Sunday, 11 September 2016

Porgi Amor and Paralympics

So now the Paralympics. I am once more glued to the TV screen until much too late in the evening, watching sportsmen and women who are truly super humans by any measure. I am constantly astonished, thrilled and moved by the supreme achievements made by athletes who dismiss their disabilities and focus on their ability. Sport, like singing is indeed for everyone - at the highest level, simply for fun, and every rung of the ladder in between. 

The 'thrill' endorphins are there and freely available for each human who chooses to do the work, put themselves in the firing line and give their all. I learnt a long time ago that the 'all' which we give comes in many colours and shades of colour. My lovely CP pupil J gives her all when she walks a strong line across the stage, or is able to memorise a complete song from first to last note. A delightful lady M who travelled six hours to come for a lesson last weekend gives her all in her drive, hunger and determination, and my ladies of a certain age give their all to become the very best they can be. All of this imput comes with spades of hard graft, forkfuls of growing confidence and sacks of dedication.

For the previous 20 years of my career, teaching 'hot house' aspirant teens and twenties,  I had no idea that it was possible for students to find the strength to make these miraculous developments without the promise of a glittering career in the business, and the prospect of international success and adulation. I realise I have spoken about this before, but I feel it is more than worth a second mention !

I have been privileged to teach students who could reduce themselves, me, and an audience to tears, with a wonderfully heart rending performance of Porgi Amor from Figaro. One past pupil in particular springs to mind, Flora McIntosh, now a professional and hard working singer and mum. She sang it for the first time in my music room at the age of about 18 and was almost incapable of finishing the aria, so deeply was she affected. It was a true breakthrough moment for her and her ability to 'let go'. The aria had lifted her already brilliant talent to new heights. 

I have now, in my later life of teaching seen the same aria have that magical and moving effect upon singers of all ages and stages. Mozart is so powerful it matters not if the singer has a golden future in their sights, only that they strive to let the music make a difference to them. This is still something of a revelation to moi ! An amazing and life enhancing revelation, but still gives me the magical frisson which I had with Flora 20 years ago.

That is the true power of music combined with that vital ingredient, 'giving ones all'.

Flora nowadays.......

Hannah Cockroft Gold medalist !



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