Tuesday, 1 February 2011
Steady as She Goes
The Tortoise and the Hare
I had a great teaching day today - Tuesdays are turning into my exhausting but exciting youngsters who 'can' day! Young L sang with truth, honesty and wonderfully focussed baby baritone quality, closely followed by L who makes fantastic weekly strides bigger than she is, then R who has her place at Music College but is doing the 'fear' thing. Am I really worth it - do I really want all the hard work - is it what I really want ?
They all fall into the 'raw but ready' brigade and are bursting with talent, yet unsure and lacking in a certain amount of self belief. I often wish I could carve a little piece of what I have learnt in my long career, the confidence one acquires like a skin, and the lack of worry about what others think, and give it to them in a box. If I could just pass it on in a tangible way and bypass all the angst and pain they must go through to become the 'refined' end product.
That, however, would mean that they never gained those hard won feelings in a real way. It is only by going through the denial, the fright and the wobbles, they are able to experience those changes and the supreme satisfaction from getting there, in one piece and happy !
By tackling grown up music. Music indeed they will sing all their lives, they grow inch by inch and decibel by decibel the slow way. They learn there is no 15 minutes of fame. The X Factor is as unreal as a puff of smoke in the world of serious music, the Hare in the story, all instant explosion but no substance or staying power. Only a good deal of hard slog and patience, waiting for things to happen - vocally, psychologically, physically, intellectually and emotionally. The gain is in the gradual growth. There is no Hare, only the steady and persistent Tortoise.
Sometimes I yearn to be able to speed up the process. Or at least give them a taste of what the end product feels like. A needle full of the utter joy of it all.
To give the Tortoise wings.