It’s a time of excavation. Everything is lying dormant in this Time of COVID, like the earth in my garden awaiting the promise of spring. Many of my students, who would normally be making final preparations for their graduating recitals and final oral exams at this time of year, feel themselves rootless right now, as do I. So this week I’ve been pondering digging, and digging deep. Perhaps the season of hibernation is past, and I feel the urge to turn over the soil, to unearth what lies beneath.

The courageous task of grabbing the figurative spade and plumbing the depths of inner feelings often means charting new territory, an expedition that feels terrifying in and of itself. But what I am realizing is that in this new context, while such anxieties may be real, they are irrelevant. The brutal honesty and serious work of just applying yourself to the task without any expectation of reward, in singing, means trying out what might feel strange and unsettling to discover if it bears fruit (or not). If we are able, we can let go of the needs of our ego to appear competent and perfect and be open to a new, more honest and open way of making sound. We dig deep into ourselves to examine what is holding us back. And perhaps it is the simple act of digging on a daily basis that is the whole point.