Learning to perform on stage is really learning to live comfortably with fear. ..Isaac Ster
"Congratulations! Ditz has been successful in gaining a position in the Australian Vocal Arts Ensemble within the Vocal Manoeuvres Academy for 2009."
I love my Ditz...& I'm really proud of her. Oh she drives everyone wild & [edited at Ditz's request], just the same she's a pretty terrific kid.
She's been hanging out for that e~mail for nearly a week knowing that there were just 16 places for that ensemble & unless something really untoward happened quite a few of those places were already allocated. Everyone else takes private lessons too & most of the choir has been conscripted from the private lesson people.
Music is expensive & last year, when we were totally new to this whole circus, I came home from the orientation class having a total breakdown with Ditz fussing about me in a whirl of worry. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined my little canary would incur the sort of costs we had to consider. This year we thought we knew what we had to deal with.
For a month or more my household has suffered Ditz. If the child confined herself to practising her choice of song we might have grown bored but she would have raised no comment. Ditz makes noise the way the sun makes shine; it's an act of nature, an irrefutable law of cause & effect. Not Ditz. She has had a year of Alison. She has had 4 very public, high profile performances & if Ditz has learnt nothing else she's learnt a certain amount of professionalism.
Professionalism sounds sooo good, doesn't it? *sigh* What it means in practise is you're driving along thinking quiet thoughts & Ditz goes, 'Wheee!' Liddy nearly drives off the road. Ditz goes, 'Whooosh!' Followed by doe, ray, me & far, so. la Then scales & arpeggios. Liddy begs for the radio to be turned on. Ditz screams that the radio will put her off pitch. I wish my car were bigger or than one or other of my girls weren't in it. And so it goes. Ditz warming up & Liddy totally convinced all musicians are incurably mad.
Ditz mightn't have private lessons but what she's learnt in class she's applying. She was also far less nervous for her audition this time round because she knew exactly what to expect & if Ditz is nothing else she's a superbly confident young lady. I thought she'd done a pretty good job at her audition. Ditz thought she'd done a pretty good job. Whether it was enough to secure her a place in the smaller, more elite ensemble we weren't sure. Ditz thought so; I hoped so because not having private lessons this is the next best way to get the best learning time.
I tend to only focus on one hurdle at a time. No point in worrying until I know what I'm worrying about, right? Now Ditz is in I get to worry. Last year Ditz did an hour of theory & an hour of rehearsal. We got home about 8pm which isn't too fraught making though we were always tired & meals got a tad erratic. We just added another hour to that. I'm looking at being parked in a freezing cold high school classroom for 3 solid hours through winter & we won't be home till 9pm in the middle of the week.
See Alison has this tendency to take a small group of kids & work them super hard. They then form the core of a larger choir & drag the other choir up, plug the mistakes, hold them steady ~ which is why, of course, we wanted to be in the smaller choir. The training is much more intense. It is also far more time consuming. I feel tired already.
And just so you know because I whinge enough about Ditz's academics, I know nothing whatsoever about music. For Ditz to have auditioned at all she had to work everything out on her own ~ choice of song suitable for her voice & range, practise, a way to learn the music without a backing tape, warm up, posture, recall everything she'd ever been told about music for the sight reading & sound tests, everything she's learnt about performance & put it all together on the day. Which she did. Now why can't she apply the same skill level to her academics?