Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Voice problem solved

I went to my Mozart opera group rehearsal last night and rediscovered my voice! A couple hours before, I warmed up my voice and analyzed all my problems and took note of what I would need to do to erase my bad habits. And, magically, that evening, all my vocal issues disappeared! I had my lovely old voice back! Subconsciously, I was singing lighter, in a more relaxed manner, and kept everything nice and open in the back for my high notes. Phew! I'm glad I don't have to worry about that any more -- and I got away with not seeing any doctors!

So, in that group, we are only singing Mozart because our director is a Mozart fanatic. Sometimes she asks those of us who are pianists (two of us) to accompany the group on a few pieces, but usually, she prefers to accompany us herself (she knows so many pieces by heart!). The other pianist is a a nice young lady, who teaches music to junior high kids. Her piano playing was very accurate for Sarastro's aria, but was not at all in the pure, delicate, crystalline style of Mozart -- it sounded more like Brahms, heavy and full. Here's my analogy -- an elephant trying to squeeze into a supermodel-sized $10,000 haute couture dress. Let's just say it didn't look pretty. I'm usually quite forgiving, but if you make classical music your business in life, try to be a little musical.

I appreciate musicians who play in a technically and stylistically precise way, but even better, the musicians who play sensitively, expressively -- who obviously feel the music and by playing it can touch the inner core of your being. Next time you go to a concert, listen for these special performers. They don't have to have big names. I studied violin with one of these amazing musicians a few years ago in Hayward, California.

I'm so looking forward to teaching Maylin violin , piano, and voice. I'm not going to force her, but if she seems interested, I'll teach her. One time, she held up a toy violin almost perfectly. With a few minor corrections, she was looking like a pro! I studied violin through the Suzuki method as a child, and once in awhile, we would attend Suzuki music workshops. Here's where you meet hundreds of other kids squeaking away on their little violins and other string instruments. The most incredible kid was a teeny-tiny three or four year-old Asian girl playing a Vivaldi concerto on a teeny-tiny violin. I couldn't get over the beautiful technique -- the way her bow arm moved so smoothly and how the fingers on her left hand just flew! I was probably nine at the time when I witnessed this, and I'm not sure if I felt inspired or degraded. I was very competitive at that age.

I'm off to start my day! Have a good one!

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