A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of presenting a workshop for vocal and band students at Riverdale Collegiate here in Toronto.
We started the presentation with a 3 song mini concert with just us three vocalists and our piano player Thomas. It was 8:45 am (not the musician's hour!) and we had barely had any coffee, but seeing the looks on those teenage faces was all the inspiration we needed to get into the music.
After our songs we lead the class in a vocal warm up and then split off into groups to work on a class arrangement of Sam Smith's, "Stay With Me". Each of us three took one group of singers and Thomas went to the band class for a Q&A on being a musician. It turned out that the band kids were open to participating in the song, so Thomas and Ms. Flood (the band teacher) quickly put together a band arrangement to accompany the chorus of the song. We weren't sure what level of involvement to expect from the singers, but each of the three groups had 4 students ready to take vocal solos and the remainder participated in unison and harmony parts.
When we put it all together with the band players too it was so cool! The 12 soloists each had a line of the song and the other students were so quiet and respectful listening to their peers solo. And then when the chorus hit and the band students joined in, there was this awesome excited energy in the room!
Later one of the students tweeted to us, "@thespandettes Thanks for coming! It was a life influencing experience :)". We all teach privately, and getting feedback like that after our first workshop as a band really melted our hearts.