Sometimes it is so gratifying to see a youngster who wants to improve so much that they work like a Trojan, imbibe as they listen to one's words, and learn almost by osmosis. I have some fine young pupils from the age's of 6 to 18, many of whom I have taught for more than half of their young lives ( as one young M informed me early in the week !). Another teen who only started lessons this term has proved herself worthy to join that hardworking and talented bunch of youthful voices.
N came last week for only her 3rd lesson, and proved by her very intensity just how much sheer graft she had done in the week previous. It made me smile, and as happens so often, I became very excited and felt myself jiggle about on the piano stool in anticipation of the progress to come !
Her eyes lit up with praise when told how well her mouth was 'behaving' in terms of vowel shapes, and best of all, she recognised instantly when they were lazy, forgotten or simply not quite correct. Largely they were correct, and very good indeed, so in the space of three weeks she has changed from having a rather 'wildish' and raw sound to an ordered and controlled tone quality.
Even with an older beginner I have to take songs from the great purple Singing Together book, simply to allow the pupil the time to put into action the technical issues. She had Bobby Shaftoe a Northumbrian folk song and The Nightingale, another folk song but generally thought to be from Somerset. N was working so hard I could almost see the cogs of her brain turning ! She had memorised both songs, and sang them to me with enthusiasm and much detailed thought. I could tell just how much practise had gone on in that household !
My body of young singers are brilliant in so very many different ways, each complimenting the other by their very diversity. Of course there are egos and the odd quarrel but as a group I feel they are positively glued together and enjoy that fact.
N will I hope, in time add her own individuality to the group, and so make it even stronger.