I remember when I used to rehearse the youth choir I used to direct. Since the reasons we would meet was to sing, we would not only practice the songs but also practice using our vocal cords.I am not trying to bring remnants of the past into the present day, but I’ll never forget how I would sit there and start lecturing them when things weren’t going right and how the kids would stand aside and look at me as if I had two heads.
I figured if they had the anointing, that the instrument God gave them to use should also be trained. I didn’t always leave them smiling when I would stop the singing to give my lengthy feedback. But when the sincerity of their voices would hit the back walls of the church and reverberate in the ears of the congregation as they honored God’s love and kindness, you could hear the beauty in it. They actually listened. You could tell in the way they approached the music which means my talking a lot was successful. Those experiences are ones I will always treasure and never forget.
I have been rehearsing with my mentor for the past couple of weeks. He doesn’t just rehearse with me, he gives me lessons that are helpful to me as a singer. He trains my voice and I appreciate his feedback, but not always because I am somewhat like those kids.
I'd start a song, they were all smiles. They were singing, we were cool. I stoppped to talk, they rolled their eyes. They even said once, "Miss Stephanie, we don't like it when you start lecturing." That’s why today’s rehearsal immediately reminded me of how the New Generation Youth Choir would get upset with me stopping to talk and talk and talk. I had to though; I was directing them. That was my job.
My mentor is a musician at heart and a quality music teacher. He shows clear and decisive leadership.You can tell he loves what he does because of the way he gives you not just what you want to hear, but the truth. He is more about giving the important aspects of the methods than executing.
Here is my dilemma. I am a ready to go person. I would rather put on the song and sing it than to sit down, study and strengthen my own instrument before diving in. And so, even though I was paying attention, I felt like the kids did when I was lecturing. I have had this voice for years. I never thought someone could actually direct me how to use it. And so, this process is hard for me because it is making me realize how much of a genius I really am not. But it is not my job to be and now I know that it never has been. Everyday is a learning experience and I know that I am not through being ignited with wisdom.
I have to admit, my mentor has given me such good advice, that it has expanded what I have and made it much different than what I’m used to. I was born with a big voice and love to sing. But finally, I have some direction on how to come different with it. I have even noticed that my mentor can get me to do certain things with my voice that I can’t do when attempting it on my own. It’s kind of weird I must say. Especially since, he guides me how to preserve my instrument. But I guess after the lecturing is all said and done, sometimes the lesson leaves me until we meet again and is never practiced, which is not good.
I guess it has been time for me to update my outlook. I mean what is life without change? What is having knowledge if you never find ways to truly apply it? When does it become time to look beyond the obvious? If no other time, now! And I have come to realize that his words are like solutions and when I apply them, everything comes together and makes a lot of sense. I’m learning and it’s a great experience because I’m finally doing exactly what I want to do.