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Happy 5th anniversary to …

March 4, 2015

In September 2009 I completed a solo album (Dedications) and was feeling very empty without a project to work on.  To fill the void I asked the kids who lived on my block at that time if they wanted to record a Christmas cd.  One of these children was a very eager 8 year old, Ellie.  

A local mother heard the cd and asked me to sing with her six year old daughter, Eva.  I explained to her I had no experience teaching children and I wasn’t a “qualified” vocal coach; I am self-taught but she replied ‘I don’t care.  Please could you just sing with her’.

This got me thinking that maybe there were other young children who would like to sing in a relaxed environment.  So, I handed out the Christmas cd to the parents at my daughters (Amelia) pre-school and mentioned I was thinking about giving singing classes.  Would anyone be interested?  Here is where I was introduced to best-friends Simone and Finley, both 4 years.

I thank my husband for the next introduction.  He had become very good friends with a guy at his local watering hole.  Upon hearing that his 4 year old loved to sing my husband gave him a cd to pass onto Alison. Her mom was super excited when she heard I was giving lessons and signed Alison up immediately.

And so, in January 2010 I opened my music room door to these six young singers along with four others and there began the Joanna Finnis Singing School.

I designed and recorded my own set of fun vocal exercises along with fun warm-up songs.  I then chose a set of songs I felt was appropriate for young singers.  Luckily for me, all these children were a delight to sing with and after five months I hosted a small show in my living room.  I can’t tell you how nervous I was but it was a big success and I had fallen head over heels in love with my new job.

Over that summer word quickly spread that there was “a lady” who was willing to sing with young kids.  That early fall when I returned to giving lessons I had doubled my number of students.  It was at this point that I had to seriously think about 1) what did these young singers want? and 2) what exactly was I was willing to provide as a service.  I only had to think of my own childhood to find my answer.  The opportunity to perform.

That year I organized three shows, arranged studio time for each singer to record a song and compile these songs on a produced cd.  I keep my school at eighteen students max allowing each child to perform two songs per performance.

I have had many dedicated and supportive singers who have been with me for several years but these six young singers have been with me from the beginning, have weathered the changes and have remained with me through some of their own big challenges.

Over the next few weeks I will be dedicating individual posts to Finley, Simone, Ellie, Amelia, Alison and Eva.  It’s my small way of saying thank you for their continued support.  Plus their 2010 photos are super cute and their young little voices are extremely entertaining!

 

 

 

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  1. Five years of singing with Miss Alison … | Joanna Finnis

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