She walked in to the studio wearing pink very short shorts, thigh high boots, bare midriff exposing a pierced navel as well as pierced ears, nose and tongue. Since it was her first lesson I had met her only over the phone when she had answered my ad for singing lessons. After a few pleasantries we started the lesson. I showed her some breathing exercises and then worked on the various ways to start the voice (onsets). I gave her some vocal exercises to practice for the next lesson.
At the end of the lesson she popped some bubble gum in her mouth and then putting her hands on her hips and shifting her weight to one side asked me “what are we doing next lesson?”

I replied I would be showing her how to stop her throat from closing up when she sang (false vocal fold retraction). She looked at me for a moment, shifted her hips to the other side, popped her bubblegum and said “Couldn’t I skip all this and just sing?”

I was a little taken aback by the question, but a little light went on in my brain. I asked her if she new what a Stradivarius violin was. She didn’t  I explained to her that a Strad’s are the finest violins made. They are so expensive that usually only big corporations own them and lend them to orchestras. I then asked her if I handed you a multimillion dollar Stradivarius could you play it.” She answered no, she didn’t know how to play violin. I pointed at her larynx and said “you have a Stradivarius right there but you don’t know how to play it yet. I’m going to show you how.”

The moral of the story is that we all have a Stradivarius or a Steinway concert grand or a vintage Gibson Les Paul sitting in our throats. We just have to take the time and effort to learn how to use them!