Music is the voice of our heart, of our lives. I wanted to be that voice. I wanted to bring joy to the people around me. I wanted to share my pain, my hopes, and my dreams. Truth is singing is the only real thing for me. Sure there are loads of other intangible things that are considered to be real. There is education, love, freedom and justice. However, music transcends it all. It is an education for individuals who are poorer than a mouse. It is love for individuals who are unable to express what is inside of them. It is freedom for people who are suffering from social injustices. And, it is justice for all of us, for we are provided with a creative outlet for our ideas.
Perhaps like you, I was raised in the not-so-ideal neighborhood. My home was a door away from violence. Uncertainty seeped through the thin walls, like the cold winter’s air. Money was hard. My mother had to work three jobs for her to provide for us. It didn’t bother her as long as we have food, clothes and shelter. I love her more than anything because she provided us with an opportunity. My mother is no fool. She knows that sooner we hit middle school, no amount of love and protection can keep us safe from gangs, drugs and alcohol. How did she keep us on the straight and narrow? By sending me and my siblings to a local church’s free vocal lessons program.
Other kids would have begged their way out of attending free vocal lessons. But for me, it was heaven sent! I could not be happier! I get to do what I love and soon enough, what I will do best, which is singing.
The free vocal lessons program was spearheaded by the church to extend themselves to the community. We all have the notion of the church being an elitist organization, only catering to the rich and powerful. I was wrong. They do care. They too are aware of the dangers of the streets. To keep the next generation safe, they established programs that will help children find their passion, express their creative self, and embody the catholic faith.
Through the free vocal lesson program, I was able to learn how to sing properly. I found out that there is more to singing than belting and might I add sheepishly, yelling. Sure I have dreamed of becoming a diva, hitting those high notes with minimal effort. That dream was momentarily thrashed when I started doing it the proper way. There are breathing techniques to master, notes to understand and hit. I also learned discipline. I quit smoking because it will ruin my voice, aside from it being detrimental to my health. On another positive note, being healthy greatly improves your singing ability. I take better care of myself now, thanks to the free vocal lessons program. I eat less mucus-forming foods such as dairy and chocolates. I exercise regularly and conscious of my posture. Overall, the free vocal lessons I took gave me more than I bargained for.
Singing was only an opportunity presented for a better life. Music has been my passion, if not only for the glory it brings. With the free vocal lessons brought to me by the church, I not only glorify myself, but God as well. It is only right for me to use my talents to spread his love and goodness. I now sing in our church choir every Sunday. And before I know it, I am the one teaching the next batch of kids who were once lost in vices and poverty. I staunchly believe that someday, the same free vocal lessons will greatly impact their lives.