My Singing Teacher is Really Good

After only five lessons, I sang Opera at the River Run Centre, in front of hundreds of grade 3/4 students.

Well, I guess it was more like “with” hundreds of grade 3/4 students. I went on a field trip with son’s class. They saw Romanza . Three tenors and a piano trio, doing classics and opera. They started the show with Funiculì, Funiculà , then finished by having us sing the chorus.

Jammo ‘ncoppa, jammo jà,
funiculì, funiculà!

The kids were reasonably well behaved. The first song got their attention, as did the exciting bit of the Hungarian Dance on violin and the participation at the end, and one other song that was exciting, but overall the boys were bored. Face it, Bring Him Home, a pop song from the 1800s, and a Ray Charles song just won’t hold their attention.

I hate to eliminate the quieter stuff entirely — there are enough kids who like it or are borderline and need the chance — but the rest need something a bit more exciting.

I liked their costumes. One was in black jeans and black sweatshirt, one a normal black dress shirt and black dress pants, and the third a modern black suit jacket over black dress pants. The bits between the songs caught the kids’ attention. They understood when the kids clapped after exciting bits, even if it was before the song was over. They did a good job of quietly asking them to save the applause, but didn’t fuss when it didn’t work. The “warm ups” before the audience participation were fun. The bits of showing off were also good; they could have done a bit more before hitting overkill.

So, yes, I’d keep this group on the list for this age group, but add a few more modern bits.

This is a great city. Thanks to a couple of big sponsors and tons of volunteers, every kid, grade 1-8, goes to two free shows at the centre. They still need to fine-tune the shows a bit. I’ve seen them given too high or too young an age recommendation. Also, many of the shows are great for kids who are already into that sort of thing, but boring for the rest.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed watching and listening for the things I’m working on with my music teacher. I think I identified head and chest voices. Yes, extra air does make the transition smoother. I did my best to sing out like she wants me to, but ended up quietly giggling at my bravado.


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