Mickey100's Blog

The inner workings of my mind

Life in College: The Freshman Adventure

on August 27, 2011

My first year in college is complete, with the next year lying just around the bend. The past twelve months have been filled with many new experiences and challenges that have pushed me and helped me grow. One of those new experiences was having voice lessons for the first time. Now, music in general has always been something I enjoy and I aspire to use it to encourage people. My mission statement is “dream, create, and perform to bring hope and inspiration into the lives of others.” In order to reach these goals of connecting with people through music, I had decided before the school year started that I wanted to major in vocal performance. Little did I know the adventures that this decision held around the corner for me.

It may seem that because I have grown up in in a musical home and been surrounded by music my whole life, I would be an expert musician and singer; but the truth is, any professional music training I have had  (meaning private lessons), has been limited to violin lessons from my mom. This is not to say that I am incompetent in these areas. On the contrary, I believe that I have been given these talents in order to impact people and glorify God. The point I am making is that there are times when I feel like there is much more in me that has never been touched. In the past, I have wanted voice, guitar, and piano lessons, but have never been able to afford them. Around sophomore year in high school, I started teaching myself piano and guitar, but I found singing to be more difficult to learn without an instructor. So while I learned a few vocal techniques on my own, I have always just sung how I knew to sing.

Upon beginning college, I was able to take voice lessons for the first time.  However, I ended up spending most of the time breaking incorrect self-taught habits and relearning how to sing from scratch. Starting at square one, I felt massively overwhelmed and intimidated. There were times when I almost lost confidence in myself and found the pursuit of majoring in vocal performance to be a ridiculous fantasy. Yet somehow, despite what seemed like impossibilities, I kept pressing on.

A couple months before the end of this first year, my academic advisor asked me if I wanted to declare my major. I decided to step out in faith and go for it. He told me that to do so, I needed to pass an entrance audition. (How that works is they make your jury, which is your semester final for voice lessons, your audition.) I then talked with my voice teacher about it and we concluded that, even though I had come a long way in such a short amount of time, I probably wasn’t vocally ready yet, but I would probably be ready at the end of the coming fall semester, so we decided to wait and do my audition then. However, what I didn’t realize was that my academic advisor had already worked everything out to make the spring jury my entrance audition.

On the day of juries, my jury ended up being crammed between two other finals. It was 10:00 in the morning, I had no time to warm up, I was rushed to get in there, and my nerves were high. As Dr. Brown was telling me to come in quickly, he exclaimed “So this is your entrance audition?” I paused. “I was going to wait until next semester,” I told him. He responded with, “Well, this is what the music office gave me.” Right then my nerves shot up from building-height to skyscraper-height. As I sang, my heart was racing and I didn’t have good breath support, causing the sounds that resonated from my voice to be poor quality. I finished my two songs and then they asked me questions, the first of which was “What do you want to major in?” After my less-than-dazzling performance, the last thing I wanted to respond with was “voice performance,” but after rambling a sentence or two, I finally did. Then they asked me how long I had been taking lessons, and if I played any other instruments. I told them “just this year”, and then told them my history of violin, flute, piano and guitar. Then they asked why I wanted to major in voice. I said something along the lines of, “I really want to know how to sing well and develop my skills as a singer.” They thanked me and then sent me off and I went and took my next final.

Later that day in the library (and still on a nervous-energy high), I was talking with God and I said, “Whatever happens, may it be for your honor and glory. And I don’t think I made it in, so I am going to try again next semester.” I wrote something similar in my notebook the next morning: “Whatever happens, I pray that you are glorified by it and that I can use it as a story to tell people how great you are.”

Now let me tell you: God is great! Four days later, I got a letter in the mail saying that not only was I accepted, but every single judge passed me. That is the grace, glory, and power of God. Through this, the words of the Lord ring true: “My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) He took my weakness and manifest his power through it. We must always remember, despite any feelings of inadequacy, that God is faithful and has everything under control. He calls us to go into the world with what he has already placed in our hands. It is easy to respond to this challenge with, “I don’t have what it takes” or “First I need to get this one thing, then I’ll go.” Where do we, as humans, draw the line for “what it takes?” If we measure our readiness based on our own standards and feelings, we will never move. We could always say, “I need that before I go” or “It would turn out better if I had that, so I will wait.” But the truth is that God has already equipped us with what we need to accomplish his will.

The bible accounts many stories of this nature. All Moses had was a meager staff, yet through God’s help, he performed miraculous wonders with it. (Ex. 4) The poor widow that was with Elisha had only a little oil. Yet through God’s miracle, it filled jar, after jar, after jar, which she was then able to sell to provide for her family. (2 Kings 4:1-7) These are only two of the many instances throughout the bible when God has taken someone’s “little” and displayed His glory through it. We don’t have to be “good enough,” “smart enough,” or “talented enough,” (in the earthly sense of those phrases) because God has already supplied us with what we need to make his will come to pass. He is God Almighty, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the I AM; if he wants something done, he will get it done. He is strong enough to perform miraculous wonders, yet intimate enough to comfort us. Praise to God for his great power and love!

 

I am proud to say that yesterday, Friday the 26th of August, I met with my academic advisor and filled out the paperwork; I am now officially declared as majoring in vocal performance.

Now for round two…

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