Journal: Leave your baggage at the door. - Jeanne Nemcek

November 12, 2014

Davin, here! I’m excited to introduce you to a new monthly blog series written by our friend and SINGtern, Jeanne Nemcek. Jeanne, a graphic designer and illustrator (this picture above is hers!) is such a huge help to the studio and in exchange, I trade her voice lessons! I asked her if she would begin writing monthly about her personal experience with singing and learning more about her voice through voice lessons. My hope is that others will be able to relate to her story and her honest candor about the challenges and joys of singing. Please show her support by commenting below! Now, on to Jeanne…

I began singing years ago in a bluegrass and country trio. This eventually lead to cofounding a folk/rock band performing original compositions. When that dissolved I dabbled in jazz vocal workshops and even joined a women’s choir briefly, very briefly. Then my singing and performing gradually faded away. No grand explanation why, it just happened.

Fast forward to this past summer. As a freelance illustrator and graphic designer I compulsively check a variety of job postings with the goal of meeting new clients. Through one of my daily searches I came across an ad seeking an intern for a voice studio in the Fine Arts building downtown. This instantly clicked for me because it was looking for someone interested in helping with various studio business combined with social media and if I knew how to read music, that was a big plus. Bingo. A firm believer in kismet I immediately sent off a note of interest with my resume. Before the end of the day I heard back from Davin and we set up a meeting.

Thus began a working relationship that continues today and includes the most humbling part of my creative journey, weekly voice lessons. I say humbling because being untrained and forever curious what my voice could actually do given proper instruction I was now faced with the responsibility of finding out. Not only that, I would have to face some cumbersome emotional baggage I’d been dragging around for much too long. Having had a bit of mild success with the band followed by my unexplained long absence from the scene only made the concept of getting behind a microphone again feel daunting. The longer I put it off, the larger it became an obstacle to somehow conquer. Bottom line, there is really no space for blame anymore, life happens and I just had to find a way to move onto what I really wanted, to sing.

Doing what is second nature is great but having the confidence to depend on it being ready and waiting is priceless and that is what lessons provide for me. I enjoy practicing, doing scales and pushing myself to achieve more at each lesson. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to reach through the ceiling of what you thought was your highest note or smoothing out the break just a little bit more. Of course, all of this requires a patient, encouraging teacher that not only challenges you but also respects your history and hang-ups, sees through them and ultimately makes you do the same. Getting to know Davin as a professional and a friend has expanded not only my appreciation of all genres of music but taught me the importance of listening to my natural instincts and going for it. Combined with the talents of Missy and Kathryn, the studio is a powerhouse of creative spirit and knowledge. It’s a wonderful group to be part of and learn from.

I just returned from a good lesson today and feeling in the right place for the moment but I realize it’s temporary and with the next lesson I’ll get nudged out of my comfort zone once again. But honestly, that’s why I’m here in the first place and what can be better than that?

comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS

Resources and Friends

Technique & Pedagogy
Somatic Voicework
Richard Miller 
William Vennard
Cornelius Reid

Chicago Laryngologists
Dr. H. Steve Simms
Dr. Aaron Friedman

Speech Pathologists
Kate Devore
Jan Potter Reed

Alexander Technique
John Henes

Four Hands Massage

Ann Latinovich

Chicago Auditions
League of Chicago Theatres
Theatre in Chicago
Chicago Artists Resource

Chicago Acting and Improv Classes
Act One
Acting Studio Chicago
Actor's Talent Group
The Artistic Home
Black Box
Green Shirt Studio
The Green Room
Improv Olympics
Second City

Chicago Choral Groups
CSO Chorus
Grant Park Chorus
Music of the Baroque
William Ferris Chorale
Bella Voce
Apollo Chorus
Lakeside Singers
Schola Antiqua
Chicago Choral Artists

Sheet Music
Sheet Music Plus
Music Notes
Hal Lenoard
Music Minus One
Download Music Minus One

Rehearsal  and Karaoke Tracks
Practice Tracks 
Pianos Tracks for Musicals
Audition Trax
MP3 Accompanist
Your Accompanist
Opera Karaoke
Sunfly Karaoke


