Study Buddy

In the last three days I’ve been hitting music history listening pretty hard. We’ve entered a week of Romantic Italian and French Opera (admittedly only Carmen made that cut for the list, but who’s counting, anyway?) and I, being an instrumentalist who sings folksongs for kiddos for a living, have a limited background in the big works for voice. Where some of my classmates have performed these numbers or been to recitals, I’m thinking of all the movies or TV shows they remind me of because opera is so commonly borrowed.

Our discussion of Comps last week brought up using Spotify to study for the test. It’s an app (for your computer or tablet/phone) that saves your playlists of web-available music and allows you to organize it much like iTunes. I think you can even play your iTunes music through Spotify (but why would I do that? I’d just open iTunes)…and it’s been around for a while, so old news. I’ve avoided it because it’s got some sharing with facebook that I don’t like. But, now that I have found it and all the excerpts I needed were available, I’ve decided to dedicate my spotify account to studying for comps (or unit tests for now). That allowed me to listen to a shuffle mix while cooking dinner and doing dishes (and thinking through the details about the piece). My former way of studying…admittedly finding youtube clips of performances and playing parts over and over listening for tip-offs or clues for recognition (I know…anti-musical method, but I was desperate and short on time). It also didn’t give me much of a chance to listen blindly, as I had to type in all the pieces I wanted to hear. I suppose I could have made a playlist there, too…but spotify is nice for its minimize and small menu-bar controls.

As part of my studying, I’ve realized that I really enjoy opera. I had the opportunity to go see one of the operas we are studying in October, and it was amazing. I knew it was amazing then, but my sense of appreciation has raised a little more now that I’ve got some bearings for its place in music history and how far opera had come before that (it was Verdi’s Otello, which he actually came out of retirement to write in 1887; hesitant because Rossini had written his own version). I noticed the DMMO is producing another Verdi this summer and went out to check ticket prices for a matinee on Sunday. Gulp. I think I’ll stick with the yarn (or rent…or food) that money will buy me for now and hope that I make a point to go to more operas with more planned budgeting. All the cheap seats are sold, naturally.

One more week remains of this term. I am excited, and yet the next term holds way more than plain ol’ excitement. I’ll be moving and “in” class a lot more. What can you do? Not-a-much! Better head to bed!

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