DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 10

April 2, 2014

Ok, I had a little fun yesterday with an April Fools inspired Student Spotlight Interview. To make up for that today, I offer a legitimate interview with an awesome student of the voice. I’m excited for your to meet Shoaib and learn about what brought him to voice lessons and how it is going so far. Here goes…

Davin: Hey, Shoaib! Share a bit about yourself with us. Where are you from? What currently fills your days? What do you like to do with your free time? That sorta thing.

Shoaib: Hey Davin! Well I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio to parents who immigrated here from the Pakistan. I moved to Chicago about 3 to 4 years ago to work and complete my medical education. Right now, in addition to completing my education, I am also involved in various research projects within the medical realm. With my free time I enjoy making music, composing, production, and as of recent I have started to learn how to write my own songs. My affinity for music all stemmed from playing the violin as a child until medicine took my life over. Ha! In addition to orchestra, I enjoy other sorts of performing arts and art such as watching musicals and visiting museums. Also, Chicago is a dang gorgeous city, some evenings I find myself just sort of walking around sightseeing. 

Davin: Wow! Varied interests, but so many involving music. Can you tell us a bit specifically, about what brought you to voice lessons? Is this something you’ve done in the past? What caused you to take the initiative?

Shoaib: What brought me to voice lessons was simply that I wanted to be a better singer. I can hold my own on a violin, with a hand drum, with various south asian instruments, but the one thing I have always wanted to do is sing well. In undergrad I took a singing class with about 20 other students, it was very impersonal and unfortunately I ended up just skipping it (haha!) but I still passed! I sort of had lessons, but not until I had a lesson with you did I know what it meant to actually have a voice lesson. The overall initiative came from me jamming out to Michael Jackson in my car and thinking, “Hey, maybe I can jam out to my own stuff soon..who knows! but let me sound great first”. I’m sure my neighbors appreciate the lessons I’ve been taking! Haha.

Davin: Ah! Michael Jackson will do that to ya. Oh, and your neighbors can deal.  How has it been so far? Do you feel like you’ve made progress with your instrument?

Shoaib: So far it has been great! I didn’t even know I could sing songs that I am now singing, I’ve made exponential progress! I can notice it too, from hitting notes with ease and confidence to the tone. Of course I have a long way to go, but looking back from when I started, I have definitely come a long long way.

Davin: Given your profession in medicine, where do you see singing fitting into your life? Do you have goals outside of lessons?

Shoaib: Singing is definitely going to be a part of my life for at least the foreseeable future. It is a great mental break, as well as a big confidence booster that clearly effects in a positive way other aspects of my career and personal life. I mentioned earlier that I have started to write my own songs, and that has been a huge goal for me. My goal is for one day in one way or another inspire those around me by using my talents to excel at something they may have been wanting to do, whether that is musically, or spiritually, or whatever!

Davin: That is a great and noble goal! So, let’s start now. Do you have any advice for someone who might be on the fence about whether they should pursue lessons?

Shoaib: I wish I could shove you off of that fence. Take your excuses and throw them away. It’s been a regret that I didn’t start taking lessons earlier. It’s easy to be the best singer when you’re alone in your shower, but to get out into the world, to do something as freeing as singing out loud with confidence, you owe it to yourself to tell yourself “Yes, I can!”.. and you can. I’ve been wanting to sing well since I was young, and all that time I was the only one holding myself back. To the singer who is just starting, I say get off of that fence and schedule a lesson. And to the veteran singer…well every great athlete has his/her coach, and this is no different. 

Davin: Well done! Maybe motivational speaking is also in your future??  Thanks, Shoaib!

Shoaib: No Problem! take care Davin

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DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 10