Wednesday, 23 March 2011
It's Tuesday Again
Tuesday, as some of you may know from early blogs, is my late teens and early/mid 20's aspirant professionals day! Wow that is a sentence and a half!
I have an 18 year old baritone who has just covered himself with much glory in the last month or so. He took part in a masterclass day with Claire Weston, a wonderfully empathetic and talented soprano who was for some years on the ENO Young Artists Programme, and sang a number of roles to great acclaim. She is now a most successful and, more importantly, happy, Head of Singing at a school in Suffolk. I knew she would be very helpful, and extremely useful to young L.
I have never mentioned this before, but this remarkable young man has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. This seems not to impact in any way upon his singing, except that we have had to devise a completely different way of breathing, using his back and the full width of his shoulders ! It has been a challenge, but I can honestly say that I have rarely taught such a hard working and hungry for knowledge student.
The difficulties he has faced have added a magical 'force' underpinning his singing which it is hard to describe. I had a phone call from Claire after the masterclass full of admiration yet - as I had hoped - being very excited about his talent, and not dwelling on his problems. It is very hard for folk to see beyond the wheelchair, and treat the boy as a talent, legs working or not, but I knew Claire would rise to this admirably and, if necessary, give him a hard time! (Which was not needed incidentally!)
I fully anticipate him attending a conservetoire at some time, and doing very well, but not for a few years. Life at music college is hard enough, never mind having to cope with all the other tricky bits of his life!
I also taught R who now has her place at the Royal Welsh College, and having had the burden of auditions, and waiting and waiting for results, then considering those very results, is singing as if a great weight has been lifted from her shoulders.
Her vocal tone has opened up and she is singing with the freedom of a caged bird let free. There have been tension issues throughout the many years I have taught her, but since getting her place she has tackled this with a will and the difference is tangible. What is more, she has a smile on her face and a skip in her step!
Finally my lovely young dancer L came for her lesson. It was her turn for crisis and a few hot tears were shed. Working full time in the arts in such a physical way, as well as trying to do something for oneself, which also requires much physical and emotional imput had brought the poor girl to her knees. She has such talent, and such an awareness of what is needed to build that talent, when she hits the 'wall' she is even more upset with herself. She works such long hours and with such dynamism, the feeling of not coping is very real. I know. I bought that metaphorical T Shirt many times in my life.
She needs to believe that time for herself, and space in her life to just 'be' is more important than any job.
Any job at all.