Friday, 30 October 2015

The Laughing Song which ended my monster teaching week with a bang !

What a huge week ! I didn't think I was ever going to teach that number of hours again in my professional life ! Still it proves I can still do it - though in all honesty I think I prefer the slightly calmer and less intense teaching which I normally undertake !

That said, I had some fine lessons and some big repertoire. The Yorkshire Messiah looms ever closer and both E who is singing the Tenor solos and F who is singing the Alto solos wanted intensive coaching on their individual arias. Teaching at this level is exciting and exhilarating but tiring, and we pushed the boundaries hard. The exams loom too so there were at least three long lessons where the entire programme of 20 minutes was performed by the candidates.......this may not sound a long time but try sustaining the muscle support for that long, it resembles a proper work out ! The repertoire is of a high standard and the memory work involved in both Italian, French and German as well as English, is tricky indeed.

The concert looms on top of all that, so there is much part song repertoire to record for all the singers.....I have chosen some past pierces from several years ago including the rousing arrangement of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and the beautiful Simon Lole 'I am the Bread of Life' for the youngsters. Along with the Verdi 'Libiamo' and a couple of other items they have their work cut out on the learning front.

Nowadays, the ability for folk to record some sections of music actually at the rehearsal is one of the big benefits of technology ! Tuesday's rehearsal was swimming with iPads and iPhones all pointed at the piano hungry to record an alto part here and there, or a descant which is proving hard to hear amongst the decibels going on around the hall !

My week ended with young M who I must single out - this 14year old has had lessons now for half of her short life, and suddenly her voice is exploding beyond that which I have heard before. I find myself giving her such mature music. Her voice is very high, up in the top D's and E's, so repertoire that is that high is somewhat older in its style and length. I gave her the Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus by Strauss before the half term holidays and she came in last evening, my final pupil of gargantuan week, and blew me away with her performance, her wit, her pin point accuracy and her maturity. Where is this voice going to end ?

I have no idea.............but what a joy !


Young M is top left, very long dark hair !

(What a lovely photo of the youngest Contadine - selfies rule !)


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