My Students Do Rad Things: Merrill Burch

Ms. Merrill says it best. So enormously proud of her for picking herself back up, and getting back on to the proverbial horse. I have so many thoughts on this - how we, and other people, are so harsh on ourselves as singers, and how we need to remember we're not robots; we're HUMAN. <3


"I’ve been singing and playing music now for about 7 years. Seeing Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers at High Sierra Music Festival back in 2010 inspired me to pick up a guitar and explore my voice. Since then I’ve always been a close follower of their music. A couple years ago, their rendition on In The Mountains by Sarah Siskind grabbed my attention. The three part harmonies and the simplicity of the arrangement are so beautiful. If you are not familiar, check out Sarah’s song as well as the version fromNicki. They are incredibly moving. This November, I went to a vocal workshop in Nashville with both my parents. The weekend was amazing and the final day included recording a song incorporating harmony parts with your assigned group (aka with my mom and dad) - we chose In The Mountains. I knew immediately during the recording session that I wasn’t feeling my vocals at all. I felt strained, wobbly, tired. All that was confirmed a few weeks later when I heard the recorded track. It’s interesting how just one snapshot in time can shake you. I felt like I had moved 10 steps backwards. But that’s what a snapshot is... One moment in time. And at that time, I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to re-record the song because I knew I could do better. There remains endless room for growth, and I definitely plan to keep exploring and (hopefully) improving. Here’s a snapshot, a moment in time. In The Mountains by Sarah Siskind, recorded at my parent’s house in Palo Alto this December."