I have a confession to make, I don’t remember the year I started teaching. As far as I can remember I’m between my 9th and 11th year. What I do remember is my first musical interaction with each of my students. I remember the themes of each year’s recitals and the productions we have put on. I remember when I first had my big ideas, and when students brought me theirs. And I will always remember this past teaching year.
When my family went into crisis in the winter of 2019 and just getting out the door was hard it was my students who made putting the effort in worth it. The support was tremendous. Kind words and cards, snacks and understanding kept me going. Less than a month after my life returned to normal COVID hit. When I began offering online lessons I had no idea what the future would hold for me. Mysteriously, instruments began to emerge, from under beds and out of closets and students began to accompany themselves. Practice became a daily occurrence, with a number of students joining me for the 100 day practice challenge. Some students began to meet weekly to discuss technique and perform for one another. Others joined me for monthly radio plays.
And now, three months later, we are less than a week away from our year end recital. How did I get so lucky to be connected to so many wonderful students and families?
Our recital will be held on Friday, June 26th at 6:00 p.m. The Zoom meeting will open at 5:45 p.m. so we can work out any technical issues.
Here is the link to the year end recital. Please share with your friends and family. You deserve an audience!
Olivia Whiddon is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Time: Jun 26, 2020
6:00 PM Winnipeg
Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/86290282615?pwd=QlBEL0t2eElnOWZ4eDhRanc2R1ZDdz09
Meeting ID: 862 9028 2615Password: 896394One tap mobile+16699009128,,86290282615#,,,,0#,,896394# US (San Jose)+12532158782,,86290282615#,,,,0#,,896394# US (Tacoma)
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April, 6, 2020
This week looks very different from what I thought it would look like. Students with Kenora Opera Theatre should have been going into tech week for our production of “Murder at the Yacht Club.” Students with the OWAM should have been spending their last week practicing before their performances in the Kenora District Festival of the Arts. In a very short period of time that has all changed….
What has not changed is our need to create and be a part of the arts. The desire to sing has not gone away just because we cannot perform. Music will now and forever be an outlet, an oasis and a constant in our lives.
With that in mind voice and piano lesson will continue online through Zoom. Group lessons are beginning Monday, April 20th. Knowing that many people are struggling financially group rates have been set to be affordable for everyone. $20 for four half hour sessions or $40 for four one hour sessions. Private lessons are available at my regular fee ($30 per half hour and $55 per hour) with the addition of any group classes being free for private students.
It’s time to let your voice shine!
Registration has begun a little earlier than usual this year! While Olivia is on her sabbatical working on the harp she also needs to get book orders in for both “A Course of Shakespeare and Song” and the Kenora Opera Theatre’s Young Artists programme.
Let the fun begin!
And what a year it has been! September begin with a new addition to the OWAM and Kenora Opera Theatre, Vocal Technique and Song Interpretation. This new young artist’s program moved students between the ages of 14 and 30 to group lessons devoted to performance and practice. This new program offered our young artists the time and resources to work with several professional musicians for the same cost as private lessons.
In addition to private and group vocal lessons, Olivia has now begun offering private beginner piano lessons. Who knows what will come next?
Our end of year celebration was held on June 21 in the form of a ceilidh instead of recital. This new-to-us gathering offered students a less stressful and more fun way to showcase the talents they have been practicing this year.
Olivia will be taking a sabbatical from June 19th to September 8th. You can follow her escapades by clicking on the Musician, Teach Thyself tab.
As interest in vocal music increases the Olivia Whiddon Academy of Music is starting to evolve. 2017 marks a new point in music here in Kenora, we now have a new branch of the OWAM called the Kenora Opera Theatre. The Kenora Opera Theatre allows advanced students the ‘opera’tunity to perform in concerts and fully staged operas.
This has brought about changes in the regular OWAM season. New group classes have been created to reflect the growing needs of the community. Fall class will be technique based, with most classes receiving either theory books or Royal Conservatory of Music songbooks. Performance classes will be offered in the winter for students interested in performing in the Kenora District Festival of the Arts.
I hope you find these new changes as exciting as I do!