Music – Learning – Technology

Before starting my post today I would just like to say that following the earthquake in Nepal that everyone affected will be in my prayers.  if you are in the UK it is possible to help by texting DONATE5 To 70008 to give £5.00 #NepalEarthQuake @SaveChildrenUK or you can donate directly through Save the Children on their website


 I was recently asked if I would present a 20 x 20 second slide PechaKucha (Japanese for ‘chatter’) session on my experience of using technology alongside my music degree.   The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.



It doesn’t sound much 20 seconds speech per slide does it, until I timed myself, it’s not just one sentence per slide!  However, the whole point of this simple presentation form is so that you don’t waffle.  The conference is on the 5th May and is organised by the National Association for Music in Higher Education.

There will be seven students from a range of institutions and I’m the second student to speak.  I was excited about the opportunity and have been putting the slides together trying to finalise them this weekend so the lead tutor can have a look. I keep reminding myself PechaKucha nights are often held in bars and are a ‘FUN’ activity, then I noticed we’re on just after the tea and coffee break at 11:15!

I read that the key is to present something you love and I do love my music and sharing it with all of you so… this space.  What can go wrong in 6 minutes 40 seconds right? I think I’ll wear pink so psychologically they’re not expected much from a stereotypical blonde wearing pink and if all else fails I could always burst into song.

If any of you have done one of these presentations or have any advice, even if you’ve only experience of being in the audience at such an event, I’d be very grateful for your thoughts. For example, is it acceptable to glance at 20 cards as I go along or should I try and memorise them?


I was vocally tired after a busy three weeks so finalising my end of year reflection essay due in Monday and preparations for this conference forced me to take a bit of a break from singing practise.


The weather has been so good in Glasgow recently that I took the opportunity to go to an international food market with my flat mate Rob today, we were inspired to make a paella, a first for me both to eat and to cook.  It was delicious this is just a bowl of leftovers.



With so much fresh produce on offer I just had to try my hand at something for pudding  🙂  So I whipped up a lemon meringue pie.





The food pictures are getting better don’t you think hahaha 🙂

80 thoughts on “Music – Learning – Technology

      1. Bravo. I had to beat egg whites by hand once too (also for a lemon meringue pie) and my arm was incredibly sore afterwards.

  1. Be blessed – Woow, you a great cooker ! Nice share and nice pictures !! Yes, for your PechaKucha it is acceptable to glance at your cards …. but, you certainly going try to memorise them :-)…Good luke and all the best for you

    1. I’ve used PowerPoint before and controlled the page changes myself, I’m not sure if the slides just change by themselves so you have to keep up and on time 😁.
      Thank you for the good luck
      Best wishes

      1. You can set the Power Point up to do its own transition. But I think it is better for you to click forward the slides. That way you won’t feel rushed. Part of the presentation might be how you’ve used this blog and you tube to be a re-enforcement of your education. How you’ve used it to communicate. Again use your preparation for a performance and your performance skills. The difference between singing and speaking is not much difference at all. Both require the skills you have already mastered. Relax and you’ll do fine.

  2. Most appetizing for sure! I have to say that with all my years of cooking experience, personal and professional, I have never tackled either of those two dishes. My hat’s off to YOU!

  3. What can be better than Paella and Lemon Meringue pie? Looks delicious and you look cute cooking, Charlotte.

    How good of you to remember the children of Nepal! Save the Children is one of my charities too, so I will head over there. Thank you for the suggestion.

    PechaKucha? I know nothing about it, so time for Googling … 😀

    1. Hahaha 😄 lemon meringue isn’t very Spanish is it 😄. My friends will usually eat my disasters too but this was actually really good.

      When I first saw tweets about Nepal I couldn’t believe the devastation, I read that the aid was hopefully starting being delivered tomorrow so hopefully some relief.

      Best wishes

  4. On behalf of those I know in India that may have been hit by the earthquake I thank you for your prayers. And I’m glad to see the world is acting quickly on this disaster.

    As to your presentation, I’ve not done this type of thing but with only seconds to speak I’d recommend you have cards on hand. However, I suspect that as you are able to memorize songs and sing them without incident that you probably wouldn’t need cards.

