Wednesday, February 20, 2008
A Ceremony of Carols.
Wednesdays are shaping up to be good days this year. Maybe it's knowing choir is on but Ditz has been working really well for me Wednesday mornings even though she likes her work no better. She squeezed her flute practice in somehow too; no intention of getting in Jan's bad books, especially with flute the following day.
The choir are learning This Little Babe from Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols. Having heard this I was absolutely stunned to find I could actually read the score without difficulty. It sounds terribly complicated, & is in fact far harder to sing than it looks on paper ~ at least for someone like me who ignores everything they don't understand, which is a lot! It is an absolutely glorious piece of music to listen to, even raw with the harmonies not working so well & the sopranos wobbling on their top notes.
And shhh, I really like Wednesdays too. I am learning such a lot ~ about music sure, but I'm not obssessive about the music. What is really fascinating me is watching a kinesthetic teacher in action! It is especially hilarious because my Ditz really lacks good co~ordination. Weird, I know.
Now what they did last night was rythmic dictation. Alison wrote down her 6 steps. Most have an action attached but the first one is just tapping the beat with a pencil. Sounds easy? Sure, unless you're Ditz. Peculiar looks going her way because whatever she's tapping it can't possibly be what she's hearing. No comment though, just a mental note that this child needs lots of work. lol. Finally they've written everything down & Alison is moving from child to child pointing out their errors. I really am trying to ignore what's going on but when I hear a surprised, 'GOOD GIRL.' I glance up wondering what Ditz has managed this time. The only child to pick the counting & write it down absolutely correctly!!! Credos to Jan who likes Jazz & swing & has given his bands plenty of odd counting practice. Now I'm no muso so I mightn't have this right but if you have a series of semi~quavers but only so many beats in a bar then the semis are joined together with a bar. I think I have that right. Will have to ask Ditz. Everyone else let their semis stand alone but Ditz counted & knew that way there were too many beats to the bar so fixed it up. Good girl, indeed, Ditz!
Then there was the actual singing. Again the counting is quite complicated with everyone coming in after 3 & 3/4 bars. Ditz is spot on but most aren't. 5 minutes spent with everyone wagging their bums left right, right left & counting out loud. I'm up the back so I have a choice view of waggling bums & am quietly having hysterics. Talk about hilarious ~ especially as this again, is something simple that Ditz can't manage. Her bum waggling is all over the place & I can tell she just hates it.
Something about the way Alison teaches really works though. Before we reached the car Ditz was complaining she couldn't get the music out of her head & my drive was punctuated with bursts of Der Kleine Knabe ~ NOT what I needed while negotiating peak hour traffic; I found myself concentrating on the music, not my driving because it is music that requires concentration. She woke up with the music still there & I guess only flute will push it out & then only temporarily. I'm just glad I like the piece. I hate being constantly serenaded by music I don't even like.