Over the past week or so, I have been thinking a lot about my experiences at the song festival in Granada.  In particular, I have been thinking about the last masterclass that we did.

It took me a while during that class to realize that, what the guest teacher was trying to get from me was, well, more feeling in my singing.  He used a number of interesting techniques — walking me about the stage while I sang about “going to the fair” in Manuel Garcia’s song, “Floris”;  having me close my eyes while I sang “Parad Avecillas” to imagine for myself the feeling of protecting a sleeping person I loved so that their sleep could remain peaceful and undisturbed.

I’m about to spend some time this afternoon listening to the recording from that class, but I already know from my fellow participants that, particularly when I closed my eyes, my singing changed dramatically. And as our guest walked away, he turned to me and grabbed my arm and siad, “You feel so deeply.  Let them hear it.” And I walked away from that experience knowing that there was something truly profound in it for me to learn and to carry forward in my performing and in my life. 

But I still don’t have a clue what that lesson is.

I think, that, somehow, over the years of technical work, language work, precision tuning, I have lost something.   I think that, from time to time, I find it when I am singing a hymn or a spiritual or even a classical work of a spiritual nature — but in favor of accuracy and of being a “good” singer who “gets it right” and “doesn’t stick out” and “doesn’t disrupt the ensemble”,  I have lost something, something that hampers my ability to communicate.  And maybe it is time to find it and put it back.

To find it, all I had to do was close my eyes.

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2 thoughts on “Feelings…

  1. Letting your feelings show for any song is one of the hardest things to do because it is like baring your soul in public. I find that thinking about the text and not worrying about what people think is the key. The emphasis is not on what people think

  2. Susan,

    By the time I left school I felt as though I lost this completely…but the longer I am in Ireland the more I feel when I sing. I myself sang an song the other day that I felt so deeply I nearly cried in front of my student! I’m loving some of the things that are happening to me over here. I just hope when I “get it together” people will still want to hear me. 🙂

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