It is almost like attending one's own funeral at the University at present, with peers and students telling me what they think and what they will miss. I set up this time away from the Hamilton Chorale at the beginning of last year. They have told me not to find a nice man o'seas and not return. My response has been that the four grandchildren in this part of the world is a stronger pull than them.
I have nine singing students for next year, aiming for a total of twenty for February. I have twenty students from the current first-year teaching training group who want lessons now, so they will happen before the end of the semester, in groups. I enjoy teaching in groups, as it is not possible to hear changes in one's own voice, but hearing the effect of technique in other people's voices helps to affirm the change in one's own sound.
So: what does 2011 look like for me?
- Working with a retirement provider rolling out the Glee Club model into all of their villages, over a two-year period, leading to guaranteed high-quality outcomes for the participants, in addition to links with a local primary school choir, and publicity in the local press. This will involve recruiting skilled people to lead and accompany the Glee Clubs.
- Singing students, individually, and in groups. Face-to-face, and via the internet,with skype &/or video conferencing
- Working with school choirs and choir directors, face-to-face and at a distance, as with the singing students
- Working with other people in musical settings, e.g church singing, instrumental groups, beginning conductors.
Categories two to four is what I have been doing this year already in small ways, and I do not want to lose sight of this work, as it makes a difference.
But I am passionate about taking my model into more villages, because of the multitudinous benefits to the participants, and to the other residents of the villages in which the Glee Clubs now run.