This time of year is a tough time, for a lot of people. Students are prepping for and taking exams. Teachers are prepping their report cards. Everyone is getting ready for the new semester. Award shows are gearing up to evaluate the work of some of the performing arts and if you started a New Year’s Resolution… by now you probably have had a lapse or given up completely on that resolve. At least, I would have, if I did that sort of thing. I gave up years ago.
But as I come to the close of this semester, I get to enjoy the final efforts of my students in their performances. It can be a really fulfilling time for all of us, even if they don’t quite realize their full potential. I’ve had the privilege of watching them progress through the semester, and I hope, I’ve given some good pointers along the way to stimulate improvement in their skills and creative process.
Today, I had the joyful experience of hearing my vocal students perform their final pieces. We had an excellent artist in our accompanist Marque Smith, and the students definitely benefited from having him there to play for them. The selections they chose for their exam songs were almost exclusively from the world of Musical Theatre and they were all very high quality choices. This, by itself, was a pleasure to listen to for the course of almost 2 hours. Their support for one another was delightful and each of the students rose to the occasion and have all improved over the course of this semester.
Just to tantalize you, some of the selections were:
Memories, Steps of the Palace, You Don’t Know This Man, Nothing, Don’t Rain On My Parade, Burn and many more beautiful pieces.
Regardless of how well they did and how beautifully they progressed this year, I can’t help feeling that it wasn’t enough, that I could have done more. I have these kinds of thoughts every semester with every class. I have these kinds of thoughts with every show and with every project. Sometimes, I even have this kind of thought when I make dinner.
I’m sure I’m not alone. The end of anything is tough – semester, year, show, job… whatever. I guess we are supposed to wonder if we did enough. Maybe that’s the point.