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"Vocal Chords Are An Instrument" (Part 2)
Written By: Linda Sears
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    Hopefully you read the first part of this trilogy of Music and how it has always been a part of my life! If not, check the Just Sayin’ article from April 17th archived here on  Without music I would have been lost and I think that everyone should have music in their life!
    While I was still in Jr. High I was a member of a five-piece classic rock band. We entered a talent contest sponsored by the school system state wide and we won. This sparked my interest in staying in the music world for as long a I could. So I auditioned for every school play and landed a couple of leading roles. This is where Ms. Penagagas, my Jr. high music teacher, took me under her wing and gave me the lesson of a life time. After I had taken the song that I had written to her, she asked me if I would take her home to meet and talk with my parents. I didn't understand at that time what she was presenting to them concerning me and my future and, sad to say, neither did they! You see, Ms. Penagagas was a graduate of the Peabody School of Music and Fine Arts in Baltimore City. What she was offering me was a full scholarship to attend Peabody for voice. OMG what an opportunity this was but my parents did not fully grasp just how big this was and said, "NO"! You see I was going to be the first person in my whole family to graduate high school and that's exactly what my father wanted more than anything ... period ... no questions asked! Oh well, move on and so she did, and as a result I was featured in all the school functions. She even had me do a solo performance in front of the entire student body and PTA  accompanied by her on the piano, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters". I don't remember much of it because I was so nervous and shook the whole time. Everyone said I nailed, it though!
    She and I began to meet every Tuesday thru Thursday after school where she taught me everything she could about voice control, breathing, how to project my voice, and theory! She said I had a unique talent whereby I could hit every note of the music scale from bottom to top! This she called a "coloratura soprano". At the time I had no idea what she meant! We were both sad when it came time for me to move on to Sr. High. What she did for me then was awesome. She called Mr. Miller, the head of the choral department at Kenwood Sr. High, and asked him to give me an audition for his concert choir. This was a very hard group to get into, especially as a sophomore. I did it and became one of the frontrow soprano's, surpassing many seniors for that spot. This concert choir was one of the best in the state and traveled all around giving free concerts. This is where I stopped being frightened of singing in front of large audiences and gained an awesome education!
    As a child moving through the different schools, I once told my parents that I thought that I had been dropped off on the wrong planet! Yes, I've always been weird like that and just knew that there was life elsewhere! I was a very small child and as a result I was never picked for any of the teams when there were games to be played in gym. So as a result I hated gym and even hated to go to school!  Music was then and still is my way of staying connected and I have always been involved in some form of it my whole life! Ms. Penagagas never taught me to play an instrument; she was very adamant about me understanding that "My Voice Was My Instrument"! Throughout the years there have been many band members who have tried to make me learn one but in the back of my mind I would still hear her words! I think she would be proud of me today, at least I hope so! This is a formal "Thank You" to her and to the many music teachers I have had through the years. Without music as a child, I don't know where I would be today!"
    To all the music teachers across the world, if you are reading this right now, I hope you are making your students understand just how wonderful music is and how it can change them and the world!
    When I walk on that stage and my band, "Old School O.C.", begins to play, and I look out into the audience and see the smiles and watch the people begin to move, either in their seats or onto the dance floor, my heart sings as well!!  "I'm Just Sayin’"
    "Beauty Tips"       
    I have been asked to continue this part of my articles so to those many "Beauty Tip" article fans out there, I hope you are gearing up for this wonderful summer season here in Ocean City, Maryland! Look at the expiration dates on your suntan lotion; yes there is one. Ok, I think I just heard many of  you say, “I didn't even know there was one!” Well, neither did I until it was pointed out to me. I found some in my cabinet that were more than few years old and that is sad! Look on the back; it's there and if it is expired, throw it away and go buy a new one. They are useless, and you don't want to take the chance with your skin! Neutrogena has a great product for your face that is not greasy. I love the Australian Gold Exotic Blend Broad Spectrum SPF 15 with an instant Bronzer in it. It gives you that pretty glow from the very minute you put it on and it smells so good. Look, I'm not an expert, I'm just a beach going girl from way back and just making suggestions, take it or leave it! Always wear a hat and sunglasses! Protecting your eyes and face in the harsh sun is very important no matter what your age! I'm Just Sayin’"!
    Thank You for continuing to read my articles and to all the people who have stopped me on the street to give me suggestions. They all are written down and I will be writing about them soon; keep them coming!
Love and Peace!
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