Wednesday, January 27, 2010


quirky 1-10


This post might get moved to the private Heather blog if I decide that it's really more appropriate over there.

Also--it's very possible that this is an experience that you had to be there in order to really appreciate.

Now you've been warned--read on if you so desire.


Shauna, Nicole, and I have been friends for many years. Shauna has the honor (?) of being my first ever voice student, and she is the only voice student to survive my "I'm having a baby so I'm not teaching voice lessons anymore" decision. That's because neither Shauna nor Nicole (Nicole is Shauna's accompanist, if you're wondering) get bent out of shape if I have to take a minute to hold/comfort/change Heather, or if Heather happens to roam over to the piano to plunk out a tune in the middle of our lesson, or if I e-mail them an hour before they are supposed to come over and tell them that I don't feel well or Heather doesn't feel well, or I've accidentally scheduled the piano tuner to come in the middle of our lesson, and would it be okay if we cancelled this week?

In short, Shauna and Nicole are easy easy easy to work with. Plus, they are good friends, and I really enjoy seeing them every week and doing a little bit of catching up, along with our singing.


So, last night, our friends Shauna and Nicole came over for our weekly voice lesson. We've been working on an arrangement of "O My Father", using a different melody than what is common (It's beautiful, and you can get a taste of it and even purchase it here, if you're interested).

Towards the end of the lesson, Heather decided she had endured enough of receiving only sporadic flashes of attention from her mother, and she marched over to me, whining and demanding (although not in so many words) that I pick her up. Not wanting to have a big battle at that particular moment, I gathered her into my arms, hoisted her on my hip, and we continued the lesson.

We got to a point in the song where the rhythm is a little bit syncopated, and Shauna was struggling with it, just a bit. So, I did what every amazing voice teacher would do, and we took a moment to drill the phrase in question.

Holding Heather in one arm, I made a makeshift metronome by snapping the fingers of my other hand, all while I said/sang;

"Okay, it's like this: Aaand I felt that aahie had WAN-dered . . . "

(Fingers snapping ONE two three, ONE two three, ONE two THREE one two three)

(I guess you really did have to be there.)

We practiced it a few times, focusing particularly on the area that was causing us the most trouble, which happened to be the word "wandered". We alternated between singing it together and me singing it alone so Shauna could hear it, always with the snapping fingers.

When I felt confident that we had done enough drilling, I asked Nicole to go back to the beginning of the phrase so that we could work into the more difficult area. As Nicole was turning the pages of the music, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Heather (still in my arms) shaking one of her hands in rhythm towards Shauna's direction. As she was shaking that little hand, she was looking right at Shana and singing, "waa-daa-daa-daa".

Now, I know right about now, you're thinking "big deal", and you're right. Any little monkey can imitate, and this probably isn't nearly as amazing as my first-time-mother brain and heart is wanting to make it. But before you completely write me off as an absolutely hopeless case, get this:

Heather's hand was shaking in exactly the same syncopated rhythm that we'd been singing,

and . . .

she was perfectly on pitch.

I think the next time I'm feeling less than par on a Tuesday night I won't bother to cancel the lesson.

Apparently Heather can sub for me now.


BamDaddy said...

I'm not surprised at all. She's got great genes for singing. Isn't it fun?!

BamDaddy said...

oh, that was me (Heidi) but apparently logged on as Phil. oops.

Tasha said...

I love it when we get to see our passions manifesting themselves in our kids - and better than we could :)

Carol said...

As someone who knows and loves all involved, I agree with you that Heather showed great talent at the lesson! I love the chutzpa she showed at directing Shauna - what a great moment you all got to share. See, there really is power in good music!

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