Welcome back, PVA fans! Happy March and all things green!
I am very much looking forward to Spring. I love Spring! I love the newness of life that it brings with it. I am looking forward to blooms in my garden and baby birds in my trees. Last spring, my daughters and I had the unforgettable experience of watching mama birds teaching baby birds. It was amazing to see. The mama would jump to the feeder from the fence and the baby would follow; a little wobbly and unsure at first, but eventually it got the hang of it until finally it was able to do it on its own.
I often feel like that mama bird with my students. Students come in (of all ages) unsure of what they are able to do; just knowing they want to sing better. In the initial lesson, I listen and observe and learn all that I can. I feel, sometimes, like my superpower is being able to see a singer’s potential. I hear things that they themselves probably don’t hear. It’s really cool! Then the work begins. We try things; we learn together; they gain confidence. I sing something and they repeat, just like the little bird and its mama. Until finally, they are ready to perform.
It’s an amazing feeling watching that once timid new singer walk out on stage (or in front of a camera) ready to share their new abilities with the world. I love that I get to share in that experience with them. I love the excitement and pride in their eyes when they accomplish something they didn’t think they could. The very act of stepping out in front of an audience is a feat to be proud of. I love being part of their growing process.
One day, all of these little birds will fly away. I don’t know how mama birds feel, but I know that this mama bird always mourns the flight of her songbirds; however, I know that in the short time I have had with them, I have done all I can for them. I have taught them to breathe, open their mouth, and sing with all their heart. I have taught them to stand up tall and command the presence of their spot on stage. I have taught them to love and appreciate their voices; and, hopefully, I have taught them to sing, without fear or apology, because they love to do so.
So, to all you songbirds out there: stand up tall, breathe, open your mouth, and sing. Just sing.
“When you [sing], never mind who listens to you.” ― Robert Schumann