Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Messiah

A busy day here in Paradise Music Room, and now I must pack for travelling to the competition tomorrow.

Other side of the fence for me - I am normally the judge, but this weekend my lovely and talented pupils must be judged by another.................

Competition is such a funny thing. You either love it or hate it. Some singers really do get their rush from entertaining, making people happy, feeling good about seeing an audience enthralled by the music. For others it is the 'killer instinct' that a bit of healthy competition brings and which gives their performance the edge. I was one of the latter, I was always a trembling wreck if I thought the folk I was singing too were simply there to enjoy themselves ! - but if I had to prove myself, the usually well hidden snarling beast and prize fighter of the vocal battlefield raised it's ugly head and I could fight with more steam than Mohammed Ali.

There is part of me which is not proud of that, and I can truly say it is not my 'normal' nature.

Since relocating to Paradise I am learning about a whole different world of teaching. I have adult students who, to my eternal surprise and delight, want to begin this skill in middle age, and beyond. I am learning that for them, to be immersed in music I have loved and am so familiar with, is a new joy. I am learning not to take the power of music so much for granted. (At last, I hear you say!)

I taught a delightful lady today, who just wanted to have a half hour of being soaked in the sacred music she loves so much. Handel has always been balm to troubled souls, and untroubled souls alike, and we spent a calm and refreshing 30 minutes joined at the hip with The Messiah, especially 'He Shall Feed His Flock' and 'How Beautiful are the Feet'. Handel's music is the very essence of gorgeous melody. His tunes are hard to beat! Many of the most beautiful, as with the ones above, are in 6/8 or 12/8, which is a rhythm he (and other Baroque composers) used for music which has a Pastoral theme. To me it is the very rhythm of the global lullaby. A lullaby for all ages - it does what it says on the tin - lulls us into a tranquil state of mind.

This will take you to my favourite recording of The Messiah -


Now I really must go, but before I do - 30 seconds ago one of my pupils sent me some photos with this little sentence hidden at the end. I think you will like it.

'Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet
is fighting some kind of battle'

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