Tagore on singing
- I have been teaching elementary music for a couple of years now, and one of my duties of course is to teach choir. This has been a daunting and sometimes scary task as I was never trained as a choral conductor (although I have sung in choirs). Teaching band in many ways was much easier because you had something physical and tangible to refer to. If there were some wrong notes, you just redirected fingers to the right keys, and voila.
Not so with voices, so I've been relying on hints from other choral teachers, and what I could read on the internet.
Today I picked up a wonderful book on teaching choral technique through eastern philosophy.
It's called "Circle of Sound: A Contemplative Approach to Singing Through Meditation, Movement and Vocalization"
It's a beautiful, spiritual, non linear approach to teaching vocal technique, and as a bonus, it has a beautiful opening quote on singing by Rabindranath Tagore.
"When thou commandest me to sing it seems that my heart would break with pride; and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.
All that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet harmony- and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird on its flight across the sea.
I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. I know that only as a singer I come before thy presence.
I touch by the edge of the far-spreading wing of my song thy feet which I could never aspire to reach.
Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself and call thee friend who art my lord."
Rabindranath Tagore, from Gitanjali
I do not know a lot about the technical part of singing, but if I can teach my children the joy of singing, and of finding their own voice, and to feel that through singing, all that is dissonant in their lives can melt into sweet harmony, then I feel I will have done my job.
Guru placed so much importance on singing,and the joy of singing, that I count myself lucky everyday that I get to bring that joy to children.
- Yay, Purnakama!
Great that you are now teaching elementary age children - and have the opportunity to bring your passion for music to them. The quote from Tagore is so beautiful.
I also chanced upon the opportunity to play with and introduce an instrument, violin/fiddle to children, in this case preschoolers from age 2 to 5. We had a lot of fun and I totally enjoyed myself... dancing, clapping the BLUE-JELLO BLUE-JELLO hoedown rhythm, comparing parts of a violin to ourselves - that lucky violin head - it has 4 tuning keys while we only have two ears ...
I was thinking about how some tunes of Sri Chinmoy, if I am not mistaken, were played only on the black keys of the harmonium (how many black keys are there in an octave?) and thought this u-tube link might fun to watch for the musically inclined.
Joy in your play!