Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

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Sing a Song of Summer 2020

June 22, 2020

Karin-relaxes-at-the-piano-TWO

Summer 2020 is officially here! I love this season: the endless flowers, the long days, the sun’s heat and, often there are camping trips and garden party get-togethers with friends.  This will be a very different kind of summer for everyone due to the current pandemic. Typically this month, I am preparing music for various  music camps that I teach at each summer season however,  all those camps are cancelled for this year.

Since the very beginning of the pandemic I have been able to shift most of my voice and piano students to an online platform. There certainly have been some major challenges along the way and, this method of teaching has required a great deal more work and preparation and flexibility however, I do appreciate the fact that in this current world, I am able to connect with my students and remain safe and distanced and yet still share the beauty, creativity and joy of music making and learning.

“adapt, modify, be positive”– those have been my key words in teaching online music to people of all ages.

I am aware that there are many people who are missing the experience of singing with others or, they are missing the in-person experience of sharing music in a lesson. Some people (perhaps especially the ones who are living alone?) are missing their social circles and have expressed a sensation of feeling anxious, sad, and frustrated with this current and continuing reality.

Over the past month or so I have designed a virtual song camp that I will offer online this coming July called “Sing A Song of Summer” I am really hoping that this song camp will bring some much-needed joy and connection to people who love to sing. I have been researching music that was made popular in the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Some of the songs that were pop hits in the day are recognized as jazz standards while others were blues or country hits.  I have gathered “famous, familiar and perhaps forgotten” songs that have lovely melodies to sing and a potential for easy harmony parts.

Crazy-grin-at-the-microphone

Through the magic of the internet I will invite interested participants into my music studio each morning in this virtual song camp. One fact that has come to mind and which makes me rather excited is that people from various Provinces and States and, even those living in other countries could feasibly attend this song camp. Although my studio is located in Vancouver, BC you can live anywhere in the world and it may be possible that you can participate.

In my mind the type of person who might enjoy this song camp would be someone who longs to sing but wishes they could do so with accompaniment; a vocalist wishing to extend a current repertoire or someone who considers themselves a poor singer. One fact about this online camp is that people will see and hear me on the screen (piano and voice) and they will SEE others on the screen but not hear anyone else. So, you could feasibly sing your heart out and no one will be able to criticize how you sing! This is not a technique camp but rather a sing ’cause you love to sing camp.

I’ve got a lot more to say about the 2020 virtual song camp, but this blog is already longish. People interested can email me directly about the cost and other specifics: karinplato@shaw.ca

Have a safe summer everyone! K

Pink-CROP

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The Mosquito Ensemble Daily Summer Performance…

July 24, 2013

On this July summer camping trip in the beautiful mountain forest in Idaho with my partner Gorm, the daily performance by the “mosquito ensemble” & other various flying insects takes place around 1 PM and ends around 5 PM. Let me tell you folks, they want YOU and they mean business and they INSIST that you pay attention to their show! It doesn’t matter that you politely decline or that you wear the customary light long sleeved shirt with long pants and the strongest repellent on the market. Between 1 and 5 are “their” hours and the rules have been made long before your arrival. So…you learn (and hopefully you’re a quick study) or else you are eaten and bitten and very frustrated because of the feeling that you’d like to rip through your skin due to the bites that are activated. Note to self: You are a slow learner silly Karin. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes and bites and itches are there to prove that they are the boss of you. One year you arrive at your favorite camping spot and you can’t believe your luck and good fortune that there are absolutely no bugs bugging you. Ah but you can’t always have things go your way and it can’t all be bug free and isn’t that really just how life itself is too? Yes. Hopefully you find a rhythm and a groove that works for you and sometimes that might mean staying under cover until the coast is clear and it’s “your turn” at the campground. Now enough about what has been bugging me and onto what this blog is typically about and that is my life in music which, can also have the occasional bug…

The past many months I have been “simmering” several projects musically speaking. All the while I’ve mentored and taught several young and older people and I’ve continued my work on music as a composer and arranger too. I’ve been a vocal coach to a couple of professional musicians and I’ve felt proud and excited for them as they discover the art of singing. While they are already instrumentally proficient, the use of their singing voice presents new challenges and a type of learning curve and seeing them attempt certain concepts regarding the art of singing and all that may entail is gratifying to me in my role as teacher.

I have performed somewhat infrequently since I haven’t been on tour and I’m not doing the smaller more casual gigs in my city of Vancouver these days.  Some of my favorite performances in the past few months have been in my duo project “TAKE TWO” with my girlfriend Laura Crema. Of course I love her as my friend and we’ve found a musical connection as well. I also delighted in a little Vespers concert that I did during which I shared a few tunes with Molly Macleay, one of my young and very talented piano/vocal students.

I have composed and arranged lots of music, attended concerts and listened to much recorded music. I have practiced and experimented and as I have said “simmered” many an idea regarding any future music projects. Curiously at the end of this simmer stage I’ve decided to once again create an event that involves me as producer, artist and concert manager. I have produced concerts before but this is of a larger scale and I am truly excited to have so many incredible artists involved. Of course in this situation it will be a labor of love and I will only be a small part of the actual concert performance. There is much to do and plan and many people will depend on me to be organized and thoughtful and creative in this process. I hope that I am up to the task!

On this hot summer day I will only say that “IT” will take place this coming October in my city of Vancouver. For now, I’ll soothe my mosquito bites and count my blessings that 5 PM is almost here and what (hopefully) awaits me as the hours pass by is a clear night, a dark sky, constellations galore, satellites zooming along in many directions and if I’m really lucky…a shooting star or two.  In a few days, I’ll head back to Vancouver and then fly to Whitehorse in the Yukon where I’ll be teaching at a Summer Music Camp. Of course I am hoping the mosquitoes decide to remain here in Idaho and I have Image invited them to accompany me. It’s no time for The Mosquito Ensemble to go on tour is what I am thinking. Hopefully that’s how they will feel too… Happy Summer everyone!

Karin