Competitions invigorate me


I entered my first competition at the Conservatoire, I know that I shouldn’t expect to place in every competition I enter but competition performance is a yardstick for me to measure my progress and like most people I like to win.

There was strong competition with second year students in the running order but I quite like pitting myself against people that are slightly above my current level.  But like Wigan FC (the bottom of the league club that won the FA Cup) you can’t go in expecting to lose can you?  I wouldn’t like to start avoiding contests where winning seems unlikely from the outset.

I had a lovely compliment from the Acting Head of Voice who hadn’t heard me sing before, I had a fabulous time performing, and it was probably my wisest move to enter a competition the week before my final end of year singing examination to help me to work out the wrinkles from my performance, which is what I’ve been working on most of the weekend.

I also appreciate the excellent feedback I got from the judge which will help me to improve and refine my skills and knowledge and that’s what I’m looking for, that and preferably coming first 😉    I feel pleased that she wrote “obvious hard work going on and some great potential”.  I also gained confidence in the areas I performed well in.

I love the excitement of a competition, everything from learning and perfecting the songs to filing my finger nails and putting flowers in my hair – another no – no apparently (did you know it’s unlucky to wear flowers in your hair on the Opera stage?  Even fake ones! ) I thought maybe it is because real ones could give someone with hay fever a problem.

That’s it!   Light bulb moment – it was wearing those flowers that did it.  ;-0

32 thoughts on “Competitions invigorate me

  1. Thanks for following me and liking my blog post Charlotte! I’m also a soprano and love competition. Also hugely agree with your article on classical music being for all classes! And, no, I didn’t know it was unlucky to wear flowers in your hair on an opera stage!

  2. *Applause* I have always had problems with competing and playing before people. Every time I had to perform on a flute I got so anxious that I messed it up somehow. Therefore I always admired people, who came and performed without stress. Only now, at the university have I started to make presentations with a cool head, I just hope my new found courage won’t dissappear. 🙂

  3. The competition is an hard test.
    But, if you love the music, you can love the competition as a beautifull event where you meet new people like you 🙂

    “If you believe in yourself, people start to believe in you! “

  4. Great to hear your story. You,re right, competition isn’t really about winning but doing and being your best. Research to me is the same, we theorize and present to bring the best out of the spirit of scholarship.

    Good luck in your future.

    And thanks for the follow.

    1. Thanks Warren

      I will follow some of the advice from your blog when I am in Italy and try get a feel for the local culture whilst I am there, I will let you know if it helps me with the interpretation of my Italian Repertoire 🙂

      Best Wishes

  5. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to follow along. However, if I were to say that I look fondly back upon the vocal competitions of my youth, I’d be lying. I’m not sure why that is, since a large portion of my life now involves public presentations.

  6. I have never really been involved in a lot of competitive things, but I think that your attitude towards them is very refreshing. It is nice to see a young person willing to ‘try’, and make good use of constructive advice afterwards. in the days of things like the awful ‘The Apprentice’, where success at any cost is the creed, well done you, for your realistic and enlightened attitude.
    Regards from Norfolk. Pete.

  7. Putting flowers in your hair against the so called ‘norm’ only means one thing: you go for what you believe in and this will carry you through many competitions.
    Believing in yourself, of your talent and accepting your flaws as well as thanking God for what you are makes you a winner already!

    Carry on sis, you were meant to shine!

    1. One of the reasons I like sharing my journey with other people is the opinions and views that you receive in return. My dream is to perform at the highest level and your encouragement and support is much appreciated.

      Best Wishes

  8. Hi Charlotte. Thanks for popping by my way. It’s great to participate in eisteddfods and competitions and I’m glad that you get such a kick out of it. I remember going through the whole process as a pianist all through school and uni. Unfortunately, I was a bit of a wildcard- if I had a cool head that day, I would give a tremendous performance; if the nerves got to me, well, I’m sure you would know what that’s like too. Keep up the awesome posts.

    1. Thanks for you for sharing your personal experiences with me 🙂 I love to perform and competing helps me to get a critical view of the areas that I need to work on with my teacher, Kath.

      All the best

  9. Wonderful attitude!

    Both of my daughters attended art-schools, one followed that with a music conservatory, the other with a major univ program. While in high-school, their jazz band came in 7th in the U.S., and played at Lincoln Center.

    Competition is healthy, and I’m delighted to see the tradition continue. Congratulations on your accomplishments!

    1. Thanks for your supportive comments, I came across your blog and after reading through a couple of posts thought that it would be a great resource for my brother who is the guitarist in the family 🙂

      Please come back and visit again soon.

      Best Wishes

      1. Aww, that’s very kind of you, but my blog has a very narrow-interest audience; those who want to learn poorly played licks/solos and songs as I relearn them following a couple of strokes.

        I started recording my playing to track my progress as I recovered, and figured I may as well make it available to anyone else stuck in the 1960’s to 80’s.

        But thank you for the thoughtful consideration!

        B ^ )

  10. Hey Charlotte, thanks for following my blog! I was at the RCS too, between 2010-2011 (although it will always still be the Academy to me!) Really like your blog, and good luck with everything! My flatmate studied with Kath and she said she was really good (her name is Fi Wilkie, don’t know if you’ve come across her?) Do you mind me asking how you got so many followers and commenters on your blog? I’m trying to increase the readership of mine and finding it a bit tricky!
    Thanks and best wishes, Jess

    1. Hi Jess, always pleased to support a fellow musician and especially one from the RCS ( RSAMD 🙂 ). I may have crossed paths with Fi at one of Kath’s parties but not 100% sure. I will ask Kath when I next see her though as it is a small world.

      I am not sure why people come and visit with me on my blog but they are all welcome to drop by as often as they like. I find it a great way to meet and communicate with a very varied audience and you get to learn such a lot from the experience. Hey I may never have met you otherwise, if you ever need a soloist soprano you know where I am 🙂

      Best Wishes

  11. You look just LOVELY. And it is so wonderful you enjoy the process LIVE it, girl! I always got really nervous before a piano solo in jr high. But yes, I agree the platform of competition helps us lift ourself to heights we otherwise wouldn’t strive so hard for.

  12. I agree 100% about pitching yourself in competitions to get a yardstick on one’s ability. We tend to “grow more” when we have to pit our wits/abilities against the experts.

    1. Thanks Stephen, that is so true when you see others perform in competition it gives you a sense of what you still have to improve if you want to be at your best.


  13. What a lovely blog post! Always do what you love – true happiness lies within the hearts of those who find their passion <3. And thanks for following my blog!

    1. Thanks for the visit, I love the imagery on your blog so keep up the good work. I have found my passion and will follow it for as long as I am able 🙂

      Best wishes

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