After reading Kim’s latest journal entry, the 1952 Oscar award winning movie “With A Song in In My Heart” and song lyrics kept skipping through my “Blue Brain”. I was engaged and fascinated by the process that Kim and the students went through to create their original musical scores for the Princess Shayna Musical. I admire and I am impressed by Kim’s professional attitude and the musicology lessons she is offering the students, who are composing and singing their own lyrics and music.
I trust you also will have a song in your heart after you read the latest Princess Shayna Musical update below.
“This afternoon we escaped from the cold, sleet and snow and came together again to work on Princess Shayna.
The most daunting part of this process is without a doubt creating our own music. We have some extremely talented and musically inclined students in our cast, but regardless of their talent, the logistics of writing music and creating accompaniment are quite a challenge. I decided it was important for us to be a little “Yellow Brained” and start to plan and plot out the musical numbers for the production.
We spent the first hour of our rehearsal planning our music. We talked through the story, chapter by chapter, and discussed where we wanted to insert musical numbers. We also then decided what the content would be for each number.
While plotting out the musical numbers, we discussed an important theme in musical theater writing. Musical Theater is a heightened reality- characters erupt into song at any point, and no one in the scene raises an eyebrow. In great musicals, the characters exist in a world where emotions are conveyed through song! The best written musicals follow this emotional guide: ‘We Speak…. when our emotions are too strong to speak, we sing…. and when our emotions have grown where we just can’t sing anymore, we dance!’
It is this mentality that allows musical theater actors to become believable and powerful characters. With that in mind, we wanted to include the songs into our musical during parts of the story where the characters are feeling heightened emotions. We used this framework to help us discover where our songs should go.
The most exiting part of this process was hearing lyrics and ideas for songs that our cast members had already created! Many cast members had started writing songs and lyrics outside of rehearsal, and they started to share these ideas with us. I was very proud of how supportive our cast was, as sharing this kind of work can be nerve-wrecking. And, I was impressed with how open our writers were to ideas and suggestions. We understand that writing may not be everyone’s best talent, but that editing and advising is extremely helpful too. We have some really great songs and lyrics that are in-progress, and I am looking forward to continuing to create and craft these musical masterpieces together.
After an extremely productive hour of music planning, we jumped right into acting rehearsals. We blocked chapters 4 and 5! We had a few cast members who were not in these scenes specifically, so they were able to dive right in and start to work on more music!
We now have scenes 1-5 blocked! Looking forward to another great rehearsal this week.”
I am going to visit the cast on Friday afternoon. I am excited and eager to see all the students and watch their creativity in action!
If you missed the other 4 blog post and want to stay current with the latestest Princess Shayna Musical updates, the latest, which is #4, is at the top of this post and the previous 3 are below:
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