Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Daily Diary

It is going to be a long wednesday. Two pupils cancelled yesterday and asked to come today! That means in my 'retirement teaching schedule', Ha Ha, I shall have 8 pupils today! Now 10 years ago, I might have had 14 in one day, so 8 is about 5 hours less work, but it still feels like a veritable posse of energy sapping lessons.

My daughter says I have 'got soft' ! I tell her to tell me that in 20 years when she is my age! I have a day with students from 8 to 70 which does on the whole keep it always changing and therefore always interesting, but it is, nevertheless a big day!

I start with a lovely lady who sings with calm and joy for all her repertoire, and has made such progress in the years I have taught her. Her songs of the moment are, some Novello, My Heart Ever Faithful by Bach, which is tricky, but she much enjoys, and Tell me Lovely Shepherd by William Boyce. One of those truly Baroque/Early Classical pastoral songs, and suits her pastoral and easy personality. E starts my day with peace and calm.

I move on to a retired Botanist, a super lady who is cultured and erudite and used to teaching. I think it must be so weird to be on the other end, and become a pupil after years of being the teacher - she is braver than me! She is embarking on Grade 5, and trying very hard to memorise Star Vicino by Rosa. keep up the good work A !

I move on to a lady who was a Head Teacher and then a specialist in a Centre for Special Need in Paradise. She worked with folk with profound difficulties. Her job was so demanding, the singing was a small oasis in her week, and as a Gaelic speaker, she was covering all bases by learning with me, and enjoying being a stalwart in the Gaelic choir on the island. She is much enjoying 'Bless this House' by Mary Brahe.

After a short break and a cup of tea and a lump of cheese - my preferred energy tipple - well it is better than heroin ! I move on to the youngsters.

A delightful little blond 10 year old who has a huge voice, a big personality and scriggles like a musical snake when she sings, not like my small boy - although he is blond too, so maybe the blond hormones cause excessive dancing ! She is such fun to teach, and about to embark on the intricacies of Grade 2 ! Her favourite song from the list is a lovely folk song arranged for voice and piano called the 'Dalmation Cradle Song'.

I move onto two sisters, of 12 and 8. They are the daughters of the lovely vet who was so understanding with Ellie. The oldest is an energetic little firework of a girl. Very bright and really likes funny songs. She brought the house down in a concert singing 'Orrible Little Blue Eyes' by Betty Roe, a fab composer for children's songs, in a concert, and proved that from an early age, the humour genes are already there and firing !

Her sister is much quieter and very sweet. I have taught her for a number of years now, and she has gone from a tiny whisperer with a voice the size of a malnourished sparrow, to a confident little person whose voice has grown beyond all recognition. She is tackling Grade 1 and learning the very delightful ' A Child's Prayer' by W H Anderson.

Then my aspirant mezzo who played Buttercup, she has changed her lesson time so we must work fast in the 30 minutes I have available, rather than the 45 she normally has. She is still revelling in Lucretia, lucky girl!

My Panis Angelicus brings up the rear, and I am so looking forward to hearing her 'born again' voice, which took our combined breaths away last week.

Then I must eat, make a picnic for tomorrow's drive to Yorkshire, and finally check the blog to see if anyone has bothered to read, and be interested in my nowadays rather more staid life than 10 years ago !

Having said that, 10 years ago I would not have had time to write the word 'blog' never mind chronicle my doings!

On my marks........get set..........


  1. I like a nice home made pickled onion with my cheese... :)

    I have to attend a large concert of beginner musicians Sunday week. I had thought to get out of it but youngest decided to try out the trombone this year. Eldest is now in the unsubsidised regions of high school so no more french horn on Saturday mornings for me or him (too expensive which is annoying because we did have fun). He now gets free classes through his school. I just do without at least until they leave home when perhaps there will be a few more funds available.

    So I get to sit through what will probably be an excruciating/amazing/horrible/wonderful concert with children aged from 3 to 12 mostly and a fair number of older ones too. Including a mass item which I think youngest,as a beginner, has about three notes in. This year we appear to be tackling Orpheus in the Underworld :)

    viv in nz

  2. I hope you have a fun productive day of teaching. I was given a few new pieces at last weeks lesson. If I Loved You from Carousel and Bill from Showboat, I think (a strange little song I'd not heard before) plus a few duets and mixed pieces including Who Will Buy from Oliver (I'll be surprised if this is successful!)and a prayer from Fiddler on the Roof.