In the spring of 2016, at 45 years old and at a stage of life where my kids are teenagers, I decided to start investing some time in myself, to do something that I enjoy for me. Ah, singing lessons I thought! Google to the rescue, and a few clicks later I landed on the website of Harmony House Music School. The more I read, the more impressed I became with the background and experience of the teachers, particularly Sandi Melody, one of the Directors/Teachers.
I had learned that both Sandi and Jeremy Vallance (also a Director/Teacher at Harmony House) operated Spirits Call Choir, a non-denominational singing-group of people like me, people with little or no singing experience that love to sing. At the time, the spring session of the choir was just about to start, and the meeting location was very close to where I live in North Vancouver. I figured what better way to try singing and meet both Sandi and Jeremy at the same time.
Yes, like most people I suspect, I was initially timid about going outside my comfort zone in doing something that I had never done outside the confines of a shower curtain. Though after making it through the first evening of singing with the choir, it was amazing how pumped and energetic I felt. Sandi and Jeremy had done a splendid job of making me feel welcome, without applying judgement to my singing, and with lots of encouragement to just “sing it out”. I was hooked, and nearly a year later, I continue to enjoy singing with Spirits Call Choir both in North Vancouver on Tuesday nights, and downtown Vancouver on Wednesday nights.
In the fall of 2016, having now been singing for 6 months, I wanted more of Harmony House – I started taking private singing lessons with Sandi, and I joined a small vocal ensemble of 6 adults. The private singing lessons really helped teach me proper singing technique – I particularly noticed improvement with transitioning smoothly from chest voice to head voice, and vice-versa, and now feel more comfortable doing so when singing alone or with others. The small vocal ensemble provided a more intimate and personal experience to sing with a smaller number of people than the traditional choir, as well as a more creative opportunity to learn how to sing harmonizing music with others. Sandi and Jeremy were exceptional at identifying what little adjustments were needed to have you sounding your best individually and with a group – what great talent and skill!
If you love to sing, and have the same apprehensions and fears that I expect most of us have when we go outside our comfort zone to try something new, particularly something so personal that makes us vulnerable, then Harmony House and Spirits Call Choir would be a great choice for you. Please leave your apprehensions and fears at the door and give it a try – you’ll be so happy you did. You’ll meet so many great people, and you’ll feel so much more uplifted and energetic as a person.