Tuesday, 3 January 2012
Today I had lunch with two pupils from some time ago, one I taught from the age of 10, and the other from 15. One is from the South of England and the other from Plockton just on the mainland. It was so lovely to spend time with them both, they are the sort of personalities where, regardless of how long it is since we met up, we simply carry on as if we chatted yesterday. Both of these young women, approaching their 27th year now ( Tempus fugit in a big way!) have made such successes of their lives in totally different directions, and with diverse aims.
F, from Plockton, is in her first post grad year at the Royal College of Music, and on her way to becoming a real star, yet steady and firmly rooted in her background and in her ability, with none of the 'diva' elements. She is hugely talented, but still has humility and fully accepts the precarious nature of the business. This will stand her in such good stead, and in many ways will enhance her chance of a meteoric career rise. These days there is no room for singers who are all pretty dress and no technique. She also has the kindest, most affectionate personality, and whichever route her life takes she will be a successful and contented person
C, from Surrey, came to me as a gorgeous and talented 10 year old, some 17 years ago, and went through school and the Junior Royal Academy of Music, so talented, and such a natural and delightful performer. I never ever had to teach her how to communicate with an audience and win them over completely. She always had a penchant for Kern, Gershwin and other composers of that ilk, and even today when I meet up with a colleague who was a house accompanist at the JRAM, he reminds me how C was the only singer he could improvise with, and who understood how to sell a Gershwin ballad. She sang at a St Martin in the Field's summer concert in her final year at the Academy, the only student from that august Junior Dept who ever performed a light piece as if she owned the venue, and with total professionalism. She left, decided singing was not for her, and is now extremely successful in the world of advertising and media.
Following the heart and gut is always the most fulfilling way forward - one girl has pursued the dream associated with the talent, the other has followed her dream, talent intact, but not as a career for her. They became friends, really close friends at 17, and have never looked back.
Whatever happens, introducing them to each other was the finest part of my influence in their lives, and it was such a thrill to see them both today, radiant, happy, fulfilled, and a teeny bit worse the wear from the extravaganza that is; 'Plockton Hogmanay' !
"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival."
- C. S. Lewis