Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jury thoughts

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I judged vocal juries at Friends U. This is basically a final for each student enrolled in private voice during the semester. If you're a non music major, you go into a room with 2 songs prepared, one of the voice faculty chooses one song, you sing it (hopefully well) and you're done. If you're a music major, you prepare 3 and sing 2, if you're a performance major, you prepare 5 and sing 3. We have some great singers here at Friends and overall, they did a great job. However I found myself thinking some crazy things over the last couple of days...
  • Students, this is an opportunity for you to show off. To show what you've learned this semester. We (voice faculty) are not here with claws out, ready and waiting for you to mess up. We want to hear how much you've progressed from semester to semester.
  • Students, please wear appropriate attire when performing. Jeans, flip flops, t-shirts, and mini-skirts are not appropriate. You should know this by now. Yes, we're judging your singing skills, but we have to look at you, too. Wear something nice, for pete's sake.
  • Why does maintenance insist upon mowing right outside the window? Both days? Seriously...
  • Attitude is everything, and we can see your attitude on your face, most of the time.
  • Is their a hidden camera in here? Some student just came in and wants to sing a song he wrote for his band and has some guy to play guitar for him. We don't do this at Friends University. Or do we?
  • Performance majors are always fun to hear. They take their craft seriously and it's enjoyable to listen to.
  • I sometimes find myself writing the same thing over and over. Usually has to do with engaging the breath and posture.
  • I miss my girls, I hope they're behaving for their grandparents.
  • Posture. Posture. Posture.
  • Don't tell me you've practiced 5 hours a week throughout the semester and then totally forget your words in a performance. Well, you can tell me, but don't expect me to believe you.
  • ok, you've sung and you're done. Please don't forget everything you've learned these last few months, or years. Don't go back to shallow breaths and lowered soft pallets. To belting and screaming and (probably) smoking. Remember what you've learned and how you've grown as a singer and person.
  • Next semester, I want to hear/see an improvement.
  • How much longer until break time? Weber brought donuts from Lamar...
  • Great job! I can't wait to hear you again.
  • You've got to be kidding me.
  • What a lovely tone, wish she was a music major.
  • If I hear Caro mio ben one more time, I'm going to explode.


Topher said...

Fun post, Michelle. Reminded me of when I tried for a voice scholarship at KU when I was a senior in HS. You may remember I graduated from a school of 100 students, so our "choir" teacher wasn't really top-notch. I was in way over my head, but thought I should give it a shot anyway. I stood up to sing my one selection; four words into it I totally blanked! Forgot every stinkin' word. One of the judges was so sweet, she tried mouthing the lyrics to me, but to no avail. Then they had "the nerve" to ask me to sight read a few lines of music. Huh? I don't know how to do that. Needless to say, I didn't get a scholarship, but it was a very valuable life lesson. Sometimes it's not the result that's important, but the courage it takes to go in the room. Hope you enjoyed the Lamar's donut...they're great!

Michelle Osborn said...

Sorry to laugh at your expense, Chris! That is too funny :) It amazes me how nervous most students are. They totally freak out, usually over nothing. I can say that-now that I'm not in their shoes. It's hard to get the point across that we're not out to 'get' them.