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Push to Let

I took a singing lesson last week. I was painting a woman who explained to me that she started taking lessons from an 82-year-old man who claims ‘he can teach anyone to sing’.  I took this as a personal challenge.  I have always sung – in the shower, in the car, in the studio, and on one inebriated occasion, at a karaoke bar.  Generally, I reserve this expressive medium for when I am alone, or when I’m so emotional that I blast Carole King in the living room and sing along as my dear sweet family patiently wanders off.

I have not always been a reclusive singer.  When I was young I was sure I would be the next Stevie Nicks. Repeated pleas for silence from my siblings eventually caused me to reconsider career paths. They were not being cruel. They were right.  I had a bold voice with no sense of ….????  I never really knew, actually, except that it was apparently unpleasant.

I called Bob and offered him the challenge of his career. He accepted. While, I am not singing from rooftops just yet, at lease I now understand why I sound so bad.  It’s called pitch, and as a painter, I could relate it to value.  There is a high and a low, a light and a dark, and everything in between needs to relate – or it sounds and looks…unpleasant. This is basic, I know, but for me… a tardy epiphany.

He continued. “Don’t push.” I scrunched my face…Hugh? “You don’t have to ‘push’ out your voice. You can just ‘let’ it out,” he said.  He stated that I likely have a tenacious personality that is accustomed to fighting for what it wants.  HUMMMM??…who told him?, I thought.  “Your speaking voice has the same ‘push’ to it,” he said, “and by adjusting the ‘push’ to a ‘let’, you will not only improve your voice, but your life.”

Wow, all that for 40 bucks?!

Sensing my doubt, he asked if I ever get so frustrated with my canvases that I slash them when they are not going my way.  Bewildered, I shook my head. “Noooooo, never….my mind is never in that state when I paint.  Paint is what takes that state away. If it doesn’t work I just wipe it out and paint something else,” I explained.

AHHHH!!! He said excitedly, shaking his finger at me.  “Sing like you paint then! Speak like you paint! Live like you paint! Do it, and you will be amazed, and you will be happy.”

Yes, all that for $40 bucks.


10 Responses to Push to Let

I remember singing a few with you from the McNasty’s jukebox, long ago and far away! Yippee ei ay…Cow-Patty!

What a great lesson to learn for 40 bucks….it’s priceless information from a wise man! Paint on sister!

Posted by Lisa Young · via · 134 months ago


Posted by Reed Sullivan · via · 134 months ago

Love this portrait of this little boy. You’ve done an excellent job on it.

Posted by Chae · via · 134 months ago

Great story. I hope you’re going back?

Posted by mimi · via · 134 months ago

You “always never cease to amaze me”………

Sing your heart out – but don’t push? He sounds like a great old guy!!

You sound happy!!

Hugs to Happiness!


Posted by Ginny · via · 134 months ago

I feel so fortunate to have met you. Your attitude inspires. Your work inspires.

Posted by Cheryl · via · 134 months ago

Cheryl…. from the Hora??? Is that you? I feel blessed to have met you too. I hope your family still looks upon that piece of art with much love and affection. I’ll be on the east coast this summer. Perhaps a cocktail in the city…?

Posted by kelly · via · 133 months ago

Hey – I am going to do some street art here in Kayenta in April. Makes me nervous. Haven’t performed in public with my art – oh well!!! I need to be gutsy like you!

Posted by GINNY · via · 133 months ago

Yes, just be gutsy Ginny. You are fun and wonderful – they’ll love you, and your work.

Posted by kelly · via · 133 months ago


Posted by GINNY · via · 133 months ago


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