I think I’m really starting to get into the swing of things!
I have gone through the stages of preparing, where I chose my mentor, met with her, and set my goals. We have negotiated by defining what our relationship is and how it will work, keeping communication as foundation, and setting expectations for each other. Now is when things are really starting to pick up, and they will run smoother as well. From now until closer to In-Depth Night, I will be in the enabling stage! It’s all about keeping my project going by consistently producing more content (YouTube covers) and implementing new skills I learn, while always keeping up the trust and communication up with my mentor. These will be my keys to success in this project.
In the past two weeks, I haven’t done as much as I’d like to. I aim for about one video a week, but I have only uploaded one cover since my last blog post. This is still an okay pace, because even if I upload bi-weekly until In-Depth Night, I will still reach my big goal of 10 total covers on my channel. However, that was the goal I set for myself before I even started creating them. Now that I’ve gotten the hang of it, I want to push myself even further! It’s never a bad idea to increase your own standards, if you know you’re capable of doing it with a little extra effort. Perhaps I will have 15 covers in total by the end of this project!
The cover I uploaded this week is a song called “Clean” by Taylor Swift. Although I love singing songs that I personally adore, sometimes you have to do songs that are more on the popular side of things to gain more exposure – especially when you’re just starting out. Taylor Swift isn’t someone who really encapsulates my music taste, but she appeals to a lot of people and this would have to be my favourite song by her!
I’m always trying to improve my YouTube channel, even if that doesn’t mean posting a video. In the past two weeks, I went up by 10 subscribers! I’ve been trying to comment and interact with other similar channels to make friends and also gain some publicity. I’ve gotten about three new subscribers by doing that. Sure, it may go slow, but I get to build a genuine connection with that person and then we can both appreciate each other’s work. I’ve also implemented the Featured Channels setting on my channel and added a “Friends” heading to it.
In terms of my singing lessons, Angie is really starting to push my comfort zone, which is great! I’ve been working on the song “Unexpected Song” for about four weeks now, and I definitely have the melody and words down. What she got me to add last week were “theatrics!” Facial expressions, half gestures, focal points, she wanted it all! I had to perform the song in front go her like I was about to do an actual performance. My job was to bring character to the song. This is something I hardly have any experience in, and I did find it a bit difficult! However, it’s something I’ve been waiting to gain some skill in, and there’s a first time for everything! I’m really glad ms singing teacher is really in to Musical Theatre, as it helps me touch on some goals that weren’t even made for this project.
When it comes to adding theatrics, think of it like this – If you were to be performing at a coffee shop, the audience would definitely be ‘interested’ in your performance. ~Angie Sawyer
We’ve also just started a second song! This is definitely a song that lays outside of my comfort zone, as well. Angie really likes pushing her students and seeing what they can achieve that they perhaps didn’t think possible. It is a Folk song called “Scarborough Fair,” and I am familiar with this song! It’s a song that I love, but it’s definitely not a genre I would normally sing. It will definitely test my range, too. I’m really excited to start working on new things like this, for this is where real learning occurs and instills in you! I’m very happy with how my progress is moving along.
If I had to say, the most difficult mentoring challenge so far is making the most out of our half an hour lessons. Half an hour isn’t as long as I’d like to have our lessons be, but she has a very tight schedule! It also takes pretty long to get to her house since she lives in Maple Ridge, and if I’m a few minutes late, that is time that won’t be made up. I guess I’ve just got to squeeze in as much information as I can in half an hour, and ask her all the questions I can so I can still work effectively on my own throughout the week. I’ve been audio recording the lessons on my phone as well, so I can play them back to recount any tips she may have mentioned through out, and to repeat warm ups on my own.
Something that has been working really well for us is just the teacher-student dynamic we have. I’m one of her older students, and she is confident that she can speak to me in a mature way and I will still understand it. She has told me I take direction very well, and never fail to implement the advice she gives me. We make sure we never lose our foundation of communication. She makes sure I’m always okay with what we’re doing, she always knows where I’m at with a certain song or technique, and I always know her reasons for choosing a song. Altogether, it just works really well and I’m thankful that a good mentorship relationship came so easily for me.
I think the one thing that could be working better is something that I can do on my part. Lately, there have just not been enough hours in the day to address everything I need to! But singing is definitely a priority, and I need to specifically devote time to it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m singing almost 24/7 haha! However, there’s a difference between just casually singing and actually practicing the songs she assigned me and the new techniques I’ve learned. I don’t practice on my own time as much as I’d like to, so I definitely need to improve on that. I have all the resources needed (phone recordings, dictation book, sheet music), now all I need to do is make sure I actually put them to use.
All in all, I’m glad I have finally enabled myself!