July Music and Musicians Thread

(828 Posts)
Wafflenose Fri 01-Jul-16 09:04:39

Welcome to wet July (well it's wet here) and a new thread. This is the place where we can talk about all things musical, like music lessons, exams, practice and new instruments. I am a music teacher (woodwind) and have two daughters. Goo is 10 and her first instrument is recorder, although on paper, flute has now caught up. She plays flute in NCO Under 11s, has just received the difficult bits she's meant to work on, so is finally cracking on with sorting out her piccolo. She started piano lessons at Easter and is going fast, currently playing Grade 3 pieces, and working through the Grade 2 sight reading and Dozen a Day books. Rara is 8 and far less keen - we are still currently trying to figure out what she really enjoys so that we can encourage her. But for now, she's learning the recorder and cello, and is between Grade 2 and 3 on both.

Goo did her flute exam on June 23rd, and now won't have any until at least March, or next June if I can push for that. Rara will probably do Grade 3 Recorder at Christmas. I have had a quiet exam term for my pupils - 7 altogether. 4 are already safely through (3 merits and a distinction), we are awaiting results for a Grade 6 Theory, and I have a couple of clarinettists still to go on Monday.

howabout Fri 01-Jul-16 09:52:03

Thank you for the new thread Waffle. It is raining here too but since I am in Scotland I am beyond letting it bother me. Congratulations to all on the recent exam and performance successes. So happy to hear someone say they like hearing their neighbour play cornet. This is the one instrument which gives me the guilts - I did send her to band and buy her a practice mute but now she plays twice as loud. Good job I have a bagpipe playing neighbour. grin

My nail biting is at an end. DD2 passed her grade 5 piano with almost identical marks to her sister. I am absolutely ecstatic. This is the very best outcome for a mother of 2 teenage DDs a year apart with the same interests. The first thing she said was - Good, now I can get on and do my theory and my grade 6.

Wafflenose Fri 01-Jul-16 10:00:40

That's brilliant! Well done to your DD2, and good luck with the theory. I am planning to start Rara off soon - even if she doesn't want or need to do the Grade 5, doing some will help with note naming and key signatures on the cello, which she finds hard.

Icouldbeknitting Fri 01-Jul-16 11:27:56

You never know when G5 theory will come in handy. DS is going to a sixth form where three A levels is the norm but he was cheeky enough to ask to do the first year of music technology alongside his music plus two others. They've agreed because he has G5 theory.

DH managed 145 on his G1 jazz piano exam and has G3 flute next week. I think DS has done with exams now, at least DH drives himself about, pays his own fees, doesn't need to be reminded to practise and buys his own music. His exams are much less work for me.

We are a (brass) banding household so have a summer full of engagements.

LooseAtTheSeams Fri 01-Jul-16 11:48:24

Thanks for the new thread Waffle!
Howabout that is a lovely result, well done to DD!
Well done to IcouldBe's DH, fantastic result!

Greenleave Fri 01-Jul-16 12:01:17

Icould, hahaha, I like it when you dont have to pay for exam fees, drive to exam centre for...your husband
Waffle: thank you for opening a new thread, I will pretend that no one RL has recognised me here and carry on enjoying our much loved support in here.
How: many congrats on G5 piano with your second daughter. She must be so excited that even planning of theory and G6...!!!
I have a 2 yrs old who is interested in banging on our piano, sitting on its keyboard and stealing the violin trying to cut the string with the bow.
I also have a 8 yrs old who has just had her violin G3 test last week which hopefully we will know what to do next next week. She had her piano G3 done in March and came back for piano just from last week after some break. We dont have a plan for piano yet. She will be working on etudes. Our teacher who is a young male Russian who isnt much familiar with ABRSM has been with us for more than 2 years suggested us focusing on aural/musicianship and forget about any exam for now. So that is our agendar for the coming months. She also sat her G5 theory test nearly 2 weeks ago. Admittedly that we never heard of theory test until beg of this year so she started around end of March from Zero. She mostly read the books and did practice papers, our teacher marked them and help to explain on difficult terms(mostly from G4-G5 books)(we are non musical, I do the easiest:paying for everything). We will find out the result in 2 weeks however both me and my teacher werent impressed when she left the exam room after 45mins. This is the first ever test in her life but hopefully in the future this girl knows that she should use all her precious given time and double check. We are hoping for a pass however will resit if we fail, there is still a long way(if ever) to grade 6 so I think we have time

ealingwestmum Fri 01-Jul-16 12:50:25

wow - I just cannot believe we've got to a 3rd thread in a term! Thanks as ever to waffle for keeping us all organised grin

Have one DD approaching 13 and nearing the end of Y7. Interesting year - consolidating violin skills after a 2 year break of grades, now preparing to sit G8 early in Y8. Awaiting G6 piano results after a supposedly disastrous exam - though her own bar is always high and failing distinction levels is her idea of 'fail'.

