Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sing...Sing A Song!

I have to be completely honest here. When Angela was a baby, it never would have occurred to me that one day she might be taking voice lessons.

As you know, she was accepted into the Theater group that she auditioned for last week. She's quite excited! We decided to ad voice lessons as well. It took us a bit to find a teacher willing to work with "a kid like her", but I think the teacher we found is gonna be great!!!

Our lesson was scheduled for 2:00, but the teacher called me this morning to ask what types of music Angela likes best, if she has a favorite song, etc. I told her anything from "Suessical" is at the top of her list right now, and there are a couple of songs that only have a few words and relatively simple melodies. I didn't tell her this, because I don't want to influence her expectations, but if Angela learns to sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" or some other preschool-ish song well, I'd be thrilled to death!

She said one of the things we'd be doing this first lesson is finding Angela's range. I had to laugh, I said, "Angela's range is MONOTONE." She replied with, "Oh, I have a children's chior and one my students is deaf! Now THAT is monotone singing, but you know what? She's singing and with all her friends, ands he tries her best, and that's what's important to HER!"

I'm thinking I'm liking this woman.

So we go for the lesson. She does some scale stuff with Angela, and points out that Angela IS able to match the pitch, but in an octave lower than what most kids sing. She has a very deep voice. The teacher dropped everything down one octave and Angela was able to match the pitch very well. And my, oh my....I wish I'd had my camera with me! She stood there like a high school student in a voice lesson, feeling very important and grown up! (Though she did occasionally burst into Seussical songs. LOL )

When the lesson was done Angela excused herself to the bathroom and the teacher and I were talking about some things. She said she doesn't know much about DS, but she was going to do some research about working with kids who have DS. That she'd start out working in Angela's current range, then later teach her how to move up and down in pitch. I mentioned that it's my understanding that the vocal folds have to be of good tone to make higher pitches, and since Angela's entire body has low tone it would make sense that her vocal folds do as well. (Angela is not able to scream like typical little girls do, though she can sometimes make this "sea gull" type noise when she's very excited. However in order to do so, she tightens up her entire neck and face.)

Anyway, Angela really enjoyed the lesson and is looking forward to going back next week. For this month they'll be working on Christmas songs, then after the holidays will start working on songs from Seussical.

It's very cool to watch your kid grow up right before your eyes!


Stephanie said...

That is awesome, you found a teacher that wants to learn something new, that is rare! Good luck with the signing I have no doubt Angela will be successful.

Anonymous said...

I read your post with a smile on my face. It sounds like you've found a wonderful voice teacher and that Angela will have a great time in voice lessons!