I have just my singing exam to do, and then my first year of this degree will be finished! I’m startled at how short the time seems, but also how much has happened this year.
In terms of things to not do while you are trying to finish your year’s work, if you’d like some free advice, I would suggest:
- plan a wedding
- have your parents in law to stay
No that’s it. But I wouldn’t change these things either. I’m very excited about my wedding, but I am also wishing I could just focus on my work. But that’s life I guess! And to suppose there will ever be a time when I can just focus on one thing without the rest of my life intruding would be a bit dim on my part.
In terms of academics, I’ve collected mostly As, which I’m proud of. Learned so many new things, which are giving me a much better picture in my head of how music has developed over the years (though obviously, STILL SO MUCH TO LEARN).
My singing is also improving, but at times it feels like one step forward two back. Or maybe two forward, one back. It depends how upbeat I’m feeling… But I just remind myself when I feel down, that the feeling when it is working is SO worth it. I sang at a masterclass last week, and just UGH. I was so annoyed with myself. Nothing worked right, I sounded like a complete mess and I could NOT get it to come right. But I went home, thought about what had happened and tried to put some plans in place so the same thing won’t happen again. (I’m sure I’ll mess up at masterclass again, but just not in that way). I sometimes feel like singing is all about messing up in NEW and EXCITING ways, instead of the same old ways. As long as I make new mistakes, I’m improving. Um, right?
I am really focussing on my back muscles at the moment. The slackers. These are the same ones you engage when you go to sit down on a chair. They were sneakily just lying there, letting my abs do all the work. Now, with them engaged (though I haven’t quite got them to work as well as they should yet) my top notes are much easier.
I have set some goals to really make sure I step up and use all the opportunities we get here though. So here they are, so that you may call me on them, internets:
- Sing at every masterclass
- Practice every morning before I start doing anything else.
- Go to all the student concerts I can, instrumental or vocal (I’ve actually been pretty good at seeing most of them this year)
- Blog more. Because it really does help me focus, and keeps me honest. Which is weird but good.
I think I’ve also managed to organise a small one or two voice per part chamber group, as part of an ensemble paper for next year. So looking forward to that!
Musically outside of school, I still have the Messiah to look forward to at the end of the year. I think it will be my last concert with this choir though. They are really good, but a big choir is really no good at all for my voice, I tend to pick up bad habits (not that other people are doing anything terrible, but solo singing is a completely different kind of singing.) I want to hear the soloists, and I haven’t sung it before, so worth a sing. We got to sing with the NZSO as well last month, how awesome is that?
2011, you have been awesome, and interesting, and there is still TWO WHOLE MONTHS AND A BIT OF YOU TO GO!? Uni, you are messing with my head.
Would you like some music? Of course you would. No vocal today, instead Beethoven’s 3rd movement from his String Quartet in A minor. Bear in mind, this is 2 years before his death, and he was completely deaf when he wrote it. It’s called Heiliger Dangkesang for short which is Hymn of thanks to the godhead. It celebrates recovery from an illness. It is so beautiful it makes me cry, in a good way. Put it on and just chill out for 7 minutes. This is performed by the Takacs quartet.
If I’m honest, Beethoven seriously disrupted my study this year by being so damn amazing. I’d be listening to all my music for history in bits, trying to quickly name the piece/composer/date and then I’d hit a Beethoven piece and have to listen all the way through. And they’re LONG. BACH I’M LOOKING AT YOU TOO. You and your damn Brandenburg.
Singing exam next week, I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m singing:
- a Vaccai vocal exercise
- some recit and Come Unto Him from the Messiah (Handel)
- Un Marito Donne Care ( Mozart)
- Seit ich ihn gesehen (Schumann)