Tonight marked the end of my 5-week group voice class.
After leaving a teaching career to work in this awesome artsy non-profit, I found myself missing the classroom, and the folks in the Education department were kind enough to give me an outlet for my teacherly tendencies. I taught an intro voice course last fall, and this year rather than repeating my last class, we decided to focus on specific repertoire. (Quite honestly, I think my students from the fall would've appreciated more time to sing and less yakity-yak from me about musculature and vowels.)
We've been looking at the music of Gershwin, Arlen, and Porter, and using it as a vehicle for vocal study. A small class, the members were all accomplished adults in their professional lives. I was pleasantly surprised each week with their willingness to follow, to be pushed, to step outside their comfort zone. We laughed, danced, and struggled through repertoire that's not easy even for accomplished singers. Happy songs, sexy songs, silly songs...this American Songbook rep has beautiful melodies and great lyrics! It seems a mix between guilty pleasure and privilege to teach these gems to folks who've never heard them. And it was definitely a privilege to listen to each singer individualize these great tunes.
I love seeing people stretch themselves. While there were mistakes on all sides (I'm a total hack at the piano anymore), there were moments of real beauty on all sides, as well. It was inspirational, perspirational, a lovely way to spend Monday evenings. And it's made me want to make more musical mistakes, myself.
But now? The focus turns to Mozart, Monteverdi, and Puccini. The next few weeks are all about getting the season on its feet, finding some children to sing in some choruses (can I please borrow yours?), and prepping for artist arrivals. Lots to do...time to rally the brain cells and stockpile enough work so that I can just play whack-a-mole from May-August.
- Hot tunes.
- Provocative conversation.
- The Tudors. Don't judge.