'Tune in Soppy!'

My vocal identity has always been hovering around the Soprano range. For most of my early teens I used to kid everyone, myself included, that I was a Mezzo Soprano but in reality I was just being lazy and couldn’t be bothered to sing the REALLLY high notes. That all changed when I walked into a singing lesson after 3 years of no training, and was told by the wonderful Miss J the austrian opera singer that I wasn’t allowing my voice to reach its full potential (she subsequently played the note that would soon be the highest note in my vocal range - I swear it was only audible for the canines among us)

As a musical theatre and choir fanatic I am often required to pick up different vocal parts as quickly as possible. So as I high-female singer I will immediately recognise the soprano 1, soprano 2 and possible alto lines of a piece of music. It is unlikely, however, that I will be able to pick-up the Tenor or Bass lines of the piece. Now this never struck me as significant or a problem until I discovered the requirements for Grade 8 aural where, you guessed it, I am required to sing the bass line of a piece. GAH. My first practice was awful, I felt so frustrated. It was as if I was missing out on this whole magical section of the music because I simply couldn’t tune into it. However, after a week of tuning myself in to dominants, tonics, relative majors/minors and bass lines I had another aural lesson this evening and it was like a whole new musical universe had opened before my eyes (or should I say ears) Finally I was listening to the WHOLE piece of music rather than tuning into just the top line. It was wonderful. Once again I am in awe at the beautiful intricacy of classical music, the delicate balance, the necessary structure, the way the composer phrases the melody to show of the singer’s voice - gorgeous! I have re-fallen (if that’s even a word) in love with music and singing. I seem to forget that it’s such a huge part of who I am and my identity as an artist. I need to sing more, I need to listen more, I need to, you guessed it, TUNE IN.

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