Sunday, 17 April 2011

So what next?

I was warned by other members of my singing family to beware the 'post concert blues'. It is not unusual apparently, to feel a little deflated following a concert and I can now understand that. There's the rehearsals and the build up and then it's all over in a flash. It was even more deflating this morning on eagerly opening my copy of 'Loughborough Echo' to read the anticipated concert  review and finding. . .

Not a word! Diddly-squat! Groan! I can only presume the Echo reporter was so knocked out by what he/she witnessed to be unable to formulate the article in a mere week. Next Thursday perhaps? Time then to focus on improving my singing.

What Saturday's concert emphasised for me, was how much easier it is to sing and sing properly when you are relaxed and confident. Lyndon Gardner had made this point during the last rehearsal before the concert and I hadn't realised the significance until now.  My voice starts to ache quite quickly when I am singing quietly and not giving it everything. This happened during the first half of the concert, but there was no such problem in the second half, as I was relaxed and more confident in myself. Last Thursday's rehearsal proved this beyond doubt. We were a little short on numbers for this rehearsal, particularly the second tenors. We had a run through two of the new songs and when the time came  for the handful of second tenors to sing their part, the self consciousness took over and the achy throat returned. Consequently, my attempts at 'Amarrillo' were pretty feeble, and the more conscious I became about it, the worse it got! So clearly, confidence is the key!

So Saturday April 16th saw Lesson Three with Caroline at Trinity Methodist Church. It's funny how nervous I felt again even at the start of the lesson, which is daft really, because Caroline is a great teacher and puts me at ease within minutes. She makes a singing lesson fun, which is what it should be. The warm-ups went well this time I thought as I actually remembered to open my mouth wide and those higher notes came easily. I reached a note higher than I had managed previously apparently (forgotten which note it was) so that was good. Caroline was quick to point out the symptoms of my 'nervous energy', like twitching legs, tense shoulders and all manner of weird things that I didn't realise I was doing. I remember I couldn't stop my leg twitching in time to the music during the concert. I guess these things will sort themselves out in time.

My first challenge under Caroline's expert tutelage is to learn one of my already favourite Nat King Cole songs, 'On the Street Where You Live'. Well obviously, as my wife has just pointed out, it isn't a Nat King Cole song at all really! He is merely one of numerous artistes to have sung the song which is from My Fair Lady. It might be a good idea for me to watch  the whole musical to see and hear it in context. Anyway, having been listening to Nat's CD on a continual basis for the last few weeks, my first task is to put his rendition to the back of my mind and to eventually make it my version of the song and without an american accent. My first run through was a bit shambolic, but my challenge now is to try and remember the multitude of bits of advice from Caroline while I'm actually singing. Funny that I forget absolutely everything once I start!

Ruth has already mentioned the unthinkable - singing this song at the annual Gamlin Arts concert later in the year! Such a step is a gigantic leap so far outside my comfort zone that I couldn't even dare contemplate it at this stage of my fledgling singing career. But, never say never as they say.  If I can master it and get to the stage where I can be confident in my own singing ability, who knows. Better not think about that for now eh? One small step at a time I think.

Lots of practice then before my next lesson and a bit of research on t'internet for other artistes versions of this splendid song!

Cheers for now,

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