Friday, March 14, 2008

A gold star day in the voice studio what I had the other week at my lesson. Over the past two or three lessons, I've experienced some breakthroughs and a "singer growth spurt". In the previous lesson, we breezed through the vocal exercises and made good progress on the piece that I was working on. Then my teacher brought up the subject of repertoire, and we discussed possibilities for songs and arias I should tackle. I believe he was giving me a nudge to start working on more difficult pieces. I feel like I've graduated to the next level. It is exciting and rewarding! I never thought I'd have the interest or ability to sing pieces from the operatic repertoire, but here I am, taking the first baby steps in that direction.

I've updated my repertoire list accordingly.

Other recent musical endeavors:

Saw tenor John Bellemer perform at Stanford as part of the Shenson Recital Series. The following day, I sat in on the masterclass he gave for Stanford voice students.

Recently learned how to use LilyPond, an open-source software package for music notation. I used it to prepare some sheet music for my choir. It lays out musical scores beautifully, but it is not all that user-friendly, and using it is practically like writing computer code. However, it is free. I checked out the commercial alternatives, Finale and Sibelius, and they are definitely not giving them away!


Boris said...

If you're looking for a reasonably-priced notation program, check out GenieSoft Score Writer:

I've been using it for a couple of years now and love it. It has all the features I've ever needed and the UI is way more intuitive than Finale.

Blue Yonder said...

Thanks for the tip, Boris! I don't know if you've tried LilyPond, but it is like LaTeX for music scores. Eeek!

Boris said...

Yeah, I tried LilyPond a year or two ago. I'm usually a big fan of Unix and command-line stuff, but this approach doesn't work very well for music. At least it didn't for me because I need to do things like copy/paste from one measure to another, move notes around, align measures, enter notes from a MIDI keyboard, transpose for wind instruments, etc.