From winning a national TV music contest, to traveling internationally with a choir as a kid, teacher Michelle gives us an inside look into her life and tips that will help every music student!
What made you want to learn to sing and how old were you?
When I was 7 years old, a student of my grandfather volunteered to teach me piano lessons. I’ve been playing ever since. A year later I auditioned and was accepted into a prestigious choir, where I sang until high school. I traveled internationally with the choir and participated in competitions. Through these activities, I became more secure and independent, which lead to my choice to study music in Germany after high school.
Tell me about a performance that sticks out above the others. What made this so unique?
When I was 8, my choir teacher suggested a TV competition. I went without knowing there were 5 levels you had to pass before the finals. I ended up winning! I was instantly famous in my school - I was someone who had been on tv! I still remember all those lights and that big stage! I worked to do my best and just enjoy singing and ended up going home with a lot of prizes. It was a lot for a little girl.
Can you tell me what skills you learned that helped achieve your success?
Knowing how to perform is an important skill. The more you do the better you get. We all get nervous, but by doing more of it you can overcome your fear. You must really, really believe in yourself and resist the temptation to be too critical of yourself. My recipe is to prepare really well and do everything you can to be ready. When the moment comes, focus on enjoying it, don't worry about any mistakes, and have fun!
Another important skill is how to teach. Every singer has a different "instrument" - a different voice, face, mouth, teeth, and body shape. Singing is also acting, performing, and storytelling. I think that performing and teaching are a good combination for me. That’s why I am an active performer - I give concerts to stay relevant and my students push me to keep growing.
If you could give only one recommendation to all music students, what would it be?
Learn music and stick with it! Regardless of what you want to do with your life, music is a key to communication, discipline, and to your creativity. Music enriches your life. You may not always love every minute, but everyone who sticks with it ends up grateful and appreciative. Who knows - maybe someday you'll have kids and you can share music with them!
Thank you, Michelle, for sharing your experience with us!