by Akemi Takahashi
The Teen Girl’s Singing Guide begins with probably the most valuable question you could ever ask yourself as a singer: how important is singing to me? It seems like a simple question, but lots of times I find myself having trouble finding the answer within myself because of other questions clouding my mind. Questions like,
Well, let me start by saying that I loved every second of the time in my life where singing took center stage. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE to sing. But I’ve branched out and realized that a career in singing doesn’t fit me quite right. Even so, I feel that the years I spent devoting myself to singing are irreplaceable. One of the most pivotal points in my life so far was overcoming my stage fright. When I was 9 I started taking private lessons and started to perform for real audiences- not just my mom or my pet fish. For months I was absolutely terrified to get up and sing in front of people. And when I say terrified, I mean TERRIFIED. One time I actually ran offstage crying and hid in a bathroom stall until my mom came and found me. Looking back on this I can laugh, of course, but back then, it felt like the end of the world. I remember being so mad that fear was holding me back from doing what I loved. So, I decided to give it one more shot. The next time I performed was when I was 10 at my elementary school’s talent show. There were about 400 people packed into my school’s gymnasium- by far the biggest audience I’d sang for. As the first beats to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” played, I looked out in front of me, expecting to see all 400 people. Instead I saw darkness. The lights were so bright on the stage that the audience was completely invisible to me. Seeing this, a wave of calm came over me, and when I opened my mouth to sing, I didn’t freeze or cry or run away. I sang, and it felt so good. After the song ended, I took my bow and walked offstage, where my mom was standing; teary eyed and open armed. She wrapped me up in a big hug and said she was so proud of me. To this day, that is one of my happiest moments and one of my biggest accomplishments.
When I read Nancy’s question, I wasn’t sure what to answer in the box provided. But then I asked myself the question in a different way- how much do I love singing? And wow, did I know the answer to that. No matter where you are on the spectrum of, “how important is singing to me,” you took interest in this book because you love to sing. So throughout this book, you will experience a lot of clarity, which will help you determine exactly how you want singing to play out in your life.