    1. I’m learning lots of new songs at the moment. If I could just speak what’s on my mind at that moment as each slide comes on to the screen I’d be fine, it’s fitting what I have to say in the timing of the flip pictures, I’m concerned I’ve not got the time I need to memorise them all so I’ll try to do a prompt chart to hold I think.

      Best wishes

      1. Charlotte, I just used my slow cooker to make corn beef and cabbage, carrots,
        onions, and little red potatoes. So good!!!
        My sister was visiting and we used her recipe. Yummy!

  5. Hi Charlotte, I’m sure you are tired after the last while, but pleased it went well, and thanks for praying for the poor people in Nepal, it looks terrible. Love paella, but hardly ever have it any more. I did a presentation some what like this where I read a long 6 page poem about hiking the Whale trail in De Hoop nature reserve, near Cape Agulhas, the southern most tip of Africa, and seeing the whales, vultures, and other endangered species. I read and a friend showed her photos of the same trip. It helped that I knew the poem, though I did read it, and it worked wonderfully. So I think you should know the speech for each picture, but have the cards, just in case! Best of luck, and enjoy it, I am sure the more you enjoy it the more the audience will as well.
    Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

    1. That’s sounds like a very interesting adventure. I will try to do a run through a couple of times this weekend. I actually get quite excited about presentations but I must admit I do prefer it if I’ve more time to prepare.

      Best wishes

      1. Best luck, I’m sure you will be wonderful, just suck your audience in just as you do as a singer, and they will love it. One would always like more time to prepare, but it often does not happen, Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

  6. I do not think I can help with the presentation since I have not done so or at least not in that form. However, I think just do whatever work for you and be comfortable with whatever you do. Good luck with your presentation.

    Oh, yes the lemon meringue pie pictures look so good. I can comment that with confident 🙂

  7. That food looks so good Charlotte! I have never done a presentation and am never likely to, either! My eldest daughter and my husband have done a lot of them and from what they say, the cards will be useful just in case you need a prompt but its best to memorise your speach. Just speak as slowly and clearly as you can and all will be well! Best of luck, Clare 🙂

    1. Someone told me once my speaking voice wasn’t at all what they were expecting and it unnerved me for a while but I’m over it now 🙂 I love these opportunities it tests my nerves.

      Best wishes

      1. Some people don’t think as carefully as they should before they say things. I think it would have unnerved me too. Our speaking and singing voices are different and that is probably what they meant and would have been upset to think you were hurt. I am glad you are over it now – you are a courageous and very talented young woman and deserve to succeed in everything you do! Best wishes to you too! Clare x

  8. You are a very talented writer and really demonstrate your advanced skills with your blog posts. You set a good example for those of us who have been used to getting by strictly on content. You have shown me just how media can enhance any subject matter…1 word = a thousand pictures (lol) Great job!

  9. Great shout out to Save The Children for Nepal ~ wonderful Charlotte.
    Also, did you know that lemon meringue pie is my favorite…awesome, and it looks like your cooking skill have improved since your chocolate blob cake 🙂

    1. The figures of deaths and injuries coming out over the past couple of days have just been horrendous Randall.

      I wish I could have given you a piece, and my chocolate cake will be forever in my memory as looking like a chocolate covered chicken (that tasted good though too). The front cover of the book my Mum bought me she wrote ‘be adventurous remember there’s always take out’ lol.

      Best wishes

      1. Your mom is very clever ~ and yes, although it did look like a chocolate covered chicken, it also did look tasty 🙂

  10. Oh heck, I’ve done this for years as a teacher! You are right, when presenting 20 seconds per slide CAN feel like quite a long time. But if you stick to what you love it’ll be fine, and the real key is to practice, practice, practice (I am sure you will of course LOL). When I had to teach 6 classes, the first class was always the rusty one where things went wrong, but by the fourth class I had it DOWN. i would even tell the same jokes and make them sound like I’d just thought them up, LOL! Teaching really has a lot of acting to it, if you’re trying to be a good teacher anyway. You are theatrical and the subject really interests you, so your only problem will be keeping each slide to 20 seconds! Good luck!

    1. I wish I could dedicate the time to practise, I think I’ll try to memorise five cards per day and hope that by the end of the week I don’t forget the order of the first five. I don’t think I’ll be trying any jokes but I might think of it like a drama.

