Face to face

Today I am going to try out my first face to face lesson for 3 months, with a dear friend who teaches me to paint in exchange for me teaching her to sing. So it will be flexible. I am moving out of my little music room to the lounge where I have my spinet and she will stand in the Conservatory with the glass door partially closed at 2 metre distance and the outer doors fully open and windows open (so virtually outside). I think we shall be safe and it will mean she can hear me and I can hear her without masks. And I will try and keep to a 40 minute time.

Well it really worked and I have to say how fascinating it is to work with someone with a different creative skill. She is an internally famous watercolour painter and I try to find images that resonate with her. And when we are working on my painting skills it is amazing how often something comes up that rings true for singing. e.g. Malcolm Martineau spoke abut the magic triangle of singer, pianist and audience and the real connection that worked between all three. She spoke about the artist, the life model and the canvas in the same way, focusing on the dynamic relationship that must ‘flow’ between all three.

She enjoyed working with the spinet instead of the piano as well, and that does give a different timbre even with the same pitch. I used a lot of the discussion I had had with Karen Leigh-Post on awareness, pricking up ears and using the vestibular system. It reminded me of the Tomatis Listening posture which is such a valuable tool to help singers build awareness. It seems so essential to be ‘alive’ and aware when we are singing of the space around us and being in performance mode even in a lesson.

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