Friday, February 11, 2011


While doing a little bit of research on Charlie Siem, I found a recording of him playing Manuel Ponce's Estrellita. This song is absolutely gorgeous, but it was originally written for voice and piano. I'm having a bit of trouble locating the sheet music for it, but a request to Interlibrary Loan should help me out there. It's a gorgeous piece, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to sing it sometime in my voice lessons.

My US History class right now is excruciating. I enjoy learning about history, but the graduate "instructor" whose class I'm enrolled in is a less-than-acclaimed lecturer. That said, we have an oral history assignment in the class, in which we are supposed to collect an oral history from someone. I've decided to interview my voice professor about what it was like to be a classical musician during the civil rights movement. I'm pretty sure he was studying at the Metropolitan Opera when Marian Anderson became the first black person to perform there, so I'm hoping that he got the chance to meet her.

At any rate, I've started reading about her. I've checked out Raymond Arsenault's The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America, and Anderson's autobiography, My Lord What a Morning. I've started reading both of them, and so far they're very interesting. It's further inspired me to have a huge music library when I have a house one day: not just a library of recordings and sheet music, but a library of books about music.

I've been wrestling with a dilemma lately: I really love the piano, but I also really love singing. Now that I'm studying under a teacher with whom I have meshed, I'm really interested in continuing those studies. However, I'm also interested in taking organ lessons here, because we've got such a strong organ program. The only problem is that I can't take three lessons at once: it would be overtaxing and I wouldn't ever talk to anybody ever again for learning so much music. The only thing I can think of that would resolve the dilemma is to stop taking piano lessons after my junior year of college to pick up the organ my senior year. This might seem counterintuitive, since the piano is my primary instrument. However, the degree plan I'm on only requires six semesters of lessons on your primary instrument, so I wouldn't be breaking any rules.

Thoughts? I have really enjoyed my progress on the piano over the last year and a half, but I would hate to miss the opportunity to study organ here.

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