Friday, 30 December 2011
I had a lovely lunch with an adjudicating colleague today. She is a string specialist and primarily a cellist. She also teaches my granddaughter the cello, and a fine teacher she is too. Actually she has developed a teaching system for 3 to 5 year olds which is called Stringbabies, and is clearly very very successful. It has a most innovative way of teaching notes as well as finger positions starting with less lines on the stave than the usual 5, and gradually adds in the whole stave as the child progresses.
I have seen it work fantastically well with C and the whole system is now being embraced across the country in many school music authorities as far apart as Cornwall, Surrey and Ayrshire!
If only there were some way of generalising voice teaching, beyond the earliest of vowel shapes, but each person is totally unique, with an entirely different set of vocal folds, muscles and genetic predispositions ! Although the scales and exercises are much the same for all my students, how they 'scrub up' in the lesson is so different, I can never predict what sounds will need tweaking, or how the tricky subject of breathing will pan out.
It does make for an interesting day however, no two voices resemble each other, and everyone's take on the song is just their's and their's alone. As a singer myself, I am probably genetically modified to view each pupil as another challenge, I may get bored if the sounds were too similar! No disrespect whatsoever to my instrumental colleagues! Especially those about to become richer from the proceeds of a brilliant teaching system - and who paid for my delicious lunch !
Have a google and see what a fantastic teaching system Stringbabies is.