Music has always been a part of my life, although sometimes not as much as I would like.
Last year I realised that I needed to make more time for it. I needed to move through some of my fears of being 'not up to task' and make some baby steps towards including a lot more song in my life :-)
I realised that if I never sang SOLO in front of an audience, even my family or dearest friends, that this would be a huge regret of mine.
I had joyfully sang in choirs and groups on and off since being an adult but singing solo felt quite different.
I had got to the stage where I couldn't/wouldn't watch singing tv shows, despite enjoying them in the past, because I just felt jealous and sad. Not for the winners, I didn't want to be on the show, but for the contestants who sang badly! Somehow they still had the confidence to believe in themselves, however misjudged, haha, and do it. Here I was with an ok/average singing voice and I couldn't even sing solo in front of my nearest and dearest despite my desire to.
Hmmm. Plenty of room to grow there!
So my first teeny tiny goal?
To sing in front of my parents.
To choose a song, learn it by heart, and do a mini, mini performance!
So I did.
I chose "This Flower" by Kasey Chambers.
And they liked it :-)
1st teeny, tiny goal accomplished.
From there I asked my friend Sherelle to accompany me on the piano for a jam session or two, in addition to some basic piano lessons, followed by asking another friend Jen to have a play/sing with me on cello.
No doubt, I felt very nervous singing in front of them.
Thankfully they didn't run screaming from the room. I don't think they even grimaced.
They didn't say "I'm sorry. I can't play with you afterall"
They did however have lovely positive things to say, lots of encouragement and tips and constructive criticism too, just what I needed to grow and improve in skill and confidence. They were very, very patient with me for which I am so grateful for.
As local mums, the three of us decided to put on a little music concert for toddlers and preschoolers. I wasn't 100% sure about it but I decided to see it as a good opportunity to try something new and get out there and learn from the planning and performing experience.
The concert went well and the 60 or so audience members had a fun time. Unfortunately my nerves were nearly unmanageable, whether people could notice this or not, and I went home after the show with nasty headache, though still feeling pleased I gave it my best shot.
From there I practiced some adult contemporary songs, accompanied by my friend Jen on cello and ukelele.
Her folk duo were preparing for the folk festival in Canberra earlier this year so we decided that we would use her practice gig as a easy introductory performance for me.
In the week leading up to it I practiced a lot and I was feeling pretty good about it. I even sang a verse and chorus for my friends and their kids who wouldn't be able to make the show; amazing progress for me.
So...this time we performed three songs all up to an audience in Kadina of abour 70 people, raising money for the Anglican church building fund.
Yellow by Coldplay, Annie's Song by John Denver and Never Saw Blue by Shawn Colvin.
I was pumped and excited beforehand...nervous, sure, but I had prepared well and I was as ready as I could be.
See below photo of hyper pre-performance energy!
"Look at the stars....look how they shine for yoooooo"
I was really happy with this performance and I was very grateful for Jen, for all the willing helpers who made the show happen and for the support of my parents and good friends in the audience, their positive and constructive feedback and of course the Man of the House taking care of the kids at home :-)
I felt quite elated and proud of my effort after the performance but I still needed a big rest. It certainly required a lot of creative and courageous energy and it brought up a few more fears and emotions afterwards, some obviously related and some kind of not. I had a break from the internet for a bit and I deactivated my facebook account for 5 weeks while I focused on myself and my loved ones with lots of self care.
So, yeh, I am finding out firsthand that it is true what they say about following your dreams, however small...it is not always an easy journey! Luckily I am discovering the upside too....it is definitely worth it and, for me, I think it would be a life half lived if I didn't follow these little dreams of mine.
I will let you know when my next shows are, I have two, maybe 3, in the pipeline which I am very excited about.
I hope you are well. Drop me a line to say hi if you wish!
Thanks for reading xo