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lived to tell

Well, I can say definitively now that I have sung a high b-flat in public and lived to tell the tale. Furthermore, I can say that none of the hearers were driven to madness or violence by the experience.

Actually, folks seemed to think it was quite good, and while at first I suspected that everyone was just being nice, I discovered over the course of the reception after the lecture that quite a few of them were telling people who are NOT me that it was good. I hadn't noticed when I was singing that the (totally fabulous) voice teacher from whom I took lessons this summer was in the audience, but when I sat down afterward I saw her a couple of rows in front of me -- and I was immediately mortified. I'm not a perfectionist, as people who know me know very well, but for some reason music brings out the perfectionist in me. I hear anything even remotely out of tune like nails on a chalkboard, and I'd know I'd slid into some notes. And my tone ... I just had no idea what that was like -- somewhere between yowling cat and quite good, but I didn't really know where. So it was a great relief when my voice teacher said convincingly that it was good, and also when my partner -- who always tells the truth about such things (she has said things like, "well, that wasn't your best sermon" or "you seemed really nervous") -- said that it sounded good, and she was sitting all the way in the back (as was my voice teacher, come to think of it).

I do think I could have done better with more voice lessons. I miss the lessons, and hope to be able to get back to them someday.

But hey -- I stuck my neck out and sang something I wasn't totally sure I could do in front of a big group of people, and I'm kinda proud of having done that much. Maybe that's more important in some ways than exactly what it sounded like. Maybe that's why people refer to time in seminary as important formation.

And the important formation continues tomorrow in a different vein -- I'm working for much of the day as an instructor-in-training for IMPACT Boston, leading pieces of a workshop for teenager. Similar experiences, in some ways: singing and IMPACT are both about discovering the power of stance and voice and using one's whole body.

February 13, 2008 in Churchiness, Music, Personal News, Where's Dylan? | Permalink

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