Since my recent (well, not so recent) post on teaching children how to sing, I actually had occasion to take my nephew to some singing lessons. And what I found there was shocking. Or maybe it was incredible. Either way, I was not expecting it at all and what I saw was absolutely hilarious.
But let’s back up a bit. My nephew is 10 years old and he recently had to sing something for his music class in school. And he had to sing in front of the whole class. I always hated when my teacher made me do that as a kid, so I can imagine exactly how he must have felt. Ironically, these days I will belt out tunes while cruising around town in my car!
But back then, I could have never done that and hated when the teacher forced us. And for my nephew, it got worse. He apparently did a pretty poor job. As in, he butchered the song he was assigned. My sister says the other kids made fun of him pretty harshly and continued to do so for days. You know how kids can be.
My nephew really takes things like this to heart. It hit him hard being made fun of by everyone and he wanted to make sure it never happened again. Naturally, he knows of my involvement in music, so when I came over for a visit, he asked me if I could help him learn how to sing.
There was not much I could do for him myself, but I do have a lot of connections with people who teach singing or know people who do. All of the people I know don’t teach children or didn’t have any free time, but I was referred to a vocal coach who was supposedly really good with children and does a really great job. I never met him before, but the friend who recommended him is someone I trust. If this friend says this is a good teacher, then he’s a great teacher.
I made an appointment and took my nephew to see this teacher. You wouldn’t believe what I saw when we entered the studio. It was Michael Harding.
Well, actually it wasn’t the real Michael Harding. But it was a dead ringer for him. Seriously, this guy looked just like Michael. It was incredible. I was actually at a loss for words at first. I didn’t know what to say. When I finally managed to stammer out some stuff I asked him, “Do you know who you look like?”
He did, of course, know who he looked like, but he was surprised I did. He said not many people actually know who Michael Harding is. That’s when I brought up my website and told him that I run a site devoted to this famous country music artist. He was pretty shocked to hear that, though not as shocked as I was to see what he looked like. Anyway, as you can imagine, this made for some great conversational fodder and kept us busy for most of the lesson. The coolest thing, he even had an indoor fountain that looked like Harding!! He said he uses the fountain to help him relax, which is a technique I have since adopted myself (great tip, by the way!).
Incidentally, he is also a great teacher. My friend was right about that. He is a really great rapport with my nephew and seems like he would with any child.
That said, my nephew is not going to take singing lessons for a long time. He really just wanted to take them long enough so that he can sing better than most of the kids in his class. That way, they will no longer make fun of him.
And I can tell you, after a few lessons, they won’t make fun of him again. In fact, he can now start making fun of them. Luckily, I know my sister has taught him better than that. Still, the other kids deserve it, that’s for sure.