Archive for the ‘Daily Life’ Category

The cult of the individual

Posted by Susan Tomes on 3 September 2017 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  10 Comments

Yesterday I had a message from someone who organises the masterclasses I teach at a university. This year she told me that there won’t be any masterclasses. Students don’t like them and don’t see why they should have to attend them if the music being taught is ‘not relevant’ to them. Masterclasses are an ‘add-on’, […]

The lust for loudness

Posted by Susan Tomes on 31 August 2017 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  1 Comment

Articles and letters in The Guardian recently have explored why some of today’s singers suffer from vocal problems, develop nodules on their vocal cords from singing so loudly, etc.  Curiously, the use of powerful amplification has not taken away the need to sing loudly: rather, it seems to create a vicious circle in which everything […]

Major-key music for sad lyrics

Posted by Susan Tomes on 22 May 2017 under Daily Life, Musings  •  15 Comments

Last night I watched a very interesting episode of a BBC Arena series about ‘American Epic’ music, beginning with music from the Appalachian region, featuring the Carter Family from West Virginia who in the late 1920s brought the folk music of the remote hills to the nation’s attention. The words of the songs were often […]

An afternoon of piano duets

Posted by Susan Tomes on 13 May 2017 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  1 Comment

Bob and I went to a big book sale today and came home with lots of ‘four hand’ duets to be played by two people sitting at one piano. We spent a chunk of the afternoon going through volumes of Dvorak Slavonic Dances, Brahms Hungarian Dances, and eventually a mad set of duets by Erik […]

EU music students still waiting for clarity on Brexit

Posted by Susan Tomes on 2 May 2017 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching, Travel  •  Leave a comment

In the course of my teaching and coaching activities I meet lots of young musicians who have come from other European countries to study in the UK. Britain’s excellent music colleges and universities are extremely popular with Europeans, who often fund their studies through schemes like Erasmus. It’s worth remembering that ‘Erasmus’ in this context […]