I would like to challenge Eleanor Roosevelt.
A quick google search pinpoints her as the source of a quote that you’ll also find in 99% of all graduation speeches. It’s plastered over Pinterest. It’s been photoshopped onto landscapes. It’s downright irksome.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
With all do respect, Mrs. Roosevelt…
Really? EVERY day? At what point do you stop searching for terrifying situations and actually start enjoying yourself? I know, I know, it’s a figure of speech and perhaps not meant to be taken literally but still.
With that said, I’d like to present you with my own advice.
“Do something that scares you when the opportunity presents itself.”
As I’ve talked about before, writing this blog has offered me some pretty awesome opportunities. Last week, a scary situation (for me) presented itself in the form of a friendly email. I was contacted by Bristol Studios, a local recording studio and vocal school, and asked if I’d want to try a couple voice lessons.
My first instinct was NOPE. NO THANKS. PLEASE FIND ANOTHER BLOGGER. But then I thought a bit more. That automatic refusal was just fear. And if I gave into that, I’d be letting ol’ Eleanor down.
A bit of a background – I studied music for many years. From piano lessons, a rough year screeching on a violin, and finally finding my niche with flute. I double majored in college – psychology and music. And somehow, through all that time, I deftly avoided singing in front of other people. It’s not that I was tone deaf or that I couldn’t carry a tune. It just made me extremely uncomfortable. So the thought of having to go into a voice lesson and sing for someone who, you know, knows what they’re doing, was intimidating.
Which, I thought, was the perfect reason to say yes.
So last week I found myself in a room with Ric Poulin, the owner of Bristol, yelling at a wall and actually feeling pretty good about it.
Bristol Voice Studios offers a unique and effective vocal method for all styles of contemporary music not found anywhere else!
Bristol Studios offers half hour voice lessons that take the student through three levels. The first level focuses on the basics – breathing, vowel shapes, the four basic tones, and building a repertoire and typically lasts 10-12 weeks. Ric’s confidence comes from 20+ years of experience training singers from the completely inexperienced to those coming across the street from the music-school-you’ve-all-heard-of. He assured me that truly anyone can learn to sing. It’s all about taking it step by step and having a good foundation in the basics. His method was developed over time and realizing what other vocal teachers weren’t doing. You won’t find this method anywhere else. In addition to voice lessons, Bristol offers recording and performance workshops as well as artist development.
I left my first lesson feeling confident. There was a spring in my step. My dream of learning banjo and becoming the next folk sensation one small step closer to reality. It’ll happen.
There’s something truly valuable in pushing yourself to do that which scares you. Not EVERY day, but often enough. Saying yes when your first inclination is a fearful NOPE can lead to fantastic things. You may even surprise yourself and like it!
So, what do you say? Wanna try singing?
Bristol Studios will have an offer up on Living Social this Saturday, April 6 – two voice lessons for $59.
Disclosure: I was given two complimentary voice lessons thanks to Bristol but was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.