Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Gershwin's Summertime and Schubert

I am, thankfully completely recovered from the Yorkshire debacle, and back teaching my normal week. Had a fruitful Monday, as all of my students had worked hard since last week. This makes it stress free teaching and a sense of progress.

My little J grows in confidence and skill each week, so much so that I have given her a couple of the part songs for the concert in November. I would not normally add in someone of such tender years to sing in the part songs, but she is more than capable and very up for singing with the 'big girls' ! Both J and L, another junior singer, are so focused and determined that they are a joy to teach, and I had a conversation with one of the fathers as to how valuable this early fun training is. When a small and talented child acquires technique by osmosis, these early years mean that the sound and good vowel tone quality becomes so deeply seated it cannot be forgotten.

Young R who started her new boarding school and the JRAM last week started singing at 8, and she is a classic example of this. She is now being taught by my daughter who told me only yesterday, after R's first singing lesson, how the tone quality she made was indeed, so under her skin, she has only to build on it and watch the fast development !

R is going to sing Gershwin's Summertime in her first concert outing next week. She loves the song, and it is such a good vehicle for a teenage voice, especially one which can make the octave leap A to A in the final phrase, as if she were falling off a proverbial singing log !

Summertime is often the first modern ballad ish aria that I use with youngsters. It has such immediate appeal, and a wonderful lazy melodic line. It is, of course, a classic and set for singing exams as well as being a cracker of a concert item.

Gershwin wrote such great melodies, he is like a 20th century Schubert !


A happy George Gershwin


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