Eighteen Months

29 Aug

Eighteen months!?

At some point in the middle of lesson 4, Patty mentioned that the process of learning to sing, for a rank beginner like me, takes about eighteen months.  Which really throws a wrench into my thing-a-month vision of this year.  An eighteen-month long wrench.

Actually, it throws a wrench into the whole idea of spending only a year at this “new me” project.  I’m not even through one month of my forward-from-fifty year, still on the first step of my particular twelve-step program.  How can I spend eighteen months stuck on step one?

The whole idea of learning to sing in a month was, of course, ludicrous.  I’m not quite sure what I thought before I began the lessons.  Most days I feared that Patty would take one listen and pronounce me hopeless.  Other, more optimistic days I imagined there was a secret key to singing, the musical equivalent of the quadratic equation.  Once I knew the formula, I fantasized, I’d be trilling away, lah-de-dahing my heart out.

Somewhere in the middle of lesson one, when I had neither been delivered very bad news nor clued in to the secret code, I knew I’d need more than a month to accomplish much of anything singing-related because singing, like so much else in life, requires a long slog of practice, practice and more practice.  Sigh.

But exactly how much more than a month I’d need I wasn’t clear on.  Two months?  Six?   Now I know: eighteen.  Oy.

So here, on the cusp of month two, I am modifying (slightly) my forward-from-fifty plan – both for singing and for the year.  I am honing my singing goal to this: I want to be able to sing three songs.  The three I’ve selected, and which I am already working on, are: “Simple Gifts”; “Halleluyah,” by Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game.”  I’ll continue my singing lessons (and keep you posted on my progress) until I feel that I can confidently and comfortably sing those three songs.

At the same time, I want to move on to another goal, so, even though I’m continuing my singing lessons, September will bring a new project as well.   More about that in the next post.


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