start - to come into being

I found myself in a 'Breaking Down the Basics' yoga class a few days ago, the first class I'd taken in about four or five months. Yoga has always been an enjoyable practice for me, and many of the concepts I integrate into my work as a conductor and voice teacher are based on yogic-principles - I've been told on more than one occasion that my warm-ups feel very much like the beginning of a yoga class. 

That said, I was on the ~struggle bus~ for the majority of the class. My body was just not doing what I wanted it to do and, as a result, I was resisting the very reason I'd come to the class - to be more fully in the present.

There are tons of inspiring quotes out there about the concept of 'starting'. The old "Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step' adage can regularly be found in tweets and Instagram posts. "The easiest way to get out of a depression is to clean your room and get a haircut" is something I once heard at an all-hands meeting at the start-up I used to work at (I disagree, but understand what it's meant to mean.) Mark Twain once said that “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”, an encouragement to get the scariest thing on your to-do list out of the way early in the day.

I'm not sure I agree with the modern-day concept of 'starting', though. For all of the progress we've made in the world today, it's never been easier to passively exist. Going through the motions, staring at phone screens, scrolling through endless memes; not starting, not ending, but not 'coming into being', either.

I found myself 'starting' in that class, and it made me deeply uncomfortable. In my work as a vocal artist, though, investing in the uncomfortable has led to the most joyful and meaningful moments in my career.

In 2019 I'm resolving to start each day by actually 'starting' each day. Back in college I had a deliciously nerdy blog dedicated to musical analysis of art song that could serve as a performance aid for student singers. Life happens, of course, and the blog fell to the wayside. The idea of starting another one makes me more anxious, but I have way more things to share with the world at this point in my life. I'm bringing this one into being.

I'm not sure exactly what this will be yet, and can't say how often I'll write posts. On any given day I'm running between rehearsals, teaching lessons, and drinking a lot of coffee, so there's much to pull from. However, I hope whatever content comes into being will be helpful and thought-provoking.

Happy New Year, and much love,


Alex Canovas