Thursday, 16 January 2014

Doh a Deer a Female Deer - let's act !

I teach a young lady whose parentage is from South Africa. She is a delightful, happy and well mannered girl with a penchant for acting as much as singing, and last week I gave her a song from The Sound of Music, that old favourite, Doh Ray Me. She knew the bones of it, like most children who know the wonderful film, but not the opening section which can be a bit tricky. This week she came back like a musical theatre whirlwind, bursting to sing me the song, and clearly she had worked very hard all week !

We sang it through and I was so pleased with her attention to detail and accuracy. She is not over confident and sometimes needs gently persuading that what she is doing is 'fine', and that she has a lovely voice, as yet a bit teenaged fluffy, but it will transform into a strong and clear sound as she gets older. Well, the singing was great but her actual performance was rather straight and a bit dull. I said as much, albeit very kindly and simply asked her to act a bit ! This was a transformation par excellence and she lit up, came to life and really did justice to the song.

It was a small moment, of which I see many, whereby a singer, young or old, does not connect the 'how you do it' with the 'why you do it' ! Young S will grow into that connection easily and naturally over time, but sometimes I struggle to get folk to realise that the technique training is only to enhance the performance of the music ! There is no point in being a fantastic technician if one has nothing spiritual to convey !

I once heard the great Dame Janet Baker say - ' There is no point in being able to sing 16 bars in one breath if it has nothing to say'.

Never a truer word. Well done S for bringing your singing to life and making me smile!


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