Anjie Grady–Advice for Vocal Coaches

Can you tell us your name and where you live?  
Anjie Grady and I live in Mills River, south of Asheville.

What do you do with your time?
I am employed as a full time mother. The pay is great!  The majority of my time is spent home schooling that beautiful crew in the picture.  On the side I am a music teacher, vocal coach, choir director, and part time professional singer. I also serve as the project designer for my husband’s real estate investment properties.

Can you tell us your age?
I am older than I look and enjoy seeing the shock in people’s eyes when I tell them how old my oldest child is.

Can we find you on the internet?
I have several websites that I don’t know how to manage, including an online shop that I would love for a “techie” to show me how to get the e-commerce function to work on: Cloudsevenhandmade.com.

What do you sell on Cloudseven Handmade, and can you tell us about the name?
I started Cloudseven Handmade while I was pregnant with my seventh and staying up until the wee hours of the morning sewing cloth diapers as part of “nesting.”  It became a place to list my “handmade” items. I also have other moms’ handmade artisan products available and global products that support the fight on human trafficking.

Thanks!  Most interesting place you’ve visited?
Last year I went to Maui island in Hawaii and watched, in terror, my daughter stand on a cliff doing an arabesque in pointe shoes and then dive like Tinker Bell into the ocean.

Favorite meal?
Toss up between Thai Drunken Mama Noodle and Indian Chicken Korma.

Pet peeve?
I have so many….um, one….ok, untimeliness. I have had to resolve to have grace with my friends who are perpetually late. But this practice as a way of life, rather than an occasional couldn’t help it, could seriously give me twitches if I let it.

Favorite movie or book or TV show?
Favorite movie is “The Village” by M.Knight Shyamalan, Favorite series:  “When Calls the Heart.”

What’s the appeal of “The Village?
I just love the twist M. Knight Shyamalan weaves into his writing. The suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat and you don’t know where the twist is going to happen. I love “The Village” in particular because of the setting and the story. I have always been drawn to the simpler lifestyle of family, and community, without technology.  This story hits the heart of many of us, who long for a life safe from the sin, pain, and hurt of this world.

If people want to pray for you they can pray for….?  
Wisdom to balance motherhood with other creative pleasures.

Can you tell us a little about your family?
I have seven wonderful children ages 2-19.  Six girls, one boy. They are the loves of my life.

One thing many people don’t know you can do?
Sing opera.

Where and how did you learn to sing opera?
I studied vocal performance at UNCG and have a double degree in Voice and Music Education from UNC Chapel Hill.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?  . I would write music, learn film score composition, open up a storefront shop, sew more, have a homestead, serve more, teach more, do a blog or vlog, do more theatre.  I could list at least a dozen more interests. It’s amazing how frustrating it is to enjoy so many things and have so few hours in a day to do them.

Can you tell us some interesting things about yourself that haven’t been covered yet?
I have had three home births, one was unassisted. And, the answer to everyone’s question is:  “No, I don’t know if I’m done yet!”

I really and truly wasn’t going to ask, but thanks.  Can you offer some helpful advice to vocal coaches?
To vocal coaches, I would say know your “frock!” Don’t be afraid to send students to someone who is better in their “frock” than you. I am classically trained, and although I sing musical theatre, and can sing jazz, I am a  full lyric soprano. It is a real stretch for me to wail belting Broadway tunes. I just had a friend call me and ask for a reference for a jazz coach. I happily sent her to a friend of mine who  lives in that “frock”. If you want to coach outside your frock, then really educate yourself so you don’t hurt someone’s voice permanently. I surround myself with colleagues who can coach me where I am weak, so I can be a better coach.

Also: stay active in performing. I just recently played Mrs. Gloop in the Flat Rock Playhouse production of Willy Wonka. It keeps you fresh and it keeps you in demand as a coach.

Anjie, thanks so much for letting us get to know you a little bit.  We’ll be in prayer for wisdom in the balance, and God bless.