Meet Eli, one of the vocal students Anne most looks forward to working with. Anne praises Eli’s beautiful voice and is excited about the considerable amount of progress he’s made vocally–smoothing out his registers and gaining more openness in his upper range. Anne also appreciates a student who knows which songs he wants to work on and who’s always ready. It shows a high level of commitment. Eli might be nervous about public performances, but we all hope he’ll be willing to do one of our Teen-Adult Recitals one day so that we can get a chance to hear him.
MM: How did you get started with music, and how long have you been singing?
EK: I have been singing since I was four or five, when I would sing along to Korean children’s music in the car, or our national songs when it was not appropriate during my trip in Korea at 5 (embarrassing for my mom, lol). I would sometimes sing in front of the church that my aunt attended when I was little. I started playing the violin in the 4th grade, but got busy with college life and stopped entirely during the first year of college. I have also played the French horn since the 8th grade, and was in the marching band and orchestra all four years of high school.
MM: Do you share your musical skills with family, friends, or your community? How?
EK: I sing for my family and friends all the time, but singing in front of a community is another story. I always feel anxious whenever I must do some kind of presentation or performance (violin recitals) so I tend to avoid singing in front of people, whether it is a small or large audience.
MM: What makes you keep up your practice, and what are your goals?
EK: I am always singing along to my favorite Korean/American music in the car, my room, in the shower, or anywhere where people are not present (he he)! I’m always incorporating techniques that I have gained through my singing lessons. My personal goals are to continue extending my vocal range, taking baby steps towards performing in the community. Unrelated to music, I want to own a successful private practice as a Play Therapist.
MM: Who are a few bands/artists that have inspired you, and why?
EK: SoHyang and YounHa are my favorite Korean solo artists. SoHyang is like the Korean version of Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Celine Dion combined, and I love her ability to sustain high notes, and her head voice is very angelic and heavenly. Some people say she is not human. I also grew up listening to Disney music, and I continue enjoying singing along my childhood Disney songs.
MM: Can you share about a technique, skill, or song you struggled with, and how you are overcoming or have overcome it?
EK: I am always aspiring to sing like SoHyang. I want to expand my vocal range, but when I get up to the higher notes, I struggle. It is still a work in progress. I need to relax more, and apply all the different techniques in getting to my upper register.
MM: What advice would you give to other students just starting out?
EK: Have an open communication with your vocal teacher about your goals, pick songs you enjoy, be patient, and record your lessons so that you can practice the warm ups throughout the week to keep your throat healthy!