Friday, August 29, 2008

The Show Must Go On

I sang in my first jazz showcase. Some things went great, some not so great. It sort of bothers me that I paid an accompanist for his rehearsal time and he still made a mistake--a big one. And then I made a mistake based on some of those mistakes. I have learned that I have to remind the band of things we discussed even if I did had a rehearsal the day before. I am a perfectionist. I wanted everything to go off without a hitch. But it didn't happen that way. Instead, it was an imperfect document of where I am now, things I need to work on and things that went well. I've learned that I have to choose my songs even more wisely. I've learned that I have to be even more memorized. I've learned that for being a conductor, I have to learn how to stand up for myself in front of a jazz combo and take control of the music rather than let them hijack something into a direction I don't want to go.

A friend of mine made me feel really good about the mistakes I dealt with that evening.
Friend: You did really well, you have a great voice. How long have you been singing jazz?
MissD: Two months.
Friend: You're in a transition. You'll be fine. You just have to let go of that perfectionistic tendancy.
MissD: Yes, that's true. In classical music everything is regulated note for note, jazz is much freer. I just have to learn to roll with it if things don't go my way.

How does this apply to choir? Kids need to understand all of these things too. They need to realize that it takes more rehearsal than anyone thinks it takes. You have to know a song hot, cold, rainy, while a tsunami hits or while a tornado approaches. When you are a kid, you think you know everything. You think you know it, but you've only heard it. You think you know it, but you forget a few words. You think you know it, but you aren't always singing in tune. Finally you know it, but you must also be able to interpret. Choir is just as much of a learning experience as performing. What keeps songs fresh is that each day you must find within yourself yet a new way of singing it and new way of connecting with the text.

And lastly, I have to think about what I'm going to do with the rest of my time while I'm substitute teaching. Not only are these activities going to be music related, they will also need to be profit oriented. At least that's the hope!!


Can Bass 1 said...

How very true, dear lady. (I just wish I could convince the DoM of that!)