DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 9

March 20, 2014

For today’s student spotlight, I’d like to introduce you to a gentleman named John. One of the things that amazes me most about teaching is the wide range of singers I meet. John represents a group of students who aren’t necessarily pursuing singing as a performance based endeavor, but more of a way to explore artistic expression. But, let’s have him tell us a bit more…

Davin: Hey, John! Thanks for doing this! Tell us a bit about yourself - you know, where you’re from? What you do during the days? etc.?

John: I am a middle-aged professional in PR and Marketing who has spent most of his career working late nights and weekends to “stay ahead of the game” and to be successful at what I do. But I now find myself in a professional situation where my hours can be a bit more flexible, so I decided to take Fridays off this summer. In contemplating how I would spend an entire workday not working (!), I decided to pursue an avocation that would be something just for me, just for the fun and pure joy of it – not to impress others, or to receive a pat on the back, or other forms of self-aggrandizement. And since I’m not a volleyball player or softball lover, I chose singing – because I love music, vocalists, lyrics, you name it. I just simply love music!

Davin: So, why voice lessons? Why not a choir or something like that?

John: When I first reached out to you, I explained that it was not my intention to ever “cut an album or sing in a choir.” I just wanted to be able to walk home from work or the gym and sing the songs I love with my Nano plugged into my ears – and without hurting the eardrums of those I pass on the street. Voice lessons seemed like a good place to start, and I cannot tell you how I found you exactly (other than through a search engine on the Internet). But something about your website struck me when I happened upon it and began reading. You seemed approachable, easy and fun to work with, patient and kind. Having been at this for a couple months, I can tell you I couldn’t be happier with my choice!

Davin: And… have you had any surprises?

John: It has far exceeded my expectations. I thought we would spend months trying to get my voice to a place where I could simply attempt to “follow a tune” like First Graders do. But your style is to jump right in. After we warm up my vocal chords, we get busy learning songs – actual songs. And your positive reinforcement seems almost unbelievable to me. I didn’t think I would ever be able to sing, but you are teaching me how to be a singer…..and I think I am learning. I’ll never be a great singer, but I do feel myself improving every week, and it really has become a weekly hour of joy for me. I leave the studio with a smile on my face – happy, just really happy. It may be a fleeting feeling as I snap back into the reality of life in Chicago, but during the time I’m in my voice lesson (and for a while following), I feel real joy – joy found through music and song!

Davin: What would you say to someone like you who hasn’t sang in the past and is thinking about giving singing a try?

John: I would say, “Don’t believe that you cannot do it. Because I never, ever believed that I would be able to sing any song.” But I can report that his lessons are starting to sink into my typically thick skull…and I now believe I CAN do it. I’ve decided to continue the lessons, past my summer Fridays off and into the months beyond. I will continue learning how to sing and to use my voice as a way to experience moments of joy in my life…or as long as Davin will have me as a student. Finally, I would say to a newcomer that working with Davin can be challenging (in a good way), but the rewards FAR EXCEED the challenges. And I would say, give it a try and best of luck!

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DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 9