangement. David was happy with it, but I knew I could do better.

I told David over and over again that what I was singing wasn't what she did, but not having heard her version recently, David thought what I was doing was fine. A couple of times after a lesson when I was completely warmed up but back in the car, I hit the magic note. I told David about it, but it just wouldn't come out when he was around, and he didn't really know what I was talking about.

On the night that we decided to wrap up work on the song and move onto something different, my brain and my body finally worked their issues out and the note... fell out. That's an understatement because there's a lot of push behind that note but I hit it, and instantly David's jaw dropped. He was grinning from ear to ear and asking if I could always do that and if it hurt my throat or anything.

The answer is yes I've always been able to do it, just not in front of an audience and no, it doesn't hurt. It was only a few years ago that I couldn't sing infront of people full stop, the notes would freeze in my throat because I would be filled with doubt. A dear friend helped me get past that and then David took over and helped me push even further. He sat there stunned and excited telling me I'd hit a High G and that not many people could do that and that I had made his day.

To me, there is no better feeling than hitting that note. All at once it is both incredibly difficult and incredibly easy to do. The difficult part is getting there. I suppose it's like climbing a mountain - from the bottom to the top you are constantly working, one foot in front of the other and it's getting harder and harder as you get more tired. When you're at the top though, you have views for miles around, and it's no longer work - you could stand there all day, just feeling free and accomplished and taking in the beauty of the view. Singing high notes is exactly like that for me. Once the note is out and it's right, I can keep going and I can hit it again and again. And it feels so good, so free and easy and powerful.

David probably doesn't realise how much that lesson meant to me but I will never ever forget that moment and how proud I was. I adore David, he's one of the best teachers of any kind that I've ever had, and what he says is gospel to me. So when I could unmistakably see how excited he was and hear those words from him, I was on a high for days. It was honestly one of the proudest moments of my life and not because I hit the note, but because David, someone I respected and admired, liked it.

The point of this story was not to gloat and have you all know I can sing. If I wanted that I would have dug in and found a band I could work with and be singing in front of people. The point is that I don't sing for anyone else, I sing for me, and so I'm not used to the sort of reaction I got from David. When I started thinking about that lesson I remembered how much fun it was.

We already talked about finding your calling and what you're good at but what's the one thing you love more than anything, whether you're good at it or not? When was the last time someone you looked up to acknowledged your achievements?