At Last - A Labour of Love

There are times in a singing coach’s life where one student so touches you with their own personal story of determination and commitment that you never forget it. Sally is one of those voice students for me and here’s why.

You see, Sally is in her mid 50s and has never been married. She is going to be married roughly 8 months from now and as part of her wedding, she wants to sing the song “At Last” to her husband. Sally is not a singer and never has been but she said that her husband loves music and this is something she wants to do as a surprise for him. This is no small task! It's the vocal equivalent of someone who has been a complete couch potato all their life deciding they want to run a marathon! At Last is a soulful and difficult song full of large leaps and long holds. A great deal of training needs to be done to do the song justice and Sally is willing to spend the necessary time and energy for this one shining moment to show her man just how much she loves him.

Although she has never sung before, Sally has all of the tools necessary to accomplish this amazing feat. She has a soft, pleasant voice that can hold pitch, she is determined and will practice daily to achieve her goal and she has a very specific goal in mind to work towards. Just as a marathon runner would start training to build strength, we are beginning with breathing and vocal exercises to get her voice accustomed to doing things it’s never done and to gain strength. Over the next several months, we will work on a variety of songs that will stretch and grow her voice so that she can better control her dynamics (louds and softs) and phrasing. Three months before the wedding, we will begin working on the actual song At Last and by the time the wedding comes, she will be able to sing it confidently.

I am very excited to see the progress she has made already in only a few weeks - the practicing she is doing shows already and she is starting to project. Her enthusiasm is infectious. What an amazing labour of love this is for her to do to surprise her guy. It is a privilege to be able to participate in someone’s life like this… I hope get to see the video next year!