Good for you Jeri!
I can relate to your "happy dance"...
I was a classical pianist for many years, just discovered traditional Irish & folk music recently. The sense of community and support for newcomers is unlike anything I've experienced in music before.
Love the bodhran, I've studied several different styles in the last year, with some amazing bodhran players in San Francisco area. The whistle and recorder have been fun for me too.
But every week in sessions I hear someone stand up and belt out a tune, with a voice so clear and strong my own bones vibrate, and I think to myself "that's one instrument I'll never be able to play".
My husband (a professional singer for many years) was sweet and encouraging, and finally convinced me to give it a try.
I had my first voice lesson yesterday, and I was scared to death. I'm a good enough musician to know I'm a lousy singer. I figured I've been given an old upright honky-tonk piano, and no matter how well I learn to play it, it will never have a Stienway tone.
My teacher was precise and insightful. She made me feel comfortable, took me through a variety of exercises I could understand, then said "now make this sound..." What came out of my mouth surprised and amazed me. I looked around to see if there was a ventriloquist in the room. Did that come outta ME?
"THAT'S your voice," she says. "We just have to teach you to use it when you sing." I felt foolish for getting teary-eyed, but it's so amazing to think that a sound like that is available to me!
So good luck with your singing, sounds like you've got a lot of support-- and congratulations on finding the courage to belt one out in a room full of people!
Does anybody else out there remember the first time you found your voice?