June 03, 2014

Figuring Out His Path

We are at a cross roads with Bones. His vocal teacher is leaving to get her Masters degree. This is the second vocal teacher we've lost to moving on. It is good for them.

It is tough for us.

He will be 15 on Friday. His voice isn't settled and he's still not had enough training, but in my mind, he will sing just through high school and then it will be relegated to the shower or the car.

I don't want to dismiss him though. Do I think he will ever be an Andre Bocelli? No. But as my boss says, charisma comes into play as well and I shouldn't discount what Bones provides beyond his voice.

I called his original vocal teacher and asked her what she thought, if I should go with this new unknown teacher that is being provided through the studio or do we find someone else?

She watched his latest video for me and said if we continue to train, he will be very good and could teach. (She said he has a wonderful tone.) She doesn't see him making a living at it.

Honesty is what I was looking for.

We decided we will give him one year with this new vocal teacher and then I will pay to have him evaluated by a man in town that is very good. Bones will have to decide how far he wants to take it. I personally think he would be good on stage, but...

The thing is... I'm in the sciences so I am at a loss as to what to do with a kid that is artistically inclined.

I'm winging it.


Posted by Boudicca at June 3, 2014 09:42 PM
Comments

From my personal experience (I never had formal training, other than comments by choir directors to do this or that) the students that had formal training were more confident in their singing and could hit the correct pitch with less effort.

It all comes down to all the extra practice that occurs during the lessons.

It would be to Bones advantage to continue with his vocal training with (yet another) vocal coach. The differences in approaches should help round out Bones' skills. Evaluating after a year will show you if he needs anything else (or maybe changing to yet another coach).

Posted by: The Thomas at June 4, 2014 10:23 AM

I just listened to the recital performance. Ow.

He definitely needs to continue with the voice coach so that he isn't straining so much when he is working the upper half of his range. You can hear a slight flatness in the pitch when he is straining for the upper notes. This is a side effect of his voice changing. He just needs practice to regain control over his new range.

This happens to everyone, so he shouldn't feel bad.

Posted by: The Thomas at June 4, 2014 10:47 AM

I went back and listened to his (Nov 2013) practice for his first Juried and the strain wasn't there.

So it has to be part of his voice changing.

Posted by: The Thomas at June 4, 2014 11:03 AM

The thing is, we had never intended for this to be a vocation. It was a way to get him to be with more creative people.

But... now here we are and I needed to make sure this was NOT something he should pursue. And I think it's not. I think he will major in something like communications as that is a huge strong suit for him.

He is really struggling with the upper registers. What is upper for him, that is. He told me the other day, "She told me my voice is still changing. It's getting lower again." He said that with disdain.

The songs are picked out as one size fits all. So there isn't a thought of 'you can't hit this'. You try and that's it. And he gets very flat. He can hear it and he gets depressed about.

There are days when he sings, his voice is so flat we both cringe. There are days he sings he is spot on.

The vocal lessons are to help him with his juries. It's just additional instruction so he feels confident in his class amongst the other kids. I never thought he was gifted.

He has a knack for remembering words, being able to parrot. He does have nice tone. But I think after high school, he'll be done unless he finds a church choir he wants to sing in.

Posted by: Bou at June 4, 2014 11:35 AM

Regarding "vocation", of the kids I went to HS with, a couple went to Northwestern for their Performing Arts program, but the only people who are working professionally are back stage with the crew.

The Twins were the ones that everyone expected to go places, but they got regular degrees and spent their time with community theater or other local activities. The eldest is now a published author and playwright along with his normal business dealings.

I would expect Bones to use his trained voice as a church soloist or praise leader. Church choirs are nice places to meet friends. (Not that an outgoing Bones would need assistance in that area.)

It is way too early to worry about where he is going to end up.

When I was his age I was recovering from breaking my right elbow (which got me out of orchestra and into choir) and had no clear idea of what profession I would take up: Forest Ranger, Lawyer, Politician, or whatever. I chose not to follow that life of crime and ended up an engineer (or something like that) like my father and grandfathers.

Posted by: The Thomas at June 4, 2014 09:26 PM

It's about trying to find him some path that he can at least start on. I'm thinking it will be communications.

The good thing about being at an art high school is you see so much raw talent, you just kind of know if you're not the one who's going to make it. There are so many dang stand outs.

Posted by: Bou at June 4, 2014 09:52 PM

Cool - Bones and I share a birthday!

Happy Ourday, Bones!

Posted by: yak at June 5, 2014 12:30 AM