Thursday, 23 January 2014

Suo Gan and other things

Suo Gan Lullaby of Angels !

We started on all the part song music and everyone made a fantastic stab at the fearsome Italian for the Slaves Chorus, I was deeply impressed by the reaction when I suggested that if it really proved impossible to learn the original, I could find an English translation. There was a pleasing ' Oh no, we can.........oh surely not......' And other reactions impossible to spell ! So I think that it will be a go-er so to speak, even if some of the syllables are perhaps not strictly authentic Italian ! I will let off the tinies if they can't manage it !

I had a funny experience teaching piano this week. One of my young lady pupils is getting to around Grade 5 and having to learn more tricky techniques including using the pedal. She is highly intelligent and can read from sight very well indeed, but ask her to add in the feet on the pedal and she crumples like an ancient paper bag ! Somehow adding in a third dimension physically sends her neurons into melt down and she almosts has a cardiac arrest ! After cajoling, pleading, forcing etc she finally looked deep into the piano keys and said in a dramatic voice 'The pedal messes with my head !' We both then howled with laughter and the air was cleared and it did not all seem so impossible ! It was the oddest statement I have heard in all my teaching ! Quite how the pedal can mess with ones head is out with my perception. Does this affect her dancing I ask myself..........anyhow it was a sweet teenage moment !

The little Welsh lullaby went down well, and the ladies did very well reading it through, something they could not have tackled five years ago. Some of them tell me that they can't read music at all, but they have all learnt the pattern and logistics of written music and follow that ! The sound they make is really lovely, warm and mellow and yummy. They have a lovely blend and largely because so many of them have lessons they sing like one voice and one vowel production so we have unity!

The song is the well known Suo Gan which is such a beautiful melody and flows in that typical Welsh soft rolling fashion. I have always loved the tune but never actually used it before . We are however singing it in English, trying to do Welsh would have been a step too far !


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