But here I go, anyway.
Over the last two and a half years, I’ve let my voice get incredibly out of shape. While I was pregnant, I had terrible morning sickness. Being sick 24/7 is not exactly conducive to singing. And then, since I’ve had my daughter…well, you know how it is, with a baby or a toddler and a more-than-full-time job. There has always seemed to be something that was a higher priority than taking the time to vocalize.
Recently, I realized that I was prefacing everything I demonstrated for my students…
“Now, this isn’t what it’s actually supposed to sound like, because I’m super out of shape, but listen to what I’m saying about the technique nonetheless.”
So, recently, I resolved to turn things around.
Vocalize a little bit every day, and get back in shape myself.
And I discovered something.
I discovered completely out of control tongue tension.
Now, let me explain why that’s significant.
Tongue tension is one of my most talked about topics with my students. It’s a big problem for singers, and almost everyone struggles with it. Every day in my studio, I was giving my students tips on how to relieve their tongue tension, all the while not even noticing that my own tongue tension had roared back with a vengeance.
Don’t worry, I’m working on it. I’ve gotten rid of it once before—I can do it again.
So why do I tell this story?
I tell it because music is a journey, and sometimes it’s a winding one. And as a teacher, I’m on the journey with you. I have insight to share because I’ve studied the map (and I’ve gone pretty far in my own journey, so I recognize the landmarks), but we are all learning and growing every day.
I tell it specifically to singers to let them know that tongue tension is tough. It’s insidious. And it’s not going to go away in a day.
And finally, I tell it to remind you that I’ve been where you are. Great musicians aren’t born that way. They learn and they grow and they make mistakes along the way. When they face a challenge, they have the humility to acknowledge it and then overcome it.