Special guest teachers

We continue to have occasional guest teachers in addition to our usual all-star lineup.

Most recently:

Agneta Stolpe spent a day with us to do a variety of exercises about performance preparation. The schedule only advertised her as a song teacher, which of course she is, but her work also encompasses voice training and performance more broadly. We learned several useful games — we practiced ready-to-perform posture with an increasingly complex series of rules about tossing beanbags to each other, we learned a little about improvising vocal sounds and building on ideas from others with a game about passing sounds around the ring, all with much hilarity. We learned a few little songs and practiced moving/dancing to them. Then we spent most of the afternoon working on stage presentation, talking about what’s important and noting what went well about each little performance. Agneta is a real bundle of energy!

Magnus Gustafsson came back for another installment in our folkmusikhistoria education, this time about couple dancing in Sweden from the mid-1600s — first edition of Playford, 1651! — through the end of the 1800s. [In Swedish we very sensibly don’t have the whole silliness about “the 19th century” meaning the 1800s.] He packs an amazing amount of information into a day of class. Favorite image: the polka craze of the 1830s, back when polka was a more sedate tempo, with polka dot clothing and special hairstyles. Accompanying disappointment: the peppermint candies named polka griser (polka pigs) are neither polka-dotted nor pig-shaped — though, on the bright side, they are common enough that Johanna produced some for us right after class.

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