One of the things I love about being an accompanist is getting to play for voice lessons. Not only is it a fun way to make a little extra money, but I always walk away with more knowledge than when I started.
This weekend, I accompanied five lessons for master teacher Kurt Robinson. This guy definitely knows what he is doing. It was mesmerizing to listen to the sounds he could get out of people in an hour, and the transformation from the time I entered to the time I left. As soon as I finished each lesson, I went right to my notebook to write down everything I learned, so in essence, I had five voice lessons of my own that day.
And the most inspiring part of the day was when one of my Broadway idols walked into the room. I don’t want to say her name on here and sound the Google alerts alarm, but let’s just say that if you know musical theatre, you know who she is. You probably have a recording or two she’s starred on, and if you’re like me, you’ve spent countless hours on YouTube, watching every performance she’s ever given!
Obviously, I was cherishing every second I spent sitting at the piano accompanying her, while trying to maintain my composure and not just giggle with glee. What impressed me the most was that this wasn’t any different from any other voice lesson. When she had issues, Kurt called her out on it. Part of me was thinking “how dare you say that wasn’t transformative, this woman is flawless!” But she was there to work, and work she did!
I rode the elevator with her after her lesson was finished, and she mentioned that this particular piece was making her nervous. She’ll be performing it for a July 4th concert, and she wanted to start working on it now. And that is admirable. This woman is an absolute star, and yet she doesn’t take anything for granted. No wonder God named his garden after her. (wink, wink)