Friday, May 14, 2010

Magical Moment 99, "In the Booth, Without Excuse"

I was dreading my upcoming recording session after the last session (in my opinion) went terrible. I grew frustrated and disheartened as I tried to force myself to sound a certain way but never achieved the desired outcome. Eventually, after about 3 hours of work, we ended up scratching the entire session. I went home that night upset and with an aching throat.

I play once a week for a tedious musical theatre class for children. I sit behind the keyboard, plunking out the same melody over and over while watching the minute hand inch around the clock. But last week, the monotony broke when a guest instructor led the class. She coached and molded the children with ease, holding their interest…and mine. And when the children moaned that something couldn’t be sung the way it should, she asked them a question, “Is this something you really want to do? Sing on stage?” The kids all nodded yes. “The successful ones don’t make excuses, they just find a way to do it.” I felt as though I was one of the eleven year olds sitting Indian style on the wooden dance floor, entranced by the lady’s words.

The next day when I arrived at the Wall Street recording studio, I went with a no excuses attitude. When I still didn’t achieve the sound I wanted, I didn’t collapse into failure, I accepted my limits. I sang the song using the tools I knew I possessed, and left out the ones that I didn’t. Not because I’m not talented enough, or capable, but because it’s just not me.

With that acceptance, I made amazing progress - more than probably the last 2 sessions combined. My goal that night was to record the song with power, emotion, and beauty. And without excuses, I found a way to do it.

"Sick and Tired" words and music by Elizabeth Grimes, Copyright 2009

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