Ask her brother.
Her repertoire (please roll your eyes at my use of the word) ranges from Disney princess tunes to Carrie Underwood, from Veggie Tales to Laurie Berkner to the songs her class is practicing for their concert at school.
And just so you know that I’m doing my job, she can also belt out a little Steve Earle and Ray LaMontagne, with songs from the Eagles and James Taylor and Aretha Franklin woven through.
Every few months, she asks if she can audition for a musical sometime, and I say yes. An easy yes, really, since I know that day isn’t here yet, not even close. She’s only seven, so I’ve reached ahead and set that decision down, like a box, a few years into the future. It’s not that I don’t want her to give it a shot – I do, if that’s her thing and she really, really wants to try. (It helps that she can carry a tune, a skill she didn’t get from me.) But in my opinion, let’s see if this bucket holds water, you know? If she really does want it, then in five years or ten, she will still be interested. And if she wants voice lessons or more dance lessons in the meantime, I’ll be glad to make that happen when we can swing it.
A while back, she saw part of Annie (the movie) on TV and was charmed by the music. I told her I would download the soundtrack – and then forgot all about it.
I can’t remember what sparked the conversation this afternoon, but something reminded us both. So to get her started, I helped her find videos of “Tomorrow” on YouTube, even one that displayed the lyrics. Perfect.
For a solid hour, she played that song over and over and over, picking up the words when she felt sure of herself.
And when that girl is sure of herself, she doesn’t hold back. You can hear the confidence in her voice, in the way it gathers strength and rises. She doesn’t seem to care if anyone is listening.
And that’s the biggest reason that I’ll write that check someday for voice lessons, if she wants them. If music is the thing that gives her that feeling, if she feels comfortable in her skin and with the sound of her voice, I’ll do whatever I can to help her.
Even if she only ever sings for herself (the only audience that matters, really). Or for us, or for the duck in the bathtub. Or into a hairbrush, or in her car, with the radio as backup.
Because that feeling, when it comes, is golden.