Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Music All Around

Between my vocal practices, the kids trying out for the school musical, and piano lessons, there is a lot of music in the house these days.

Every morning, I do my vocal exercises from the Natural Singer workshop with Claude Stein at Kripalu.  While I remember most of the techniques, I did sign up for the online lessons; I receive a new video or audio file each week for a year.  So there are a lot of "mmmm" and "ahh" and "nyawn" around here.  And more actual singing, too.  (Learn more about Stein and his workshops here.)  I haven't been to the musical Taize service recently, but I love the singing meditations we do.

Auditions for the school musical were last week.  Both kids tried out; neither wanted us to hear their practice song.  I was even helping out at auditions but didn't really hear them.  Sis sang Cohen's "Hallelujah," which they'd sung at the marvelous school music concert a few weeks ago.  Bud did "My Shot" from Hamilton.  The director said we should YouTube it and send it to Miranda, which was kind to say.  But Bud does remember a lot of lyrics and performs with gusto.  And both kids will be in the musical, though Sis just wants a background part.  Bud goes for callbacks today; he'd like something a little more.  And he moves well.  We'll see.  A little speaking part would thrill him.  From here, we have about four months of weekly rehearsals.  So, lots of music, lots of the time.

Bud and I still take piano, though Sis decided not to this year.  He's been playing "Memory" from Cats and "Winter Wind" by the Piano Guys, a long, lovely, and complicated piece.  I think the Cats song brings out his melancholy about dear Mo and Mr. P, who died a year ago.  He plays, is reflective for a bit, and then perks right up.  I'm practicing "The Entertainer" and it's coming along slowly; I'm also trying to put my favorite "Finlandia" into memory--that goes even more slowly, though I've been playing it for two years.

Sis has been focused on her violin, which she plays in her room.  As I mentioned, there was a concert a few weeks back, both choral and strings.  Sis is in the first violin group and Bud is one of the only cellos, both in the advanced (5th & 6th grades) orchestra.  They both plan to continue playing in junior high but are not sure if they will still be serious in high school.  See, only one high school in town has strings, so their interest becomes more broadly important.  Well, if we even still have public schools by then, with public-school enemy #1, DeVos, as Secretary of Education.

And we all like listening to music on our Sonos, a digital device which handles our music library.  I can call up any song we own while seated on the couch and choose where in the house to play it and how loud, creating my own playlists.  It's fantastic!  Hamilton has long been in the queue, sometimes current pop songs.  And I have been listening to the medieval chants of Hildegard von Bingen.  No doubt we'll put Sunset Boulevard into rotation soon.  We have tickets to see Glenn Close in a few weeks.

Then, who knows what, but you can bet there will still be song here.

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