This question is WAY off topic from woodworking, but is a question that I could really use some guidance with from the vast resources here who just my have some tips. The youngest of my 6 kids is now a 15 year old young lady. She’s always loved to sing and has always shown considerable aptitude for singing... even when she could barely form words she sang constantly, but always sounded like a cute little kid singing. In the last year and a half or so, that little kid sound has been replaced by a much more impressive sound that we think might merit some additional resources.
I try to be objective, but am certainly biased, so really don’t trust my judgement, though I've noted that while my other kids sound "good", they don't sound like "Tess" does. I’ve watched enough American Idol episodes of kids who can make a cat cringe from a mile away with their awful voices, yet Mom, Dad, Granny, Uncle Jed, and the whole fam damily are there cheering in full force, convinced that their beloved has the voice of an angel…..I want to be supportive and helpful, but I dont’ want to be ”that Dad”!
How does one go about accurately differentiating between a kid who just sings well, and one who has the talent to sing at a level most of us can only dream of? Resources are pretty tight in our household, so I’m not eager to spend thousands on a lark, but I don’t want that to be the reason she doesn’t reach her potential either….we’ll find a way if necessary. She has a very good chorus teacher at school who approached us last spring and suggested that her talent merits more help than he could provide. He put us in touch with a woman who specializes in young female vocalists...(his first such recommendation in 9 years.) Tess auditioned for her, and got excellent feedback from the instructor. She’s now been taking lessons every other week for a few months. The instructor has been great so far and seems to sincerely enjoy what she does, but there’s monetary gain in it for her, so she may be biased as well. How do you ever really know if a kid has sufficient talent to go beyond what most of us who can sing accomplish with their voices? She loves singing, and seems to devour difficult pieces pretty easily. Aside from becoming an overnight pop star sensation by sheer luck and looks, what types of realistic careers are there for vocalists? How competitive is it, and what else, if anything should we be doing? We’re fortunate to have the Eastman School of Music close by…not that we could afford to send her there, but it does shed loads of talented instructors into our community.
Tips, comments, and hearing about what any of you may done with similar situations would be much appreciated!
Edit: (as posted below) I figured out how to post a link to a youtube sound byte taken at her voice recital on Feb 1, using a handheld recording device from 30 feet away....not a real slick recording, but with decent headphones you should be able to get an idea of what she sounds like. It's a song called "Home" from the musical "Phantom" about a girl and her dream about singing on the stage. Honest unbiased feedback encouraged!