Music & Singing
Lockdown allowed us the time to start little Nina (6) on the harp. She's alarmingly determined to get better than Sophie May (11) and is surprisingly fierce with herself. Having two little harpists in the house is quite something. Sometimes I have to have a little sit down on the stairs when some lilting Celtic tune floats through the house. I don't want to go back to rushing.
Not fair to praise the mini harpists when I have a quite unique trumpeter, Clement (9), in the house! His brass band has obviously been cancelled but his teacher is teaching on zoom. He's taught himself to play any tune by ear through lockdown, last week he was playing the baby's favourite cbeebies theme tune instead of his scales...
Eliza and Polly are keen violinists and were having lessons at school however, during lockdown they continued with their lessons via Zoom and participated in the Benedetti Virtual Sessions. This is where children from all over the world took part in collective online lessons, and holding a virtual concert in May. They learned Paganini’s 24th Caprice which was re-arranged by the well-known Ayoub sisters). Nicola Benedetti and the Benedetti Foundation's excellent tutors really inspired Eliza and Polly. Eliza’s violin recording was included in the final virtual concert and Polly’s rhythm piece was also included.
Lockdown introduced us to the Benedetti Foundation and by becoming part of this and following all the sessions/learning the girl's love and skill in playing the violin has just grown.Both girls put a massive amount of work into this alongside their home schooling and their normal violin lessons and ABRSM violin exams in December in which both girls achieved distinctions - Polly Grade 1 and Eliza Grade 2 .
My husband Sparky and I did another crazy thing in lockdown. We are both alumni of the National Youth Choir (me, a lowly soprano 2, married a bass 2 section leader, what a catch!). The alumni have made 2 recordings through the lockdown.
Recording these have been excellent fun and really really difficult, with many many takes, mistakes, interruptions, swearing, forgetting to press record. But somehow we managed to submit our films. The finished product is rather amazing given the raw material.
The children recorded a song written by Ben Perry (who has just retired from conducting Aldeburgh Voices).
The song uses words written by the children on the theme of their cultural identity. Sophie May is one of the kids jumping into a swimming pool and clapping in her Farlingaye uniform.
Sophie May, my eldest child, also made a lockdown recording with the National Youth Girls' Choir. At 11 she is one of the youngest members and summer 2020 was meant to be her first residential course with the choir.
The course was held on zoom, a very intense week of lessons, rehearsals, and silly games, with obligatory chocolate fingers.
The photos show us attempting/failing to make the recording of the Christmas Song "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"