Saturday, 27 August 2011

Every song...a winner!

This is the motto of the concert that takes place in three days and serves as a closing ceremony of the past two months.
Everyone is very much looking forward to it since that is most probably the only opportunity for the kids to play in public.
The way to get there was and still is full of adventures and activities.

While working on exam pieces we started to look for appropriate music for the concert. Simi says that people are not really exposed to western classical music so pop like ABBA and Beatles would make them happy...I asked past WAMers (and myself) whether this is the kind of music on which we should spend weeks and lots of energy. No one seemed to have problem with it so I assume this question arose only to protect the sort of musical hierarchy that was built by my personal taste. It is true that exam repertoire consists pieces in similar style.

Although I brought scores with me it proved to be an arduous work to find or in some cases to make suitable arrangements. Beatles songs will be played in duet form during the first half of the concert and the second half will be filled mainly with ABBA. For the later there will be solo singers and choir with choreography, accompanied by piano solo or duo, synthesizer and guitar. We started with some vocal training and turned out that there are talented singers so they will sing parts too. Actually the children enjoyed very much the versatile work especially when they had the freedom to create their own choreography. Advanced pianists will play improvised accompaniment (chords given) so they started to listen to each other more and communicate in different ways.

With beginners we listened to the well known 'Do-Re-Mi' from the Sound of music and learnt the whole scene and it is going to be performed before the ABBA songs saying: "when you know the notes to sing you can sing most anything"...
We had group sessions with rhythm and solfa exercises following the Kodály method so we discovered how to sing a song with solfa. We notated it, played it on the piano and made up some simple left hand accompaniment. It was amazing to see how easily kids adopted the new system.
There has been a few sessions on music history where we explored some orchestral pieces. This was to support the aural tests so we notated themes then we played their piano transcription which was meant to help sight reading.
Luckily we had small groups of 8-10 people allowing enough space and time to involve everyone equally.

It has been a very intense period and the concert is still ahead of us.

In the next blog you can read about - the concert
                                      - the musical luggage
                                      - what music means to these children


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