Friday, February 24, 2012

Big Progress!

I had my first lesson in quite a while this past Friday with Jean-Ronald LaFond.  My lesson this time around was one of discovery and great advancement for my part.  During the course of the lesson I felt myself singing in a way I never had before and I liked it.  It was a great experience for me and we even talked about me doing auditions in the fall if I can get a few more things to line up vocally.  Since I've been home, I have continued to work with the new concepts I was given and can employ them fairly well in my vocalises (at least I think I do), however I am struggling to put these things through into my repertoire work.  This is especially frustrating since I was singing so well at my lesson.  I chalk up my difficulties to the fact that I am not in front of JRL receiving guidance as I am singing.  I will ultimately figure out how to incorporate and synthesize these concepts into my singing and know that if I continue with the work ethic I have been developping that I will be fine.

Linguistically, however, is a different story.  I have had a rough couple of weeks with my language learning time.  This is mainly due to a largely increased workload at my actual job which results in less time for study.  I am hoping that things will slow back down to normal at work next week and that I will be able to get back to my normal routine, otherwise I am going to have to find a new time to study.  This is very frustrating to me because I was on such a good pace with German and now I feel as though I have skidded to a stop.  Luckily I still do manage to get in at least a little time with the language, mostly my Michel Thomas recordings.  Again my mantra is, as always:  Slow and steady wins the race.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Back from the abyss

I had a rough week last week in German.  I was very busy at work and very tired when I wasn't busy, so I was not able to do much.  Life is a little bit easier this week though and I have got back into my routine, thankfully.  The advantage with French was that I had a base in the language prior to my intensive work.  While I am not progress at the same rate in German, I do still have somewhat of a base in the language due to being a native English speaker.  There are a vast number of German words which change pronunciation from English very predictably, which makes learning those words vastly easier than a language that doesn't share common roots.

In general, it is said that the more languages you know the easier it is to learn more.  I see this more and more as I progress through languages.  Not only do your methods of learning become more efficient, but the shared vocabulary among the world's languages provides a wonderful base to springboard off of.

I just barely crossed over the 1,000 word mark on LingQ and hope to add about 500 words to that total this week.  The difficult thing about LingQ at this point in my learning is that there are so many words I don't know that I get easily frustrated at how long it takes to get through one story, so I end up only doing one story a day, which does not help my word count.

In other news, I am finally going to get down for a lesson on the 17th of this month.  It has been a long while since my last lesson and I am anxious to see how my progress measures up.  I find myself often frustrated that I am not progressing at a faster pace, but constantly have to remind myself that quality takes time and that if I trust the process it will work for me.  There have been great steps forward in the last few weeks with certain "problem" arias falling into place and feeling comfortable as well as new arias beginning to show signs of growth as well.  Hopefully this will continue into my lesson and I can continue to grow towards being YAP audition ready in the fall, which is my goal.