Monday, July 18, 2005

Nashville - Day 1

I'm so tired and so excited and today feels like it was four days long.

We started at 7am - yes, AM - with breakfast, and devotions at 8am with Faye Speer.
Our first class was theory and sight-singing. We have this class twice a day for a total of 3 hours. This is the shape-note singing. I'm still quite confused, so more on this at a later date.

Then we have electives, so today I chose Performance Training with Allison Durham Speer. I'm a huge fan of Allison and she's the one I really wanted to work with. So when she asked who wanted to sing, my foolish hand jumped up in the air. I sang Peace in the Valley, acapella. I was nervous, it being so early and all, but it went well. Then she gave me great feedback, both positive and critical. It was so amazing! Here I am, singing for this amazing performer, and she's helping to train me. Me! I got a lot of lovely comments from other students throughout the day. The Canadian is making her mark!
{Actually, there are 2 great women here from Alberta as well. We're the foreigners in the group!}

After lunch, there was more theory, and then my first voice lesson. I get five 30-minute lessons, and I want to use this time to delve into genre and style.

Then we had group singing, which is also several hours a day. But when we sight read a song, we are not to sing La-La-La. Oh no! We sing Do-Re-Mi! Oh my! I haven't looked at that stuff since Vanier Elementary. Very confusing and crazy! This is that shape-note stuff, which I'm really hoping to explain later.

The music we do in group singing is "convention" music. Again, hoping to explain this later.

Then in the evening, we had a concert. We get a concert performed for us every night. Tonight was the inspiring Darlene Neptune, and the powerful Daryl Williams Trio. Daryl is my songwriting coach, and I get to work with him tomorrow.

The night ends with student performances. I stayed in the audience for tonight. I've been asked to join in a trio, so we'll probably do a song later on. I'd like to get the chance to do some solo work, and maybe one of my songs as well.

I, of course, intend to make use of every minute here. It's full of talented people, and everyone is very down to earth and accessible. There's a couple of hundred students, so it's not too many. And there are even whole families who've come here together.

It's all a little overwhelming, but I'm soooo glad I'm here!

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