With the Holidays upon us along come the musical joys of caroling, gifting music lessons or instruments, holiday concerts, and musicals, etc. Indeed, the gift of music can come packaged in many ways! For me, a staff member and vocal instructor at the Music District, one of the biggest gifts is getting to work within this vibrant community every day. At the Music District, we constantly engage in new ways of sharing and spreading music across all genres.

Currently, one of my favorite ways we practice this lies with our dynamic community of instructors that work out of the MD. Some of my favorite moments happen during lessons. Most recently, my favorite instructor moment was seeing a student easily and gracefully sing a challenging note. The look of surprise and delight in her eyes was priceless.

Indeed, watching any of our instructors working with students and see them leave their lessons with a new-found confidence and joyful spring in their step remains energizing. On any given day, we have the opportunity to watch emerging DJ’s practice sets in the building, hear someone master a new tune on their banjo or witness someone belt it out with gusto in a rehearsal room. So, I invite you to look at the wide array of lessons the talented instructors offer on the Music District website. Perhaps the gift of lessons is on someone’s wish list this year!

These are the sort of gifts that keep on giving – teaching people exciting ways to express themselves and explore the realms of music is an ongoing journey. I have found that you are never too old to take lessons. Just recently, I had a 75-year-old woman ask me for lessons so she could work on strengthening her voice for upcoming Christmas caroling. It has been a success thus far!

As a vocalist, I also find this season particularly fun but also vocally challenging with the change in temperatures and many performance engagements. So, to my fellow performers out there, here are a few tips to keep you healthy:

  • Keep hydrated – ideally with water or ginger & honey tea. As much I love our wintery beverages, such as eggnog lattes, they are not the healthiest options. Similarly, avoid or limit caffeine or boozy drinks.
  • I highly recommend using a humidifier at night in this dry climate.
  • Don’t over-sing! 15 minutes of daily practice with occasional longer sessions is ideal as you prepare for a performance or caroling. You can always study your music or memorize lyrics without actually singing.
  • Warm up your voice and body before a performance or caroling. Especially if you are performing outdoors, you want to keep yourself warm and active. Your voice, toes, and fingers will be grateful. For warm-up ideas check out a few resources online or ask an instructor!

So, as we head towards the end of the year, keep finding your place in music and spread the joy!