Mentoring Program

A Lost Friendship

Composer Name: Kendra Mitchell
Its about a friendship that has been lost. They try to be friends again but it does not work out for them. They keep trying and trying but it does not work out
Grade Level: 7
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Piano and Voice
Key: A minor
Meter Signature: 44
Tempo: 120
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: Opus 33 Grades 6-8

Comments   

#1 Erik Nielsen 2018-02-06 11:33
Dear Kendra,
Thanks for posting the first version of your song for voice and piano. I will be your primary mentor for this piece and I'm practically a neighbor since I live in Brookfield quite close to the Williamstown line.

I think your lyrics are very poignant and effective at detailing the strains of a friendship gone wrong. Let me see whether I can help you turn them into a song that's just as effective.

1. First, have you tried singing your vocal line? What you have at the moment isn't singable for two reasons. First, very few singers I know can follow the enormous leaps and huge range your vocal part has. So we need to make it easier to sing by including more steps, such as G to A or B to C, rather than leaps, such as the G dropping more than an octave down to F in bars 19 and 20.
The second reason it's unsingable is that you've given multi-syllable words to a single musical note. It's possible to stretch out a single syllable over multiple notes, but not possible to do the reverse, that is, cram multiple syllables into a single note. So try saying your words over and over and then assign notes to each syllable, making sure that stressed syllables come on strong beats of a measure, such as one or three. It's important to make sure the singing sounds natural with the musical stresses matching the spoken stresses.

2. It's also important to make sure the piano and voice really reflect the key you've chosen, A minor, and that they work together. Look at the first bar. The vocal line shows us A as the keynote (or home note) very well, starting on A and emphasizing it. But the piano doesn't match it at all with no As in not just the first bar, but the first three bars. Throughout the piece it's almost as if the piano is allergic to the note A. So change the piano part a bit at a time to include A more often, especially in the left hand. That will help.

Kendra, I've written enough for one posting. As I wrote above, you have a strong set of lyrics. If you can start to work on the areas I've mentioned, you will begin to make the music as successful as the words. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to your next posting.

Best wishes,
Erik Nielsen
Senior Mentor
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