“Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high, take a look, it’s in a book, a reading rainbow, I can go anywhere!
Friends to know, and ways to grow, a reading rainbow, I can be anything, take a look, it’s in a book, a reading rainbow, a reading rainbow.”
I hope that you followed through on yesterday’s challenge to get out there, listen to some live performance, and meet people. How did it go? I bet you’re exhausted today from being such a socialite. With that in mind, I want you to rest a bit this Sunday to achieve today’s 29 day challenge. Your Day 5 challenge is to read a music a book.
Reading is one of the quickest ways to become more knowledgeable about your field and to increase your ability to make informed opinions. Plus, it is shown to reduce stress and bring on more tranquility. If you are like most singers I know that is a high priority. So, take this Sunday and pick up a book or a Nook. I don’t care how you read just get to it.
If possible, dive into a non-fiction music book. There are all types of histories, biographies, and interviews and essays that are extremely informative and interesting. A non-fiction music-based text will increase your vocabulary in the field. It will help you make that small talk I was alluding to yesterday when you meet new people at concerts and events. Your ability to remember key dates and musical periods may also become sharper when you have a narrative with which to connect them. The mind is a warehouse of information that you have been adding to year after year. Reading helps us catalog information in that warehouse. The more you read; the more connections you create between different catalogs of information.
However, you do not have to limit yourself to non-fiction books. In fact, there is a thing as too much Adorno. Pick up a fiction book too. With a music theme or without, the book should have strong, round characters. This type of fiction can help you develop your stage persona. If you read books with main characters that are wildly different from your own day-to-day life you stand a better chance of being able to empathize with those characterizations when you confront them in a upcoming role. You can even practice reading some of the dialog aloud to strengthen your concept of phrasing and inflection.
But don’t take my word for it…
Or, here is a list of non-fiction about music: biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, histories… – not all of them classical.
Or, this WQXR list Top Five New Nonfiction Books About Classical Music.
Do you have some good reading list recommendations? Leave a note in the comments below so that I can add them to my long list. See you again tomorrow!
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