This is such a supportive community - our children (and you brave adults!) go through cycles of ups/downs with music. Life and other stuff like hormones, at times tries to derail the journey but there's nothing more satisfying than having an insight to how all of you are managing and succeeding with your musical talent!

howabout Fri 01-Jul-16 12:56:30

Icould thanks for the info on school and music exams. DD1 already has grade 6 piano and grade 5 theory and doing a stand alone performance Higher with the music department on her trumpet instead of ABRSM. Thinking the best way to tie together the UCAS points would be to crash Advanced Higher in 6th year.

Congratulations to your DH. He sounds much lower maintenance than my lot.

Big wave to Green. Don't worry about your DD coming out too early. DD1 was finished within the hour when she sat and passed it.

Ultimate First World problem question coming up. Under the new UCAS points structure a Grade 6 Distinction is equivalent to a Grade 7 Merit. Should DD sit Grade 7 under these circumstances? The pressure of the downside risk seems too great to me.

LooseAtTheSeams Fri 01-Jul-16 13:02:34

Green I think the theory exam has been a good experience for your DD. She's been able to take it with no pressure on her for the result as she doesn't need it for a grade 6 exam next week! And she's had valuable experience of what it's like to do an exam in a room with lots of other people. Even if she came out after 45 minutes, she may have done enough and if she hasn't then it's a rehearsal for the real thing next term.
I am hoping DS1 will do grade 5 theory next term. He doesn't actually need it for a while as G6 tuned percussion won't happen for a year but he has chosen music as a GCSE option and might want to do it at A level.
DS2 still has to get through G3 piano this month! Then he will have no exams for a year, I hope!

LooseAtTheSeams Fri 01-Jul-16 13:06:11

Oh, and just to add to Green's DD my teacher thinks the length of time allowed for the theory exam is very long so 45 minutes may be quite normal!

Wafflenose Fri 01-Jul-16 13:34:42

howabout I would do Grade 7 if your child wants to, or it's a good medium-term goal for her, or as a dress rehearsal for Grade 8 if she eventually wants to do that. If it's just for the UCAS points, then I probably wouldn't bother. However, as a general skill to add to one's CV, Grade 7 still looks better than Grade 6 and I'm sure universities agree, despite the point structure.

musicathome76 Fri 01-Jul-16 13:57:16

We finished exam for this term- four in total (three for Y7 DS two Gr6 and one Gr5; one for Y3 DS Gr2 piano). My Y3 DS was very happy and thought it went excellently smile, and Y7 DS, who is very critical said he messed up aural on all this three exams. We'll wait and see and go back to normal lessons and different repertoire ... I'm slowly progressing with m violin and my youngest violin.
Will need to be looking for a new piano as we had it tuned, but it cannot be brought to an orchestral pitch. So we advise to buy a new one. I would love a baby grand, which will fit in the room, but need to see how expensive a second hand will be. I'll go back and read fleur's posts as I remember she bought a piano.
Well done to mingreen, miniwaffle. Good luck to Loose's DS2!

howabout Fri 01-Jul-16 14:33:07

Thanks Waffle that is really helpful. Definitely is a step up from 6 to 7 in violin which is why I was asking.

NeverEverAnythingEver Fri 01-Jul-16 15:25:27

My piano needs tuning again ... It's been about 5 months and you can hear it sounding like it's got a bit of a cold.

raspberryrippleicecream Fri 01-Jul-16 16:09:15

how about my older DC haven't done any Grade 7 anyway. DS skipped 6 and 7 and DD just 7.

DS2 is doing G7 piano next term though.

se22mother Fri 01-Jul-16 16:37:21

Thanks waffle for the new thread. Dd 7 is preparing for G3 violin and g1 clarinet. School finishes on Tuesday...hopefully we can keep the practice momentum through the holidays. Green I envy you done with G3 - I'm sick of America with a term to gowink

Fleurdelise Fri 01-Jul-16 17:16:44

Hello all! I will go back and read the news I missed, I promise, I just wanted to come and say hello, I haven't forgotten about this thread.

We're OK, DD started grade 5 scales, she's flying through them as she knows most of them, just needs to remember them.

She's a bit tired and I can see it, her practice is not as effective as usual, looking forward to our holiday in three weeks now.

