Friday, 6 August 2010
I spent much of today buying, setting up and coaching my elderly father on his new laptop. At almost 90, he is doing so well even trying to use a computer, never mind a laptop with Windows 7!
It will take sometime for him to learn. The process is slower than an under 75, and that includes me, but he will get there! My mother, who has Alzheimers was pleasingly thrilled when I cleared all the debris from the old ' size of a mammoth with a compulsive eating disorder' computer, and saw the clear and polished desktop which she had not witnessed for some time! The old style house proud lady is definitely still in there!
Some of my pupils are just a tad older than 21, as I have said before, and I admire them so much for all the time they give to practising, and learning words, be it German, Italian or French, and how they do it with such a will. I have brow beaten them to take exams, and many have achieved great things - passing all Grades up to 8 and beyond. They bring another dimension into my teaching, and the aforesaid dimension gives me a great deal of pleasure, and insight into much of the music I teach.
Each of them (and it is about 10 in all!) has such definite favourite styles and types of music. I have a delightful lady who is academic, bookish and highly intelligent who can perform Flanders and Swann funny songs with such wonderful timing and humour. She sang the well known 'The Elephant' not too long ago in a concert and brought the house down withher sardonic and understated rendition of lines like....
"I'm an introverted, elephocentric hypochondriac,
And I'll stick in the elephant's nursing home,
Til I get me memory back !'
and the crowning glory in the lyrics.....
'I suffer from Schizophrenia
It comes on me in spells
Sometimes I'm King of Armenia
At others I'm Orson Welles.
I tell them I'm Napoleon
and all that sort of bunk
They never guess that all the time
I'm laughing up me trunk!'
The lady in question, took her time, paced it to perfection, and kept the audience waiting for every punchline - it was a triumph of wit, worthy of one of the better moments in a Fry and Laurie skit.
Those lessons when we were working up to that concert were hysterical, and not that 'technical', but they served to show just how much is hidden under unexpected bushels!
I wish these moments were recorded for later appreciation, but often the magic in the ether does not bear a repeat lest it loses it's initial flash of genius.
Ages, Wages, and Stages, music is for every man and his dog - and thanks be to God for that!