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Twenty Affirmations

by Frances Fenton


Last August I had a student who has never lived away from home or been out of state leave for a large university on full scholarship. His scholarship audition marked the first time he had ever been on an airplane or seen mountains. Since we had such a limited time, I decided to write a letter which I hope will help him in his pursuits.
I share it here in the hopes that it might help other singers also embarking on new journeys.

Dear Student and Friend,

First, I want to congratulate you on your move. I am so proud of you for taking this step in your education.
There is so much to try to tell you, but most of the following you will, like all of us, learn on your own. I’m going to make a short list of some random thoughts that have helped me and I hope will help you.

1. Be brave. Don’t be afraid to admit what you do not know—and then do your best to learn.
2. Be true to yourself and your upbringing. You are unique.
3. Remember to focus on the reasons you are studying and h...

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