Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Singing exams loom............

Today was an interesting and really successful day of teaching. I love it when things fall into place like the pieces of a tricky jigsaw. Exams loom on Thursday so the intensity which always rears it's head when the day approaches, was almost tangible. The air in the music room is filled with adrenaline and brain concentration. 

All the candidates have moved mountains in the last week. The pressures are just the same for a first timer taking the Initial pre Grade 1 examination as for those two intrepid pupils tackling the Advanced Recital Certificate. The jargon which needs to learnt for the aural tests, or the script which must be followed for announcing items in the recital programme bring different problems, but those problems were largely overcome today, so they relaxed and so did I ! We may all be able to 'enjoy' the moment on Thursday knowing that the preparation is finished and the final performances can shine brightly.

What a variety of music I will be playing. The babes will be singing some evergreen songs including 'Edelweiss', 'Donkey Riding', 'Away in a Manger' and 'Lets go fly a Kite' for starters, and all bar the recitalists will sing a variety of Vaccai Italian exercises ! The Grade 7 songs are just lovely, R will cover all genres from Mozart's Vedrai Carino from Don Giovanni through to Michael Head's 'Foxgloves' via some Wolf and Gilbert and Sullivan. This afternoon all the pieces including the Wolf were rock solid and ready to go ! The advanced recitals sing a lot of repertoire and I will cover that after the exam day when we will know the results. A young man who after only a handful of lessons will wow the examiner with a very accomplished 'Since first I saw your Face' and a rather moving 'Moon River'. S is a complete natural and has almost fallen into singing as if he had done it his entire life ! He is a marvellous find, and a most rewarding pupil. 

My final pupil of the day was K. She has had a run of very bad throats, wheezy chests and busy, busy weeks of work. She is a lovely singer with a real sense of style and performance, but over the last few months has rather lost some confidence, combined with forgetting the physical feeling of singing with a full and open tone. When one has had a lengthy time out it is very much a case of 'use it or lose it' - the muscles forget the feeling, the brain plays mind games with confidence, and the spiral can begin to swirl downwards. Today she regained her old voice and self - lifted her tone into the heavens ( well into her head voice !!) and let her voice and feelings soar. It was a glorious half hour, and we both felt it was a turning point - a turning back to the accomplished and beautiful singer we all know she is !

This evening I received an email with some superb quotes from K, and I post one here for your delectation- I love it, and it makes one realise just how precious every moment of everyday should be.

What a day........


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