Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Bar Mitzvah

Well, after a year of quite intensive studying involving the reading of a language with an entirely different alphabet from our own and the singing of it too, my son’s Bar Mitzvah is now IN THE PAST.

He started studying for it when we lived in Bournemouth with a very good and very religious friend of the family and he seemed to take to both the reading and the singing as a duck to water. He made rapid and excellent progress. Then we moved to London where I arranged for him to continue his studies with a local teacher who had an entirely different method of teaching from our friend in Bournemouth.

Son is an honest young man and when I asked him if he was practising he assured me that he was ... and, indeed, he had been – except he was practising in an entirely different way from the way in which he had been practising in Bournemouth.

My son is disadvantaged by having a techno-numpty for a mother ... had I have given any sensible thought to the situation, I would have got hooked up to Skype rather sooner than I have done and my son and his Bournemouth teacher could have continued studying in the way that would have been helpful to him on the day of his actual Bar Mitzvah. I didn’t.

About a month ago, we became Skyped. (Is that a valid expression? It’ll do). And that’s when son, Bournemouth friend of family and I all became aware that there were some fairly hefty gaps in what son needed to know.

I didn’t cancel the weekly lessons with the local London teacher ... it would have seemed rather churlish to do so as a great deal of effort had been made by both him and my son, but I did request that various segments be practised in rather more depth than they had been. Local London teacher’s ego appeared to kick in and he seemed to object.

Friendly Bournemouth teacher to the rescue ... son and he Skyped every evening for the past month and son once again was “up to scratch”.

And the Bar Mitzvah, which was yesterday back in Bournemouth, was WONDERFUL. Son sang clearly, tunefully and even managed to give a most confident and humorous speech afterwards to the assembled friends and family. Happy son, proud parents ... I believe son was particularly chuffed with techno-numpty mother who’d decided that the grey in her hair needed covering up a day before HIS great day, bought brown hair colour instead of mid-brown and left it on her hair for far too long whilst talking to best friend on ‘phone resulting in her husband referring to her as the mother from the Adams’ Family and son thinking it was quite cool that she looked like a Goth.

And today the mother with the Goth-like hair (who is still so proud of her son in having done so well despite having studied for one big day in two places with two different teachers with two changes of home and a change of school intervening) is attempting to get over the past year’s step back from reality and we are once again talking about Darwin as opposed to the Creation. Son’s looking forward to his party which will take place next month and I suppose the next big hurdle will be GCSEs. I’ll need even darker hair dye for those!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

BBC "Over the Rainbow" Singing Event

Several weeks ago, I applied for tickets to a BBC Over the Rainbow Singing Event ... last week, I found out that my application had been successful and I received two tickets to attend the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.

My son wasn’t “overly keen” on the whole idea – his tastes tend toward Gogol Bordello and Bruce Springsteen rather than stage musicals but, as Shaftesbury Avenue is not only in the heart of London’s Theatreland but also home to his favourite shop – Forbidden Planet – he agreed to accompany me.

The events are a way of attempting to get the public singing ... because singing is such a thoroughly uplifting experience.

The “Over the Rainbow” band (yes ... the same one that backs the Dorothys was on stage, the show was introduced by Tim Steiner, three of the Dorothys made an appearance, the BBC Singers undertook the task of getting the audience to sing and Jodie Prenger (who’d won the BBC’s previous collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber and had just completed a run as Nancy in “Oliver” ... which we’d been to see last year when Omid Djalili was playing Fagin) was on stage, too.

... And we sang! It was a MARVELLOUS evening ... and even my son whose leanings are STILL towards Gogol Bordello and Bruce Springsteen declared the evening to have been terrific fun.

Singing IS good for a body. We should all do more of it! It doesn’t matter too much if one can sing or not – just do it. It makes you feel happy!