WRITERS PEN | REPORTINGS & ESSAYS

What a vocal teacher learnt while singing with Charice

Tina Bangel

A vocal coach finds herself giving not just voice lessons but life lessons to her young students, including the journey to sharing the stage with singing sensation and YouTube star, Charice.

My journey as a vocal coach and singer is very fruitful. I feel like a tree where each branch bear many buds that bloom into beautiful flowers. Some may fall to the ground while others take time to blossom.

The flowers represent the fruits of my labour and they take the form of the smiles on the kids' faces, the happiness I see on their parents and the A-ha moments when my students learn something new. 

I spend many hours developing their voices but sometimes, I find myself chatting to them about lessons in life, including ten that I learnt leading to the Charice live concert in Sydney until the moment One Voice students and I would share the stage with her.

1. People are willing to help make dreams happen.

Imagine all the sponsors, families, kids, producers putting their whole heart into this event.  Promoting it, rehearsing for it and working to make it happen. It goes beyond just ONE PERSON! People all around the world help make this event happen – from Charice’s team to the wonderful Cruz family in the Philippines who made the One Voice shirts in such short notice. (Thank you to our shirt sponsors, Diaz FoundationAustralian Filipina/Help after Haiyan, Oz Pinoy Home loans – their help went toward the recording of the Be heard song)

2. A community was created because we believe that we can make a difference in a small way or another.

Thank you to all the people who interviewed us for the newspapers and radio.  Those experiences really made a difference in the kids confidence.

3. Don’t take things personally.  

I am always the first to take things personally! I hate the feeling until I remind myself that people have a job to do and each of us have the intention (hopefully) to do good in the world.  When people snap or treat us in a negative way it may be because things weren’t communicated properly. It’s a learning experience so we can create bigger and better things in the future.

4.  Have the best team behind you.

Surround yourself with people who will lift your game up and genuinely want to you to succeed but who remind you to stay humble. Charice always brings a sound guy from Canada to make sure her Vocals even more amazing she also brings her musical director Troy Laureta to all her major shows. Peace of mind is the key so you can be the best you can on stage.

5. There is no such thing as the ‘little person.”

Each person is important, from the guy who lovingly poured the beer for audience members so they can enjoy the concert to the lady at the front desk selling the tickets. We all have a job that is just as important as the next person’s job.

6. Expect the unexpected.

Deal with it and move on or maybe write a blog post about it! If things don’t go the way you want it to, learn to be assertive so it doesn’t happen again next time. I’m so thankful for Miss Pam Picart's help with the kids backstage. She was able to help us so much while there were things that were technically unavoidable. We needed to make changes super quick and I am so proud of the kid’s professionalism.  Thanks to all the mid-year and end of year concerts that help us prepare for times like this!

7. Ask for help!

I wanted something special for this event. I didn’t want to sing just another song. I wanted to create a song that will inspire the kids and also the audience. The song I co-wrote was Be Heard. It’s an inspirational song and the message is to not feel afraid to sing out or be yourself.

I had contacted Louie Ocampo after working with him on a few projects such as being a backing vocalist for Martin Nievera, Zsa-Zsa Padilla and Sharon Cuneta. He was so generous with his time to help mentor me with songwriting.

8. You meet amazing people working towards a project or making dreams come true.  

I was lucky to have worked with Lionel Cole who is the cousin of Natalie Cole. He has also co-written songs with Mariah Carey and toured with her. The experience with him went beyond song arrangement for Be heard. He dug deep into my soul to help me bring out the message of “being heard.” I’m looking forward to working with him on a few songs that I co-wrote with Van Sereno in the next few weeks.

9.  We are all learning in this world.

We meet people so that they teach us about ourselves.  I find myself searching for reassurance or compliments to make myself feel better.  But deep down it all boils down to how you feel about your efforts. If you have tried your very best then that is all anyone could ask for. Be gentle and kind to yourself.

10.  It’s all about the kids!

When things didn’t go the way I had expected there was one thing that made everything ok. That was seeing the kids with Charice backstage after the show. Charice got lost in the kids' huge hugs it didn’t help that she was soooo tiny!

I hope each hug made Charice feel loved and appreciated.

I hope each smile made her feel that she made a difference in their lives.

I hope each selfie moment she had with every child is etched in cyber memory so that we can remember how she has made each of us feel proud to be Filipino.

Most of all I hope that she knows how much we appreciated being on the stage with her so that we can continue to sing and make people happy!

Originally published in Tina Bangel's blog, with detailed photo captions on http://tinabangel.com/what-a-vocal-teacher-learnt-while-singing-with-charice/

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