Are You Good Enough?

A coincidental tram ride home together after class one day, turned into discovering the amazing life journey of Natsuko Mineghishi, our Bolly-Heels student.

When Natusko dropped out of science-engineering to pursue studies in classical opera singing, her family repeatedly asked her, “Are you sure you’re good enough?”

Harsh words for a young woman, especially when you are at that delicate age where you don’t completely believe in yourself. To top it off, having moved to Perth from Tokyo at age 16, Natsuko also struggled with language. English was hard enough, but she also had to learn songs in French and Italian. “Sometimes the teacher would spend thirty minutes just correcting my pronunciation. It was quite destroying.”

Incidentally, a friend of hers suggested that she should try karate, because she is naturally flexible. Her first karate class reminded Natsuko of her physical education classes in Japan and she instantly felt at home. In karate training, the word, “oss” was used often. It means to push or persevere. “Every time you come across a wall, or a mental block, you have to ask yourself, did I create this myself? And how can I overcome it?”

This mental training in karate is what helped Natsuko get through the severe classical singing education. She passed with top grades and received a scholarship to do her Master’s degree.

Now at age 47, Natsuko is a classical opera singing teacher, a karate teacher, and a performer. And in the constant pursuit of expanding her skills, she enrolled in Bolly-Heels at Studio J, as well as taking adult ballet classes.

Being a classical musician may seem very exclusive, yet like many art forms, it is not easy to earn a living from your passion. Natsuko is not one to be deterred by life’s challenges. Her latest adventure involves busking at Flinders Lane, during lunch time hours.

“I realized that if my audience is not coming to me, then I must go to them.”

So…are you good enough? With conviction and perseverance – yes, yes you are.

Joshinder Chaggar
26 February 2020