Monday, September 26, 2011

Singing a sweet song

I'm joining Capital Mom today by blogging about a moment from my life based on a theme she has provided. This week’s Monday Moment theme is Singing. Check out all the other great bloggers following Monday Moments.

There was a time in my life that I could say "I'm a singer." I wrote songs. I recorded them. And I belted them out as a busker and amateur open mic night-gal.

In high school, my piano teacher used to say to me: "you would be such a great pianist if you could just put some passion into your playing."

But I couldn't find the passion. I instead found fear - lots and lots of fear.

My stage fright grew to epic proportions in high school, when I would be forced to play a "test" in front of the class, all the while shaking so badly that the bow would bounce and skitter across my strings.

My fear of failing meant that I could never pour my heart and soul into music. The "perfect" performance was always there, snickering at me from behind the curtain. And so I turned away from music, and life sent me in a different direction....until I decided it was time to face my fear.

I joined a singing group with coach Art Nefsky, an eccentric (but very amiable!) fellow in Toronto. The classes consisted of a small group of individuals - all with great voices - who were absolutely terrified to perform in front of others. We would get up on his little stage and sing to a karaoke machine, while he would lob instructions our way: "Sing like you're drunk!" "Pretend you're Beyonce Knowles!" "OK, now do that again, only begin every word with an F!" Soon we'd be singing with abandon, not really caring how ridiculous we looked. Because, damn, we sounded good!

Although I moved away from Toronto and Art's basement studio, I took my new found confidence with me. I even recorded several songs I had written, just to be able to say "that's my song."

My CD sits on a shelf now, and I look at it wistfully from time-to-time. I know friends that have made music their life, and I am sometimes jealous of them, touring the country and performing. But although I wish I had more time to play and sing, I feel a sense of pride at having silenced my fear and amplified my voice.

Here's to sweet songs.


  1. Fear is so powerful. It can really set the direction of our life if we let it.

    I'm glad to hear you are finding a way back to music. I think that letting the passion be released is so freeing. I was always afraid to write and I am so happy I let that passion develop.

  2. Do we get to hear the songs? I want to hear the songs!

    Fear is hard, but good for you for overcoming it and recording your songs.

  3. That is a wonderful story and it so reminds me of myself. I gave up singing for the same reasons. I was on my way of becoming a professional singer but the pressure to be outstanding (at least I thought I had to be) and the stage freight drove my passion away. I also have a recording as a memory of these times but I made peace with my "singing retirement". :-) I think it´s great that you grew out of your fears and I admire your achievement.


  4. Hey Pam - hopefully I get to listen to your CD someday! :D


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