Who said self assessment isn't taxing!?
They say that “self assessment doesn’t have to be taxing”, but in the context of my current world, the world of a student soprano, I have to respectfully disagree with that statement.
Self assessment as a singer can actually be very taxing and is often the cause of toxic self sabotage. Of course, I am speaking from my own personal experience here and with almost thirty-six years of looking at myself in the mirror and around thirty years singing and playing the piano, I know myself pretty well and I’m entitled to make that personal judgement on myself.
Today has been a totally liberating experience. A typical Sunday for me at the moment involves coffee, breakfast and singing – as much as possible without tiring my voice. I made the decision to record a video of myself rehearsing this afternoon; mostly for my own reasons – to assess myself, to listen, to fine tune… to ‘self assess’. But also, to show you, the reader and viewer, that life isn’t just about the finished product – and the other thing is, in case you hadn’t realised for yourself yet… worrying about the finished product in any walk of life, often gathers unnecessary anxiety and negative thinking patterns.
In the music industry, particularly in classical music and opera, very seldom do I see clips or videos being shared of singers practising or performing that aren’t totally polished, perfect and flawless edits. I personally feel that I may be waiting a while to capture a moment that I am 100% happy with or that is flawless, one that has been critiqued or edited or re-filmed or taken 30 times to get the perfect angle… and we all know that isn’t a realistic and positive reflection of life! Over the past term, since starting my university degree I have gotten used to the process of accepting opinions during vocal technique lessons, language sessions and coaching; taking on board what works for me, what is relevant and then putting it into practice and improving. Part of that process also involves acceptance of imperfection and knowing that doesn’t mean failure or a lack of ability.
So, I invite you to enjoy my video from today - my perfectly imperfect session rehearsing at home for my debut as Frasquita in Bizet's Carmen, for North Wales Opera Studio.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing more with you soon.
The Welsh Soprano – Leigh Alexandra.