In a single year as a music education major, I would go as far to say I lost 80% of my passion and love for music.
That sounds dramatic I know, how can a music major be that hard?
This is my schedule of classes from my first semester of college, excluding my non-scheduled classes where attendance was mandatory. Missing from this schedule is my hour long voice lesson (and scheduled personal rehearsal time), my hour long studio class, and my outside of class recital attendance.
That’s a lot for an 18 year old to handle, and handle it well I did not. Here’s a link to the Drake University music education major requirements. That’s 117 credits EXCLUDING the Drake Curriculum and any minor a student could pick up.
I would change my major near the end of my spring semester from music ed to digital media production.
This is all information I’ve said before so why am I rehashing it?
Because I have no ideas that’s why!
Just kidding, I promise this is going somewhere.
There’s something to be said about how personal voice juries feel. If I still play viola and I mess up in a jury, I could probably walk away with no skin off my back. It’s an instrument, I can deflect the blame, despite it still being entirely my fault.
At the same time, my voice is part of me. An instrument still, for sure, but the anatomy and how I choose to use it is all mine. If something goes wrong during a jury, it’s hard to dig yourself out of the grave.
I messed up my jury this semester, but I’m not letting that impede the great progress I’ve made in college.
It’s fun to see comparison right? Here’s my first ever jury compared to my most recent recital. The whole reason for that change is Alyssa and Cassie.
Like I’ve said before, my voice professor Alyssa and my accompanist Cassie are the miracle workers of the century in my eyes.
Alyssa and Cassie know what they are doing. Easily, they are the two single most intelligent people in my life.
I join Alyssa’s studio when she starts at Drake my sophomore year. It’s clear to her, despite the fact that I had just spent a year basically as a vocal performance major, that I still had a lot of room to grow.
My old voice professor, Scott, had left the university for “personal reasons,” (he was a terrible professor), and Alyssa and I picked up where he and I left off- still at square one.
Scott was convinced I was a “legitimate soprano.” He and every voice teacher I had prior all shared that opinion. I was assigned songs like “Mister Snow” from Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, or Richard Weill’s “What Good Would the Moon Be” from Street Scene.
Those songs are out of my range. I could sing them, but it was uncomfortable and Scott wasn’t giving me the tools I needed to work to reach that octave of my range.
Alyssa on the other hand, clocked me straight away as a mezzo soprano, just like her. (“aww just like mom!”)
Once I’m finally voice typed properly, there’s a sudden, steep, rapid increase in:
- My confidence
- ACTUAL PROGRESS!
TL;DR: just because you can hear high overtones in a singer’s voice doesn’t always mean they can sing that high on their own.