Seven days ago I announced on this blog that I would be learning "24 Italian Italian Arias in 24 Weeks".
I am proud to let you know that the first completed song -- "Sebben, crudele" -- is now up in the brand new posterous site called Frescamari's Performance Space.
I have decided that I will add one of each of the 24 Italian Songs to Frescamari's Performance Space every Wednesday, so be sure to look there every week.
If you remember, I started this project because the author of a book I was reading claimed that a writer could improve his skills in six months if he got a job at a newspaper and had to write two articles a day. Apparently, the writer would encounter and be forced to solve many common problems of writing while doing that work. I tried to think of a way that I could discover and solve many of the common problems singers might encounter. As a means of doing this, I decided on the project of learning all the 24 Italian Songs that are used in voice lesson classes. (cf "24 Italian Arias in 24 Weeks")
Little did I know when I came up with this idea. how exciting this project would turn out to be for me. It has been very interesting so far -- from the very first read-through of the song, to the final performance. I learned so much just from attempting to learn "Sebben, crudele" in one week. I have left a trail of links to my work at the bottom of this post, should you be interested to observe and listen to the process.
One of the things I learned was to focus my practice more specifically. I had to schedule certain tasks for certain days, and as I have done so I think I've come up with a little model to use for learning the rest of the songs.
Day 1: Select song, first read-through without words, practice words, second read-through with words
Day 2: Work on song in phrases and sections
Day 3: Put the whole thing together and identify problem areas
Day 4: Cut and paste: work on problem areas, then "paste" back into song
Day 5: Rest, or sing-through
Day 6: Bring song to lesson and work with teacher on remaining problem areas.
Day 7: Record and put in Frescamari's Performance Space
It has occurred to me that I can also use this project to hone some of my piano skills. So I have decided to add sightreading and practicing piano accompaniments in both high and low keys for each song. If I ever become a voice teacher, it would be beneficial to know how to accompany a student in these basic songs.
Eventually, maybe after this project is complete, I may undertake another project of recording each of the 24 while accompanying myself on the piano. For now, I am using the CD piano accompaniment that comes with the 24 Italian Songs book.
If you would like to follow the whole path of his week's learning, here is the progression of links in Frescamari's Practice Room, ending with the final performance in "Frescamari's Performance Space." I hope you enjoy it.
"Sebben, crudele" learning progression:
Day 1: Song Selection and Read-throughs
Day 3: Put the Whole Thing Together; Identify Problem Areas
Day 4: Cut and Paste; Work on Problem Areas
Day 7: Final Performance of "Sebben, crudele"
Follow Up With Other Cyberspace Wednesday Recitals
Week 02 - Per la glora d'adorarvi
Week 03 - O cessate di piagarmi