I had my usual weekly singing lesson earlier today. During the portion of our lesson I term the "scales" -- by the way, I don't think they're actually scales what he's playing, they just remind me of the scales I played when I was playing the piano -- he said that my ear has gotten much better. That's great! Only problem was that I needed him to tell me that my ear had gotten better. Ok, that's not totally fair. I suspected I had gotten better, but clearly I didn't know with that much confidence that I was that much better -- or at least better enough for him to note.
I should note that because of a pretty heavy travel schedule, I haven't been practicing that much lately. Hooray for not practicing! Clearly this is not a winning long term strategy so I'll take my accidental victory now and return to practicing on a regular basis.
We finally finish the scales and get to a song -- one which he wanted to begin with from last time -- this one is called "When You Say Nothing At All" -- made famous by Alison Krauss but I usually sing along with Ronan Keating's version for obvious reasons. (it's in the movie "Notting Hill" -- also known as the ultimate romantic comedy because it has both Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in it. By the way, am I the only one who can't see or think of the name Hugh Grant and not think of when he was arrested for picking up that very not so attractive hooker when he was dating ELIZABETH HURLEY?!)
Back to singing. I start off too high. He stops me. Error. That's when I know I've really screwed up. If I'm close, he lets me go to see if I catch myself. If I've been doing well then I screw up a little, he lets me go and then says afterwards, "Let's work on the chorus section again." But several notes too high? Zero points. He gives me 1 note. "You're too high. This song is easy for you." Ah, I understand. I don't have to adjust myself for this song -- sing straight up and I'll find it. Music starts again - oh, there it is. Much better.
We go through the whole song and he tells me that I was right on most of the song and when I was occasionally off, I was maybe 1/2 a note off. I look at his piano to verify what 1/2 a note means -- yup, that's what I thought it was (white key to black key.) He seems pleased. He then notes that that elusive showcase should be coming up soon and that that'll be good for me so I can "get out there." Get out there?! The following thought went through my head, "Are you crazy?" Someone might conceivably want to hire me for some unknown piece of work based on my singing? Did you happen to hear me when I started? I was too high! I wasn't able to adjust myself before you stopped me! What's going to happen when you're not there?! Clearly I'm at 30% to try and find an excuse not to perform in the showcase. Hopefully I will muddle through and make it there. Maybe I'll make some sort of half mental concession and ask him something dumb like, "You'll be there for it right? Just in case I totally screw up and need some direction?" Of course, he'll be there. I think this is what is called "needs more confidence."
I will say this though. Singing is fun! I really don't know why I enjoy it so much but it really is fun. I will also say that I spend a lot of time trying to understand how I get on pitch. See, I generally now know if I'm on or off but that's verification -- that's after the fact. How do I know before that -- how do I guess where I should be? Still a mystery to me -- but I do think it's fair to say that I am getting better at this.