Sunday, April 10, 2016

Voice Lessons at BMI!

Hi friends! I just came back from a trial voice lesson at the Bahrain Music Institute and I was pleasantly surprised with the experience. The teacher seemed really nice, and though the set up was kind of weird (they schedule 2 students in a room for an hour and they each have 30 minutes with a teacher and 30 minutes of practice time) she was very informative and helpful. It was also interesting to get an indication of where I sit in terms of ABRSM grading for voice. She thinks I am at grade 5 judging by some of the pieces I showed her, but as there is a sight-singing element to the examinations, I would need to really hone those skills if I wanted to sit that level exam. We went through some sight-singing exercises and I am working very comfortably at a grade 1 sight-singing level. I will be sure to try and practice those skills! The main reason I recently started to seek out a teacher is that I found out how little time I have to prepare for auditioning for a performance degree at university. I will need to submit my audition by the end of June, as I will be travelling during the official audition dates at the end of July. Unfortunately I will have to do a video audition, for obvious reasons. I thought it would be good to get back into regular practice and have the guidance of someone who knows what they are doing. She's no Megan though. *cries*

I am also hoping to start beginner guitar at this music school, but that all depends on how cheap I feel. (Dad, you could always help me out on this one...$$$) So far I have just been self-taught on guitar for 6 months, which may have been a poor decision, but it's definitely a cheaper one. (Notice a theme here?)

Also I just wanted to mention a cute moment at school last week:

The teacher I'm with often starts the day with asking her students how their weekend was or how they are feeling today etc.

Teacher to a student: "How do you feel?"
Student: I feel like a sunny day sliding on a rainbow!

I just thought that was the most poetic and innocent thing I had ever heard. Lyrical gold. Kids say the darn'dest things, don't they?

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Venting about Veganism

For context: to those that don't already know, I have been vegetarian since age 8, and this year I committed to going vegan, primarily for environmental and ethical reasons.

But I won't go into why I'm vegan in this post, because as I have so far learned, most don't want to hear it. (That sounds all very cynical I'm sure, but often people bring it up with me and then get all defensive and weird about it.)

Basically, I just want to have a vent about the way people often respond when they find out I am vegan. It's strange, I never encountered this as a vegetarian, but since going vegan I've noticed that many get defensive or try to belittle my stance by joking about it. I try not to show it, but it really pisses me off.

My take is: why is it anyone's business what I choose to feed my body with? I suppose it is a lifestyle choice comparative to religion in a way - but I never got any shit (to my face) in my nine or so years as a Christian. To clarify, I no longer consider myself one, but I stray from the point. Why then, if nobody makes a fuss about my religious beliefs, would they choose to be upset by my diet? Surely I am missing something...

      Dear Omnivores,
  1. I never said you shouldn't eat meat. What you choose to do with your body is up to you. However, if you wanted me to give you reasons why I do not, I would be more than happy to share, as long as you want to hear them.
  2. I never said my vegan diet makes me superior, so stop treating me like I think it does, or that it makes me perfect. Don't tell me all the other things I should be doing to "save the planet", when you aren't doing them yourself. That's hypocritical and it makes you look dumb.
  3. Stop with the jokes about me stealing animals plant food. It isn't funny, and you may not realise, but it's not an original joke either.
  4. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. Just be an adult about it.
Also! I once was content with vegetarianism and personally thought veganism was a step too far (much like the current criticism I am getting), but then I found out why vegans do what they do and it all started to make sense to me. There are so many reasons to make the switch - but like I say, I won't go into it here. If you're interested, the internet is your best friend.

That said, the online vegan community (especially the countless, nutty YouTubers) seems to be the most critical, nasty and cruel. I can see how that creates an off-putting depiction of what a vegan is like. In reality, the few vegans I have met in real life are cruisy and chilled out - not calorie-counting, argumentative crazies. 

I have only been a vegan in Bahrain, so I wonder if the culture here is different, or if people act like this all over the world when it comes to plant-based diets.

Re-reading this, I think I come across a little sassier and perhaps more aggressive than usual, but it's my blog so whatevs.

"Vegans can't eat pizza" (it tasted sooo good)