Dedicated to all my students, who having embarked on their own voyages of self-expression and discovery through (amongst other things), music, participated so enthusiastically in mine!
Only a Dream was written very specifically with young players’ performance needs in mind. Its inception came about through what I now discern to be a simple and organic process (some would call it ‘structured stalling’!!), which goes something like:
- I find myself with an ensemble in which the instrumental parts have been either lost, are nonexistent, or the music is inappropriate to the technical abilities of the kids, (and therefore not really useful in terms of building technique, ensemble, reading skills, etc). Faced with this situation I quickly sketch some simple musical patterns, photocopy, and hand them out.
-I then take the kids, collectively and individually, through clapping and counting exercises, then ‘follow the conductor exercises/games’, ie, random slowing down, speeding up, pauses- (anything really, to make them look at and understand the need to follow the conductor) -by the end , they are all busting to have a go! (“I can, I can…let me try!!!)
-A challenge is then set when I tell them to practise for the next rehearsal, and to be ready to stand up and perform, or clap and count aloud, in front of the ensemble! (This is all done in a humorous and playful context!)
Breathing a sigh of relief, I then have the time, and some useful feedback, to compose and develop a work for the next week’s rehearsal, based on the ‘seed’ ideas/exercises we have been working with!
Only a Dream
First sketch: 3rd Aug. 06 (6.30 am, before a rehearsal)
Completed: 24th August 06
Duration: ~ 7:30’
2nd Edition: revised 13th -15th Jan, 2011