Mistigri Fri 01-Jul-16 17:25:11

Thanks waffle!

DD has had her last piano lesson for this school year. She has homework for the new term though, a Schubert impromptu to finish and another Chopin nocturne to learn on her own - an easier one, number 20 I think. She will do her French conservatoire "cycle 2" (grade 8, ish) exam next year.

We have our end of year guitar school show tomorrow at which we are both playing and DD is singing - DD with the adult jazz workshop and me with my adult class (we're the best adult class apart from the jazz groups but we are still a bit crap lol).

I've just started piano again, though it appears that the only thing I am any good at is sightreading ;)

Good to hear about other adult learners - congrats to Icould's DH!

And to your DD2 howabout

Fleurdelise Fri 01-Jul-16 17:51:23

Thanks for the new thread Waffle!

DD is 8, turning 9 in August, started piano just after she turned 6 so three years of lessons this coming September, took grade 1 piano in March 2015, grade 3 in March 2016 and she seems to have started preparing for grade 5 piano, started the scales but not any pieces yet, she'll start those around October I would assume, she's playing a lot of studies, besides Beethoven, Grieg, Chopin, Bartok. She just started clarinet and it sounds like she'll do grade 1 in November.

Well done to Icouldbe's DH and well done to all the DCs who got their results. Here is to a quiet and relaxing summer. wine

musicathome we bought a piano exactly a year ago today, it is an Yamaha U1 upright second hand and I bought it from a trusted well known piano retailer who brings them from Japan, only buys the series made in Japan (some apparently are made in China) and gives them a proper service including changing the strings and hammers if needed, if not just the felt bit. Ours looked like new, inside and out. And I haven't tuned it once yet, I need to book it for after our holiday as I am too busy to do anything now. Cost was £3k the more you spend the newer and the other way around, I think you could get one starting at about £2.5k but try and play/listen to as many as you can within your price bracket as the sound differs so much even if it is the same model. Some are really bright. Also Kawai are good, around the same price.

Our piano retailer is also a piano teacher and offers his business piano on his location for ABRSM exams so it was good to know if anything goes wrong we'll meet him again. grin

Not sure where you are based but if you are in London/Herts I can give you his details.

Greenleave Fri 01-Jul-16 18:01:14

Se22: we were terrible with America at first then it became the easiest. We found Pastime with good company was the hardiest. The medium one was Over the rainbow and there is some vibration happening for the very long note however it wasnt required. She just really really loves the vibration bits but I have to admit it hasnt been learnt well yet

Pradaqueen Fri 01-Jul-16 18:28:06

Ooh marking place for the new thread, thanks Waffle! Tentatively starting practice again but very gingerly!!!

CoteDAzur Fri 01-Jul-16 21:14:10

Checking in smile

drummersmum Fri 01-Jul-16 21:24:01

Thank you Waffle for keeping us in time!
Big respect and admiration for all of you who are supporting music making for more than one child!!!
I only have a DS who is 14 and has 3 Gr8 exams next year (drum kit, piano and orchestral percussion) or at least that's the plan. And audition for JD in March. Apart from that, he has some gigs with his school in very exciting venues throughout the year and is playing Mahler's 5th and Prokofiev's Piano Concerto in a joint project at the RFH after a residential where they prepare. A busy year! Plus, oh yeah I forgot, purely as extracurricular he is starting Yr10 GCSEs... hmm
Congrats to everyone with good news and I apologize if I miss anything, on a work deadline!

notbothered12 Fri 01-Jul-16 21:49:30

Wow a new thread. We are one exam down two to go...
DS2 (10) did G3 piano on Thursday. A week ago one of the pieces still seemed miles off but he pulled it all together and I am hopeful of a merit from what I could hear from the waiting room! He is going to use the summer to break the back of his G5 violin pieces.
DS1 (12) does G5 cello on Monday. He had a mock today and it went well but he doesn't do aural with his teacher and has been doing it twice a week in a club at school and with his piano teacher. He just cannot do the singing back at all. He is getting very frustrated about it but I have just told him to write it off and just try to get the first note right! It might harm his merit chances though.
DD (8) has G1 piano next Friday and is very well prepared so hopeful of a good outcome there.

onlymusic Fri 01-Jul-16 23:54:14

Hi everyone! Nice to see you all and big thank you to Waffle for keeping music thread going.
Dd8 is waiting for her violin g4 result and the next stop is piano g4 in November. I am very much inspired by Greenleave's dd and look closely at theory exam now. Would be nice to have it done in March...ah... sweet dreams....
Ds5 is a musical beginner and his achievements are not material therefore he can be ignored for the time being smile

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