Thursday, 27 September 2012

L'il Liza Jane and all her siblings

The idea of a 'Let's sing to each other' has gone down rather well with some of my pupils who read it on the blog, so that is a definite happening for early December.

I teach a number of siblings during my week, and all through my career I have been surprised by the genetic 'stave' which runs through families.

At the moment I have 2 sets of 2 sisters, 1 brother and sister, and a Mum and daughter. One of the most pleasing side effects of teaching siblings is the extraordinary ability of the younger member to have the sound I am looking for already in their ear and head! I assume that growing up with the older one practising at home means that the whole 'singing thing' which, as yet they cannot possibly understand, is being absorbed by a musical osmosis !

Of course, voice timbres are unique and intellectual input is different, but in my quite extensive experience the babe of the duo has a distinct advantage! I had such a tiny last night who was barely a sparkle in the parents' eyes when the older one came for her first lesson. She has only had 3 lessons so far and yet all the vowel shapes are there and at her tender age she can make a focused and forward sound, just like her older sister, but in miniature.

So what does this mean? Well clearly all the world would be great singers if they grew up with the sound around them, and secondly there would be no work for all those who went into the business! That thought apart, I get a real pleasure from teaching smaller members of a family, I can often move faster with them, and they just know what I want! Makes my job so much easier.

I now tend to ask all my new smallies if they have younger siblings and then smack my proverbial lips and relish the thought of all those pre prepared and packaged little souls waiting to sing their hearts out for me sometime in the future. It's a great job. What a privilege to do what you love, and get paid for it.

Incidentally, young L got her first song in her lesson yesterday, the perfect L'l Liza Jane, folk song par excellence for making a round OW shape and letting a big fat sound burst out, and ring around the music room. L has a voice the size of a small 3rd world country, and uses it with total conviction. Raw as yet but healthy and hearty.

I am never sure who is the more surprised by the noise, the pupil or me!

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