Honestly, I’ve always really liked music recital time, even before I was teaching, when I was working in music school admin or watching my own children play. It was always such fun to organize and then cheer on the performers. I still get excited to hear non-professional musicians put themselves out there and share what’s in their heart and the progress they’ve made in their musical pursuits. I’m always especially proud of my own students of course and now and then I get to leave my cozy shell and play something myself. Here’s what I was up to recording this past week.
Two traditional pieces in 6/8 time from Yorkshire, England to Brittany, France. The first arrangement of Scarborough Fair is a chord-melody solo by James Hill which can be found at here. (There’s a link there to another great article on creating Medley Magic!) The second piece, C’était Anne de Bretagne, is from Book 3 of the original printed edition of the Ukulele in the Classroom method series by James Hill and J. Chalmers Doane.
There was some good advice put forth about trying to record oneself, which was to leave the camera going until you play it through with some satisfaction. What that also does is it makes you watch a bunch of misfires and retakes and maybe even some funny accidental moments before you get to the section you like. I chose to add the outtakes of my flubs and canine interruptions because I thought they were funny and I don’t mind letting you know how hard it is to do. The final cut is certainly not perfect either but it’s what I could live with at this point in my musical journey.
Recitals are not about comparing one player with another or even yourself. (I’m really not a fan of judged musical reality shows, but that’s for another post sometime) Recitals are just for showing a little bit of yourself in one of the most vulnerable ways most of our busy minds can possibly imagine…a public stage. Eek! Remember, “comparison is the thief of joy” and there’s a lot of joy in letting go and just trying something scary. Anyone who’s done this knows what I mean.
Anyway, I was also thrilled to be asked to take part in recording something for this next one with my friends within the JHUI mentorship program. Thanks for watching!
p.s. Ever wonder what does Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme mean in Scarborough Fair? The lyrics are about a man trying to attain his true love. In Medieval times, the herbs mentioned in the song represented virtues that were important to the lyrics. Parsley was comfort, sage was strength, rosemary was love, and thyme was courage. Wishing you all of these, in the season ahead.