Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The Heart Worships

One of the most satisfying elements of teaching is when a former pupil decides to carry on the torch and keep the whole thing going. Sometimes I think that the numbers of truly good, old fashioned technical singing teachers diminishes by the year. Myself and my colleagues grow older and we must eventually be replaced by young blood. I try my best to carry on the tradition of my first and truly amazing voice teacher. She was both inspirational and motherly at one and the same time, and I owe all that I am vocally to her fantastic teaching and musical influence.

Now three of my former pupils are carrying on the teaching style and so the tradition of the Middleton stable goes on - that is the finest compliment, and the most gratifying feeling one can have. Many of my former pupils now earn their living through singing, and appear in all the major opera houses, and concert halls, and they too make me very proud. Maybe more about them later.....

Holst's song ' The Heart Worships ' is a stunner, so evocative, heartfelt, and lyrical. Today a young teenaged baritone told me it was his favourite song ! It is so difficult to keep the tone bouncing and supported at the ends of the three opening phrases, but with the .....THINK - BREATHE - SING..... mantra burnt into his brain since he was twelve he will achieve the requisite lightness of tone yet with intensity. The final phrase is ' Silence within ', what an impossible concept for a young person, yet when one adds melody and glorious scrunchy chord sequences even the most volatile teenager will feel the sentiment.

Thanks a bunch Holst, for writing something more than The Planets !

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