Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Trials & Tribulations

so, not that i was trying to put all my eggs in one basket, but i was really hoping to be given a chance. i just received my letter from CCM stating that i was not accepted for an audition (they asked for a prescreening tape this year). this came as a major blow. i was at least expecting an audition. i spoke with my voice teacher afterwards (who happens to be on the staff) in hopes that it would shed some light on the matter and maybe make me feel better. instead i felt worse. here are the highlighted comments:

1) needs work in the passaggio (i have known this, and have been working on this issue relentlessly!) though her high and low are warm and strong
2) should not have started with caro nome-first three notes are in the passaggio
3) the recording was not my best singing
4) they think i will get more performance opportunities elsewhere

the toughest issue to overcome as a soprano is this: you much register yourself at a much higher level them some other fachs. i could not be "a work in progress", instead i needed consistent technical perfection. my teacher also reinforced that my undergraduate institution (unfortunately) did not give me the proper tools. i knew that while i was in the program.

i spent five years in a fach that was not suitable for my voice (ie fuller lyric) before finding a teacher that began to nurture my high range and to give me repertoire in which my voice sit perfectly (ie Lakme, Queen, Lucia). i vocalize to an A above high F, but these notes were never heard in my vocal training before. instead i was weighted down with Musetta, Pamina, and Laetitia.

we expect that voice teachers have more information and better tools than we do, and we trust them with our instruments. but the harsh reality is that we can trust NO teacher completely. we must be skeptical of there suggestions and audition them to be sure that they can conceive what is better for our voices. we cannot blindly accept their teaching as what is best. singing should not be easy, but the voice should not have to struggle so much. i also must stress that, more often than not, vocal instructors try to fix the symptoms and not the cause-which only tends to cause more symptoms.

sorry to go on a rant, but i only really began singing about six months ago, yet i have been in training for 7 years. better late than never, but i hope that my honesty will help any other singer to more careful with whom they entrust their instrument.
:: posted by Bryn, 6:42 AM


i soooo understand where you're coming from! my first teacher thought for sure i was a lyric soprano, but i felt that there was a bit more weight to my voice. i didn't trust myself, though, because i thought, "who am i to disagree with this julliard-trained man?" well, after a couple of years with him, my voice was literally strangled.

my current teacher, whom i love, has slowly nurtured my voice back to health with basic bel canto-type exercises. she, too, thought i was a lyric, though she assigned me mezzo roles. every now and then, though, a big voice bursts out, and i just know i'm a dramatic, though i'm not sure if i'm a mezzo or soprano. so, even though i love my current teacher and i believe that her gentle exercises are allowing my voice to grow into its true size, i understand so well what you mean about not fully entrusting your voice to another person. unlike a piano, the voice is all internal, and we have to be able to connect with what's going on inside ourselves and decide whether or not this information works with what we're hearing from teachers. of course, without my current teacher, i couldn't have managed the vocal rehab i have so i'm hugely grateful to have her in my life.

at any rate, i have much admiration for those who sing the queen of the night, a role i could only play in my dreams. best of luck to you in your vocal future.
Blogger v.c. dartay, at 7:18 PM  

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