I am now in Yorkshire staying with my oldest friends J and J. My experiment this academic year was to pace myself more, and teach three weeks on and one 'no teach' week - a suggestion made to me by my daughter. It means that I can relax and save my voice during the off week, which I need more and more as I get older. Infact by Wednesday of this week I could not demonstrate or record any songs with notes above a D. This is not really usual and at the fresh new beginning of a term I can sing a fairly decent top F, but that vocal height drops as the weeks go by, and by three or four weeks along I wake up each morning almost voiceless. None of this is due to any kind of soreness, infection or vocal abuse, I hasten to add, only that the muscles are on the outer edge of 'worn to a frazzle' !
So, I am trying a new system which I hope will prolong my ability to teach effectively and still be able to do the odd recording for a student, and demonstrate where I want the tone to be placed ! Well that's the theory........
Infact I am having five actual free days - or song free zone as I like to call it - then when I am in the South I am going to do two days with my favourite Poor Clares in Arundel ! So not an entire week off, but those days will require less hours than my normal days, which often extend to 7 hours, and then I have a silent two day drive home. I'm hopeful the new regime will do the trick.
I do want to mention in retrospect how wonderfully my delightful teen S sang in her lesson on Thursday last. She was utterly beautiful in her Caro Mio Ben, old favourite yes, but such a timelessly gorgeous melody. She is beginning to sound as if she really knows what she is doing and the tone quality is so embryonically promising. Another voice which has changed beyond recognition is little J, a boy who has taken some time to find his voice, but is motering now like a musical Lamborghini ! He can sing higher and higher, and has a rich and solid sound which made his Grade 2 Italian exercise sound like Verdi ! Go J !
A lovely week rounded off with a heavenly meal at Plockton Shores restaurant..........Cullen skink, chicken supreme, coconut bread pudding.......divine and complete when combined with the best company !
The old Yorkshire sandstone streets of Whitby