This has been an exhausting, exhilarating, infuriating, exciting, exasperating and thrilling past two weeks. We started back at the university, completely remotely, and trying out all kinds of new ways of teaching and learning, with mixed but mostly good results. Consequently, we have spent countless hours on the screen. Endless debriefing sessions, meetings, consultations, you name it. In the first week, I barely had a second to think let alone to practice. Every time I thought that I might settle down to invest a little energy in my vocal self, I almost wept at my own feelings of ineptitude and utter sense of the impossibility of being able to do so. I simply had no gas left in the tank.
And then I had a voice lesson. And my teacher said: “You are doing the best you can. And it’s enough”. And then he made me say it to myself, which caused me immediately to burst into tears. Just to say over and over again, “I’m doing the best I can”. Because I knew that I was, but I thought that everyone would judge me for not being up to it all. And since then, I have felt able and willing to practice. Once again, starting anew, to remind myself (again) (and again) that no one gets to tell me what constitutes a “valuable” or “productive” practice session. I decide that myself by just showing up. So I have, in recent days, shown up daily. Sometimes for 20 minutes, sometimes for more. Just to vibrate my instrument and make sound and breathe mindfully. It all helps. And has made me feel whole again (thank you, voice!) in this very trying and unfamiliar time.