Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Sataloff’s office has moved from Pine to Broad Street. It is actually much faster and more convenient for me to just zip off the highway and into the numerous parking lots right near the Drexel University Building. The waiting room has all the maroon leather couches from the Pine Street office, but Peggy and Bridget have more spacious studios with wonderful views of the downtown sky line. Today I saw Bridget and Peggy for an hour each, back to back. Maybe that was a mistake. I have been practicing a lot for High Holy Days, trying to build up some endurance by extending my singing time a little bit each day. This is the way I have always “trained” for the marathon that is Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I sang a lot yesterday, trying to get through the whole Kol Nidre service. Today my voice feels tired. Bridget gave me some vocal function exercises that included long soft strait tones on middle C, D4, E4, F4 and G4. I couldn’t do them at all. My voice bobbled and wavered and wouldn’t settle anywhere. Twice a day for six weeks to strengthen any weak nerve connections – yuck.
With Peggy, the vocalizes went pretty well, but when I tried to sing Unetaneh Tokef, one of the more high and operatic Max Janowski pieces, my voice felt fuzzy and wobbly and my low notes wouldn’t phonate. I got very discouraged. Peggy said she thought my voice was much more stable than it had been when we started, but she also said I had to be very careful not to get into a cycle of strain and over tiredness. She recommended that I not practice very much, especially the day or two before the services. I mean, I certainly know this music and don’t need to practice it, but it feels strange not to “get in shape” for the services.
Once again, I have been working really hard to try to be good. Maybe it is time to let that go, really.