People ask me why I chose to live in Estonia for 11 months. One of the reasons is the music that is played here. Generally, Estonia is famous for the singing and dance festival which takes place every five years. During that festival around 30 000 singers enter the stage to celebrate Estonia’s independence with Estonian national folk songs.
Besides, I am also a fan of Estonian pop music. Most of my friends know that Jüri Pootsmann is the reason I became two years ago so fascinated by Estonian music and – later on- by Estonia in general. Yeah, it is awkward to confess that, but it’s true. But without him I wouldn’t have found great Estonian friends like Pauliine or Katriin as well as I wouldn’t have found a bunch of great Estonian artists like Mick Pedaja, Miljardid, Kerli, Iriis or Maarja Nuut.
Occasionally I like to write songs, but right now I am focusing more on developing my voice than on songwriting. Because I feel like I first need to learn how to sing healthily until I can start writing songs I will then be able to sing.
Thus, I attend twice a week the rehearsals of the Estonian Television Girls’ Choir and once a month the vocal technique courses of WAF Kool. I like both facilities very much because they both embrace this “we are family”-ethos. That might sound cheesy, but when I am there I just feel safe and comfortable and especially happy. It’s like a support group where everyone is welcome.
In the ETV Girls’ Choir we sing a versatile reportoire of classical, folk and musical songs arranged for female voices. We sing for example the famous West Side Story piece “I feel pretty” by Leonard Beinstein or an Estonian folk hymn called “Mu süda ärka üles”.
Fun fact: My choir participated at the first Eurovision Choir of the Year in Riga. You can watch their performance here. You will get some beautiful goosebumps, I promise.
I am so happy that Katriin invited me to go to their rehearsals because otherwise it would’ve been much more difficult to find friends and a choir that suits my music taste. And I will with them participate at the Laulupidu, the famous song and dance festival I mentioned before which is basically a dream coming true! 🙂
At WAF Kool I go once a month to a vocal technique course which is very intensive due to the duration time of 7 hours. First, we are learning the theory for three hours, then we have a lunch break and then we start putting theory into practice for the other three hours.
Since I can only understand the basics in Estonian, the vocal coach has to translate me shortly what she/he is telling the other pupils in Estonian. I am very thankful for that because otherwise I would barely understand something. Still, I am oftentimes sitting there using Google translate to follow the instructions of the vocal teacher somehow. That is intensive work for my brain because I really try to understand something and I guess I understand the basic message of the instruction. However, I am always proud when I understand something. And when I feel completely lost then I ask my vocal coach for help.
My problem at singing right now is that I know a lot about the theory of singing, but I cannot put that theory into practice. Sometimes I succeed and that feels like freedom, but oftentimes I sing with my throat and feel friction and I shouldn’t feel that way. What I am learning, on the other hand, is that singing requires the whole body and it takes time and patience to acquire these skills.
But it’s fun and worth the journey! In that way, singing can be seen as a metaphora of life.
Please let me know, what you want to know about Estonia. I am currently trying to plan my blogpost articles and I am wondering if there is something special YOU would like to write me about! 🙂