Recent Entries

Announcement: VOXUS, A Team Building Experience
Listen: Davin sings Make You Feel My Love
Listen: Missy Wise sings Moments in the Woods
Announcement: Chicago Circle Singing at Davin Youngs Voice
Announcement: Meet our new studio assistant, Taylor Snooks
Practicing Singing: Trusting the process and the art of sticking to it
Announcement: Intro to singing through improvisation with Alison Wedding
Announcement: Musical Theatre Audition Workshop with Missy Wise
Announcement: Meet our new voice associate, Alison Wedding
Announcement: Open MIC | House - June 22, 5:30 - 8:30pm
Announcement: Open Mind / Open Body: connecting the voice community through Science + Sound
NEWS: one-year DYV-iversary! - Missy Wise
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 22
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 21
NEWS: 2014 A Year in Review
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 20
How to successfully give and get online voice lessons
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 19
Acting & Performance: The gift of curiosity - Kathryn Bartholomew
Singing & Performance: Growth & Authenticity - Missy Wise
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 18
Announcement: December Sessions Posted
Journal: Leave your baggage at the door. - Jeanne Nemcek
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 17
Singing & Performance: “I used to sing, but…”
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 16
Announcement: Creating a Character an Acting Workshop with Kathryn Batholomew
Singing & Performance: We’re all in this together! - Missy Wise
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 15
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 14
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 13
Announcement: “So, you like to #SING?” Voice Technique Workshop
Practicing Singing: Three things we need to do more of
Practicing Singing: Am I getting any better?
Announcement: Singer / Songwriter Workshop
News: Back to WGN with Patti Vasquez
News: Davin Youngs Voice on WGN Radio with Pete McMurray
Performance: Davin sings It’s Hard To Speak My Heart from Parade
Announcement: “I can #SING that! (Where song and technique meet.) Workshop
Journal: Somatic Voicework™, The LoVetri Method & My Voice Story
Singing & Performance: The Power of Stillness - Missy Wise
Journal: Davin + Missy @ NATS 2014 National Conference in Boston
Announcement: And the WINNER is…
Announcement: Kathryn Bartholomew, Acting Associate at Davin Youngs Voice
News: Davin Youngs Voice on Monocle Radio’s “The Entrepreneurs”
Announcement: Singing Technique Workshop, July 20, 3-5pm
Announcement: Win a 3-day pass to the Pitchfork Music Festival
Announcement: Meet our SINGtern - Linling Navarro
Technique & Singing: What You Should Expect of your Voice Teacher
News: Davin Youngs Voice on WCIU You & Me This Morning
Announcement: Meet our SINGtern - Jeanne Nemcek
Singing & Performance: What if singing were easy? - Missy Wise
DYV on the Town: A safe space to share your voice
Announcement: Monologue Workshop, May 31st, 11am -1pm
Announcement: We’re heading back to Davenport’s!
Fear & Singing: Why it can be so right to be wrong
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 12
Announcement: We’re Hiring (again!)
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 11
Announcement: Davin Youngs Voice Intern
Performance: Missy Wise sing Maybe This Time from Cabaret
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 10
APRIL FOOLS: Student Spotlight Interview No. 10
DYV On the town: Davin Youngs Voice invades Davenport’s Piano Bar
Announcement: #SING it’s #SPRING
News: Davin Youngs Voice - Hidden Yelp! Reviews
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 9
Performance: Missy sings Brave by Sara Bareilles
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 8
Journal: Confessions of a Voice Teacher and/or Finding our Authentic Voice
Performance: Davin & Missy sing Say Something
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 7
Practing Singing: Stuck inside? Why not #SING?
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 6
Announcement: Someone to introduce you to!
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 5
New Years Resolutions: #SING
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 4
Announcement: Fine Arts Building, Open Studios - December 13
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 3
Fear and Singing: Yes, you look silly.
Announcement: We’re Hiring!
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 2
Fear and Singing: What are we all afraid of?
DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 1
Singing & Performance: You were born to sing.