Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday Cyberspace Recital -- Per la gloria d'adorarvi

This is part of a project I am working on to learn 24 Italian Songs and Arias in 24 Weeks. This is week 2, and I have completed "Per la gloria d'adorarvi."

In just two weeks of tackling this project, I am discovering a new way to work with a voice teacher.

In the past, I usually arrived at my lesson an empty vessel, waiting for the voice teacher to pour into me all the wisdom and vocal knowledge that he/she could.  Now that I have chosen this project of learning these 24 songs, taking one each week, I am developing a completely different idea of how to use my teacher as a resource.

My teacher remarked to me that by sharing my singing journey publicly in a blog like this I was "teaching."  At first, the comment caused me to wonder, because I have not set out to teach.  How could I, since there is so much I don't know?

As I pondered this, I asked myself just what it was I was doing in Frescamari's Practice Room then?  I realized that what I was doing is teaching myself.  And I am letting all of you observe me learn how to teach myself.

A few years ago, I was without funds for my voice lessons.  I was pretty desperate, because it was a bad time for me to be without a teacher, as I had not got even near a clue about how to sing yet.  In the midst of despair,  I came up with the consoling notion that perhaps I knew enough now to teach myself.  Maybe there were books out there about singing I could buy and figure out what to do.  I had been participating in an online forum to discuss another interest of mine, scrapbooking.  Perhaps there was a similar type forum where there were singers discussing their voice lessons.

I began to hunt and dig for information.  Somehow, I stumbled upon a web site of a voice teacher who lived far away.  I can't remember who this was now.  I e-mailed him a question.  I asked him if it was possible for a singer to teach herself?

I received a basic short e-mail reply:  No it was not possible for a singer to teach his/her self.  A voice teacher was necessary.

I was a bit crushed by this answer, but I proceeded with my hunt for information.  Perhaps he was wrong.  After all, somebody had to figure out how to sing the very first time, didn't they?  Someone, once, had to do it without a teacher.

Well, after a long search, and much gathering of information, I found out what most classical singers already know, that a teacher is absolutely essential.

However, in these past weeks, I believe that I am using the teacher in a much more productive way than I ever have in the past.  With my 24 in 24 project, I have chosen my own path.  I take the entire week to teach myself the song, the language, and try to work out what problems I can.  At the end of the week, I take the unsolved problems to my teacher.  It is amazing how this different way of working is growing me.  I see my teacher as my main resource as I proceed to teach myself.  I am able to come to the lesson not as an empty vessel, waiting to be filled, but with a jugful of many questions and issues, so many that I hardly know where to start.  Instead of coming just to take, I bring something to my lesson.

It is a wonderful experience.
Click here to listen to this week's "performance" of Per la gloria d'adorarvi in Frescamari's Performance Space.

Also, if anyone out there can instruct me in how to make the Italian diacriticals in html, please send me an e-mail.  I have tried the ò-type commands, but I'm obviously leaving something out.
Other Wednesday  Cyberspace Recitals:
Week 01 - Sebben, crudele
Week 03 - O cessate di piagarmi

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