Sunday, 22 May 2016

Singing Exams ........once again !

This week zoomed by and suddenly it is Friday and I am madly searching eBay and Amazon in an effort to find 15 Roman shields or a raggedy straw hat for Strephon, or worse and more tricky, some white glow in the dark spray paint - luminous yellow or sickly green just won't cut the mustard !

The tiny fairy dresses arrived today and they are quite gorgeous - almost like mini versions of the ladies flowing mediaeval robes, but in white, as befits nano sized fairies ! I suspect they will need a little alteration here and there but nothing too much as on unpacking them we realised they have an elasticated back so are truly multi fitting !

Not the real thing, but that remains a secret until the tabs go up.......!

I heard some splendid singing this week, and the impending exams certainly give a little push to the candidates. They all seem really very prepared and the whole programmes are hanging together very well. I have a relatively new pupil A who is taking her Grade 6 and has a beautiful round mezzo voice. Her fluent Gaelic means that she sings German very well. So many of the vocal sounds in German are very similar to both hard and soft Gaelic sounds, and since I moved here it has been a delight to give children as young as 9 a song in German, and they seem to have an immediate connection with the language. I have no idea if the two languages have any common roots but it makes my job a whole lot easier - and it impresses examiners !  She has more trouble with the 'e' sound in Italian - she finds the open and 'long' shape element of this wonderfully throw away vowel so tricky, it often turns into 'nil' instead of 'nel'. She is a bright and intelligent girl and I think we finally cracked it by trying another route. "Do you say 'will done' for 'well done' " I asked and she suddenly smiled and said of course she didn't, and a switch flicked she just needs to remember it ! So then we will get a true 'Sento nel Core' !

J is singing her Grade 3 songs quite beautifully, and is so well prepared we decided to put them 'on the back burner' quote Betty Middleton, and learn something new. I love it when the worry of actually memorising has gone, and we are still more than a month from the exam day. J is a worrier, and to have that nailed this early will mean she can cope much better with the inevitable and natural on the day butterflies. Her Marianwurmchen by Schumann is beautifully painted and with excellent German.

.....'your colourful wings are my joy....'

......Bunte Flugel meine Freude....'

S is singing her Grade 5 songs so well, and LOVES with a passion her little operatic aria from Figaro - she is a born stage animal and will make the examiner look at her by sheer force of dramatic will ! Her arms are elegant and she moves around the room with grace and fluency. I take the good singing as read, it will be excellent, but the grace and drama is a big added bonus.

Exam music can sometimes be tough going, but this week is was a pleasure to work on it.

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