Things are finally getting into motion! My first singing lesson went incredibly well, and has gotten me excited for the course of this project … as well as beyond! I had met my mentor briefly before as stated in my last blog post, but with this first lesson I got to spend some quality time learning and conversing. Of course, actually practicing singing with her/in front of her kickstarts an entirely new road of mentorship completely that couldn’t have even been touched on last time through pure conversation. It is through these weekly sessions that I will be able to critically work on my skills as a foundation for my In-Depth project (production and songwriting). It feels SO good to finally be formally singing again, I really missed it :)
As you can tell, last year’s project really stayed with me and I hope this year can be just the same.

We’ve started on a song called “When We Were Young” by Adele. Jessica, my singing teacher,  heard my voice just in the warmup alone and immediately suggested this song because she thought it would suit my voice. This was definitely a surprise, as Adele is not an artist I think my voice suits incredibly well. I ran it through a couple times, and she gave me suggestions on where to breathe and what dynamics/shaping to add. She had no hesitation jumping straight into the singing portion, so I explained the project in greater detail at the end of the lesson and told her about In-Depth Night. Good news – she wants to come! While I was singing this highly emotional song, I felt a different side come out of me. My voice felt rich and I was really getting into the lyrics – it was surreal. She even told me I had a “gospel tone” to my voice which is a comment I’ve never gotten in my entire singing career. Developing versatility is really exciting!

In terms of my personal project over the last two weeks, I definitely made some significant progress. I now officially have another original song to add to my repertoire! It’s entitled “But I Do” and I have all the lyrics, melody as well as chords completed. The only thing I might need to work on is the bridge, and deciding whether or not to add an extra chorus at the end. Those are minor, however, and I’m really proud of myself for writing another song! It’s about missing past relationships even though you know they ended for the best. A bit of a sad topic, but I was feeling inspired one night. My video for the month of February will most likely be towards the end, it’s been a crazy week so far. I might even make a cover of When We Were Young, seeing as I’m working on it already! I’ll let my mentor know about my YouTube channel soon, too. This new song could also serve as a potential one to get produced!


 

Creating ‘interesting’ interactions is quite natural under these circumstances, as the thing that brings my mentor and I together is my passion. It is the main focus at hand at all times and connects both of us together, as we both have experience with singing (though in very different ways). We learn and play off of each other’s experiences to make for a more productive session. What we are “good at” and what “interests us” is something we have in common, which makes for naturally flowing conversations. She shares her information/expertise with me, such as when to breathe and how to shape certain phrases to make them more alive. Questions raised such as “What if we sang it this way? What if I sang this song next week? What if we changed the melody here to fit your range better?” are questions that help bring us together and progress along these lessons smoothly.
We talk about many a possibility together about future songs, future genres, and my future at Tom Lee in general. It is very early on in the mentorship process, but new ideas are always coming up and being discussed. We let each other know when we find ideas with potential, or see the possibility behind each other’s thoughts.

“To reach agreement. This may be because both parties are seeking truth or because they have to design a practical way forward for action.
To spell out and agree on the points of difference. This also includes spelling out the basis for difference = values, experience or point of view, for instance.
To have as interesting a time as possible in the course of discussion.

This is an accurate summation of what it is to have quality conversations. I am happy to say that I can sense these things when talking to my mentor! She’s told me about her experience as a singer (singing since a young age, going to Capilano for music, has always loved soul music) and has gotten to know me better and my experience with singing, too. When she suggests initial ideas such as changing the phrasing of a song, I receive the feedback, test it out, and then express my opinions on what might work better for me. On multiple occasions I had asked her to repeat certain sections of the song when we changed the melody, specifically the lines “To the way you move” and “Before I go?” in the first verse.  Our values build upon each other and make for effective singing lessons that I get a lot out of.  I am incredibly excited to see where this goes!