What I Did Today: Electric Boogaloo

Why am I posting this earlier than I should have? Find out the answer to this and many more questions in this random post about my day.

Normally I wouldn't post something like this, but today was quite exceptional so I waived the rule. As to why it was exceptional? You see, one of the music teachers at my school is leaving - I think I've mentioned him before in my massive post about Ypres. He's the Assistant Director of Music - the one who runs our chamber choir, or at least tries to keep it from stalling completely - and, being a fairly bright and talented guy, he's decided that he's sick of teaching and wants to do something different. In this case, "different" means "becoming a financial consultant".

Yeah, I know, I was thinking "what the fuck?" too. But he's smart and did maths at A-Level, which is what counts. Anyway, trying to get back on track, everyone will miss him because come on, where else are you going to find a teacher who loves what he does, whips the choir into top shape, jokes around with us and is an Oxford graduate? But one way or another his post needs to be filled. As said post includes directing the chamber choir, they needed us to use as guinea pigs. Predictably, this led to me missing lessons...anyway, I thought this was supposed to be about me reviewing the teachers.

So at around 9ish I tramped up to the Music School to see the first teacher - her piano playing was good, I recall. She reminded me a lot of a former music teacher I had - fragile and perky - only older and well, less perky. She was very nervous during the interview, did very little with us, and on top of that her conducting was godawful.

After that, I went off and had lessons - well, if a lesson means "doing nothing in French". Then I missed Physics (despite the fact that I've got an exam tomorrow) to go and be a guinea pig with another teacher, which involved standing around for 20 minutes talking to my actual music teacher, along with a couple of sixth formers and a guy in my year who somehow wodged his head between a locker and a wall...he's special. Us choir ended up establishing that we were going to Oxford for a last concert and taking a last silly photo...since it was the last proper day of lessons for Upper Sixth, we were all in a mood for "lasts".

Anyway, the second teacher was a very portly and affable man who really knew his stuff and taught us a lot - he's a professional organist who's done recitals all round the country, so that was to be expected. He was a lot more formal with us than our actual teacher, but he did really well into whipping us into shape and I respect him for that.

The third teacher was another man - old, tall and looked a bit like a train driver. Again, he was fairly nervous and he was OK, I guess, but not that good. He tried to get us to do some quite weird things with our song, The Seal Lullaby by Eric Whitacre (on a side note, it's absolutely beautiful and harder to sing than it sounds. Go look it up!).

The final teacher was...you guessed it, a man. One of the girls had taken him round on a tour and said that he was really nice, so we were all quite optimistic. He was youngish - a lot younger than the other teachers - and really enthusiastic about his subject. His warmups were quite physical, something I didn't notice with the other teachers, and he was quite relaxed about things - when one of the girls in our choir sent us all into giggles, he took it well and only made suggestions to her. Although he didn't seem the most skilled of the candidates - I'd say that he was the second most skilled after the organist - he was the best at bringing out the dynamics and emotion of the song and we got through most of it, surprisingly enough. He also gelled well with us, which I think is really important, and by the end of the day we were all bounding down to our teacher's office to tell him what we thought - and we promised to turn up on his doorstep one day and start singing. Unlike other teachers, who would have been mortified, he seemed quite happy that we would all come back and see him.

Another piece of news - I'm doing 4 AS and 4 A2, I think. I ended up having a meeting with school about it. What they told me and my parents is that I had the capability to do 5 or more, but after 4 it becomes less and less exceptional, has a higher chance of decreasing your marks (because to get into Oxford or Imperial, which are the two main ones I'm aiming for, you need to get more than 90% in your modules - eek!) and eats up your time. Now, seeing as I spend half my time drawing and writing, if I did more than 4 A-Levels I'd end up with no time to draw or write, which would leave me pretty bloody miserable. It would also leave me with no time to go and bug the teachers for extra help and advice (Maths Department, and in particular a certain teacher who shall not be named here but who is freakin' awesome, I'm looking at YOU) and to try and practise for the tests some universities, like the above mentioned Oxford and Imperial, make you sit.

Oh, and I have an exam - P2 module - tomorrow. Eep!