I would be leaving out a big chunk of my experience in Italy if I failed to discuss the deeper life lessons that I have been learning here. As I have blogged about in the past, we cannot compartmentalize our lives, our singing, etc. We are one person and our emotions, experiences, beliefs, etc. all go together along with our singing and musicality to form one complete being. There have been many, many times throughout the years where I have found that the very issues I am struggling with in my personal life are also the very issues I am struggling with in my singing – such as letting go or being afraid. If I, Lindsay, am seeking to be in control of all things at all times, it will show itself in my singing – like with the presence of jaw tension. Or, if I am struggling with fear of man in my personal life, I will stand on the stage and do the same thing. Therefore, all the lessons we learn (and need to learn) go hand in hand between our “personal lives” and our singing.
While in Italy I have had the great privilege of meeting some outstanding people. The other participants are professional, mature, serious about music and passionate about singing and opera. The coaches, teachers and other staff are likewise professional, deep, insightful and extremely knowledgeable individuals. Being around them and wandering in and out of conversations with them about life, music and so on has been a wonderful gift to me. I see more clearly how much I have been living in a box. I have not been putting myself out there as I could – due to fear. Yet – I will never achieve all that I hope to if I stay locked in the box of fear. I will never be the singer, actress and person that I want to be (and am on the inside) if I don’t step outside my comfort zone and take risks. A risk could be something as simple as trying not to sing everything forte. What would happen if I took a risk, in an attempt to sing pianissimo? Well – I might crack or not make any sound at all. OR – I might discover the path to communicating a new idea through my singing. One thing is for sure – I will never know if I stay in my little safe mezzo-forte/forte box. The point is – take a chance. You might fall flat, but then at least you learned something and can move forward from there. *I am talking to myself, of course.
Without divulging too much, I want to share how I have been learning from those around me and how it has challenged, encouraged and at times frightened me. It has been a very enriching time of seeing and discovering for me and I am forever changed by it.