Monday, May 26, 2008

16 days 'til departure!

Buon Giorno!

It's been a while since my last post!  After my recital I fell over dead!  Then finals and now finally I'm back!  I leave for Italy in 16 days and I cannot believe it!  Learning mass amounts of music in a small amount of time has been a crazy growing experience!  I have been spending many hours each day speaking through, singing through and translating Suor Angelica, La Boheme and the scenes from Don Giovanni and L'elisir Damore.  It seemed like a good topic to discuss:  how to learn music well.  Especially if you are learning vocal music that will be sung in a foreign language, I recommend to start with a word-for word translation and IPA of the text.  This will allow you to know each word and how to pronounce it.  Then, especially with languages like Italian, it is key to try to speak the text in rhythm.  There are twice as many syllables as there are beats per measure and so it is key to be able to say it before trying to add pitches.  THEN - just do it over and over again until it's memorized.  Listen to recordings, watch DVD's of the performance and just practice a lot!  This type of repetition works great for me. 
In addition, I have also been working on reviewing my Italian!  There are some fabulous resources out there, such as Simon and Schuster's Pimsler audio-only method.  This set of CD's allows you to interact in conversation.  The vocabulary used in each lesson is then repeated and built upon in the following lessons.  The speaker also breaks down the pronunciation of each word.  I also purchased a wonderful workbook on Italian verb tenses by McGraw-Hill.  This is very similar to a workbook a student might use in a classroom setting.  There are lessons and then fill-in-the-blank questions.  There is a key in the back that allows you to check your work.  These resources have been GREAT!
I am really getting excited about the trip.  I know I will learn so much from the instructors and the people of Piobbico.  I also look forward to meeting many new people!!!!

Italian words of the day:
Buon Giorno! = Hello!
Scusi = Excuse me
Arrivederci! = Good-bye

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