      Best wishes

      1. Took your advice, learnt as much as I could and improvised. Just having a quick break after finishing at the conference and before rehearsals for Sir John start up again. Thanks for the tip.
        Best wishes

    1. The paella was surprisingly good I’m not one for red peppers but they melted into it, I could have added peas, I feel guilty if I don’t eat a bit of green.

      Best wishes

  11. Now with regard to your presentation, I’ve seen you do similar things in the past and you’ve always nailed it don’t worry, stay calm and focused and you will be a success. Xxx

    1. I think it’s more a matter of how much time I’ve got to remember what I want to say in time with the slides, I just wondered if card prompts were acceptable, what do you think?

      Best wishes

  12. charlotte, you never cease to amaze me. Working so hard on everything you do.
    Good luck with your slide talk!
    Lemon meringue looks amazing yum yum I’m impressed😉😉

  13. Peala Yummy with chorizo or shrimp and or shellfish! Actually a nice idea for dinner.
    As for presentations. Just be you you pretty much got this. You sing in front of an audience as well.

    Keep smiling and enjoy the discoveries.

    1. We did this one with chicken and chorizo really good, shrimp and shellfish sounds good too I must try that next time. ‘Just be me’ oh my I could come out with anything lol. Keeping smiling.

      Best wishes

      1. Just add some squid, prawns/shrimp, mussels (out shell) or a firm white fish instead of the chorizo after the chicken and you be all set. Use a mussel in the shell at the end when serving. stick them in while it is hot and watch them open up.

        When it is food I am smiling. sst
        best wishes

    1. I think everyone should remember Lemon meringue pie is a good after dinner pud that lots of people seem to enjoy 🙂 Thank you for keeping in touch.

      Best wishes

  14. You so thoughtfully started your post Charlotte Dear!Our thoughts with them,we all pray and send them blessings …
    Good luck on the 5th of May,hope all is just fine.Your Love for Music above all and then comes your secret talent on cooking.You are a great cook,the lemon pie looks just delicious,I’ve already started drooling … Happy Monday sweet you 🙂 xxx

      1. Some times cooking is sort of therapy if we want to relax after working hard for what we love to do.Hope all is fine next week,I’m looking forward to your news.Best of Luck 🙂 <3 xxx

  15. Sorry about the “Hear” slip that was meant to be Here … Seemingly,I was overwhelmed by listening to your superb performance 🙂 xxx

    1. I’m pushing at the edges at the moment Rod, luckily I’m an early riser, all my life I’ve been woken up between 6:30 and 7am, I have more a problem to keep on going after about 11:30pm I’ve got a bit of a Cinderella thing going on 🙂 Oh and I don’t watch much tv.

      Best wishes

    1. Hehe I’m glad you got that one, it follows years of people being surprised that I was any good at maths or science just because I prefer the arts 🙂

      Best wishes

  16. Lemon meringue is my favourite. Except for bread & butter pudding. And apple & blackberry crumble…… now I realize why I am overweight. I am a pudding monster 🙁

    1. Hehe, everything in moderation, I love my food, I just have to exercise more to eat everything I want 🙂 got up and did half an hour’s yoga this morning, making some room for later.

      Best wishes

  17. Hi dear Charlotte… Who would have suspected that this blonde nightingale was also a good cook … The lemon meringue pie looks spectacular.
    Beautiful post. Have a great day! Aquileana :star:

  18. Best of luck with the PechaKucha, this would reduce me to a wobbly wreck, but I think you will carry it off to perfection. Paella is one of my better dishes (and we are having leftovers tonight), but I am in awe of your lemon meringue pie!

    1. Thanks Hilary, I’ve been so busy with the opera and my Grieg I wished I’d had more time to practise but I’ve run through it a couple of times and it fit in well in a small gap between rehearsals so I’m going to seize the moment 😊 fingers crossed.
      Best wishes

  19. You covered a lot of ground…I don’t know what to say about Nepal. Speechless. I don’t have much experience in speaking in front of a crowd, so I’ll bypass that one. I do like lemon mirengue pie…I don’t know how to make it, but I know how to eat it.


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