Blog by Clare Hoskins, who teaches at Childs Hill Primary School, Barnet, about the school children who played the fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (London).
A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented the most wonderful opportunity for the children to sing beautiful but difficult music and to learn to care desperately about how well they do it. The children had already been working to a very high standard in rehearsals at school, but since last Wednesday in Croydon, and more especially now that they’ve experienced a dress rehearsal at Sadler’s Wells with the ETO company, there’s no stopping them in their aim to achieve the best possible performance…
After the dress rehearsal, I suggested that we could give our usual Monday after-choir fairies rehearsal a miss, as the children had worked so hard on Saturday, and the children were outraged. Once choir practice had finished yesterday, there were chairs being upturned to create the set of the fallen tree, and the children wanted to rehearse each scene with the correct entries and exits, and wanted help with diction, blending, intonation, projecting and acting…. These were all aspects of improving their performance which I’d brought to our many previous rehearsals, not knowing if it was a bit over their heads, but hoping one or two of them might pick something up!
It is the very fact that they’ve now felt what it’s like to take part in music making and performance at the highest level that has given them this aspiration to do their very best. Nothing less will do.
The children will never forget this experience, and I’m sure the inspiration and determination it has given them will take them far in other endeavours.