I was 19 and it was the first day of my Music Degree, down in the beautiful campus of University College Cork. I had played music since the age of 5, and I played all the time. I ‘ate’ new music! I was very excited to meet fellow music-makers. I listened as my peers were having a discussion about repertoire – “what is your repertoire” they asked. I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about!!!
Repertoire, it turns out, is a fancy name for ‘all the music we can play’, confidently and polished. It turns out that I had a vast ‘repertoire’ of music at 19, just without the terminology.
I had the idea to encourage students to put together a small concert program for themselves, under the title of the SuSo Repertoire Project.
Inspiration and Advice
A few weeks ago I mentioned this idea to a student of mine, 11 year old Julia Twohig, and after midterm she played 6 pieces for me, by heart, without me asking her to! I was so inspired by her level of practice, and the sense of achievement she radiated from her being. I asked Julia how the idea of the project impacted upon her practice:
“You do more practice.. you take 10 minutes to do each song… If you get a note wrong, you go back and do it again because I feel like if you get it right that time, then you can get it right again.”
I asked her if she had any advice for other students embarking on this project:
“Don’t be too hard on yourself if you get it wrong, because even if you’re 6 years doing it and you get it wrong, it doesn’t really matter because you’ve always something to learn.
Very sage advice from young Julia!
Please note that Julia has been studying piano at SuSo for about 18 months.
The what and the how:
Students can enrol in the project for free. It will run from March – June. Students needs to choose the following:
- the amount of pieces they will learn / revise – this can be 3, 5, 8, or 25!
- who they will ‘perform’ for – it can be for family, pets, friends, or can be filmed and put up on our SuSo YouTube Channel.
- Once they do their concert, they let their teacher know, we acknowledge it on our social media and the student receives a Certificate of Achievement.
Let’s Be Musicians
When do we ‘become’ musicians? Is it when we have studied for 10 years, completed all of our exams and have a certificate to tell us we are now part of the club?
For me, to be a musician is to be playing music… at any level… in any style. So let’s up the ‘repertoire’ and get sharing our music with the world.