You can teach an old dog new tricks
I have been singing in various women’s choirs since I was seven years old and have had the pleasure of working alongside some amazing conductors and competing in international choral competitions to great success. As a member of a choir it is a comfortable easy place for me to be. You literally can lean on those around you to help carry the tune or maintain the sound. I have sung with my current chorus for the past 12 years and it is safely within all aspects of my comfort zone. There is a sense of community and support among the eclectic group of women not unlike that which we have at Camp Runoia.
This fall stepping completely out of my comfort zone and with a little trepidation and a good amount of anxiety I decided to challenge myself and started taking private voice lessons. In most aspects of my life I am generally a very confident person but when it comes to singing alone I often clam up and feel very uncomfortable. Leading camp songs isn’t too much of a problem but more formal performance in front of an unknown audience terrifies me.
I wanted to develop my vocal technique, understand my somewhat irrational fear and be able to overcome some of my lack of confidence in solo singing. Our chorus pianist is one of the most brilliant musicians I have met and is very non-threatening so was a great choice for taking this leap of faith with. She doesn’t even require a financial commitment so I couldn’t even use the ‘you’ve paid for it so you have to go’ as an incentive for showing up. It is interesting as an adult to push outside of your comfort zone by choice and then to stick with is even when it is fairly painful. Not knowing really what to expect I convinced myself that I could at least make it through the first class. I did! and now look forward to those 45 minutes a week when I focus on my own skill development. I don’t think my technique has improved all that much yet but I feel more confident walking in and know that I can do things that I find challenging even if I have to give myself a little mental push.
As you welcome in the New Year and perhaps make resolutions to change or start something new, I hope that you will be confident and courageous, try something unexpected and go outside of your comfort zone. As we often tell our campers ‘it isn’t always easy to try something new.’ It is great for kids to see adults not always be good at something and have to work to get better or to overcome a challenge. Share your journey with those around you and embrace and enjoy the process.
Bring on 2018!