October Music and Musicians Thread

(590 Posts)
Wafflenose Sat 01-Oct-16 09:47:37

I thought I would start a new thread, as September's is looking unlikely to last for another month.

The music threads are open to all musicians and parents of musicians, no matter what their age or level might be. We have quite a few kids on here who are very serious about music, and plenty who do it as one of many hobbies.

For anyone who's new, I am a teacher of woodwind, and mum to two girls. Goo (10) plays the flute and recorder to a similar level (Grade 7 on both), and started the piano in April - she won't be doing exams on that. She is hardworking, committed, highly strung, and a stubborn little madam. Rara is 8 and far more laid back. She is taking Grade 3 Recorder this term, is a little behind that on the cello, and just this week started learning the clarinet. I don't suppose she will carry on with three instruments in the long term, but we'll wait and see which she loves!

Greenleave Sat 01-Oct-16 10:30:01

Yayyy for October!!!

I have an 8 years old, playing violin and piano. I am finding a solution for an internal motivation for her to practise on her own a little a day so I could put my feet up. We have paid for NCO audition last night and have no idea what we are doing, £25 wasted and no coffee for me for weeks, hopefully someone has some goal to play for the next couple of weeks. We go to an Orchestra and its great fun, she loves and enjoy her Sundays. Piano is on grade 5 exam this term. Scales are not too bad, pieces sightread 2. Aural is terrible though!

LooseAtTheSeams Sat 01-Oct-16 10:37:04

Thanks for new thread Waffle
I am trying to learn piano, hoping to take grade 4 in Spring and plugging away at grade 4 theory (I have no idea what I'm doing!)
DS1 is learning tuned percussion, drum kit and bass guitar. He is taking his theory grade 5 in November and bass guitar grade 6 this term. He is also just starting GCSEs and if anyone has any tips on the solo performance piece for GCSE music, do let me know! I think he wants to do it on bass whereas I think xylophone would be better but difficult to lug to school!
dS2 is in Y7. Has done grade 3 in piano and cello and is described by his piano teacher as a 'free spirit'. We call him 'stubborn'...apparently all his previous bad practice habits were due to being in year 6 and he is now 'more mature' grin

Icouldbeknitting Sat 01-Oct-16 11:14:31

Loose DS took GCSE music last year so everything I know is now out of date except that I know how to find out. Search for the music syllabus on the exam board he's taking and have a look at the performance element. There will be a link to a marking scheme that shows you what they are looking for and how marks are awarded. When DS took AQA the maximum difficulty they awarded for was G5 so it was better to play a G5 piece really well than a G7 piece well because there would no be more marks given for the extra difficulty but you'd pick up the marks for the better performance on the G5. It will also stipulate what you can and can't have in an ensemble, timings, etc.

Please don't recreate our drama - keep a copy of the score yourself. We had a week of total madness at the end of the year trying to find the dots for the piece DS had played earlier in the year. If he'd handed it in at the time it had lost itself or he hadn't handed it in or whatever - the result was panic and upheaval.

DS did his ensemble performance to a backing track of a full brass band. I've seen the A level syllabus and it wouldn't be allowed for that because there were more than seven in the group. If there are other players of a similar level in school it's easy to put together an ensemble, if not then it may take a bit of planning.

drummersmum Sat 01-Oct-16 11:14:44

Oh we needed a new thread already!!
DS 14 is preparing Grade8 on piano, drumkit and orchestral percussion. Also enrolled in music gcse and seven different weekly ensembles which are too many

Loose as far as I know bass guitar is as food as any other instrument for GCSE, as they treat popular music as seriously as classical. Lots of people do singing.

Fleurdelise Sat 01-Oct-16 11:26:10

Thank you Waffle for the new thread!

Good luck with the NCO audition everybody and Green I am impressed with how determined you are. smile I take a long time to make decisions, to asses the situation, is she ready, is she not, while you seem to find it so easy to make these decisions. Hat off to you!

I have DD 9 years old who plays piano as a first instrument, passed grade 3 in March and aiming for grade 5 sometimes next year. She'll be entered for a festival in January and maybe a competition next summer.

She also plays clarinet just started this year in June with a break over the summer and she'll take grade 1 this term. Her teacher just confirmed she has been entered and suddenly I wonder if it was the right decision (see what I mean Green?)

I also have DS (15) who is not musical or interested in music performance but plays some sport and is quite academic, he is taking GCSEs this year.

Good luck to all the DCs with their current projects.

Greenleave Sat 01-Oct-16 11:55:21

Fluer: because I have no idea what I am doing or heading to and mostly because its fun with little cost

LooseAtTheSeams Sat 01-Oct-16 11:57:12

Thanks ICouldBe and Drummersmum that's helpful and reassuring about bass guitar. I'll make sure he understands playing grade 5 well is more important than overdoing it with something unnecessarily difficult. I think he has also asked his bass teacher for some ideas. (He might consider music for A level so I am storing info for later! A friend's DD has started A level music and loves it!)
Fleur - DD will be fine because she's already done exams so she won't be nervous. Good luck (with DS's exams as well)!
Waffle great to hear about Rara's clarinet progress and that she is having so much fun with it!

PetraDelphiki Sat 01-Oct-16 12:03:12

I have a dd who plays piano (G3 this term) and violin (G4 but not aiming for 5 for a while). Both of us working through G5 theory (her by understanding it and me by rules) . Oh and cornet for fun (dd started lessons last term and freaked at being given G3 pieces so we are keeping it non examined for now)!

Same orchestra as green so get to have nice chats while waiting!

PetraDelphiki Sat 01-Oct-16 12:04:03

Although dd told me off for meeting someone in real life who I had met on the Internet....I guess they do listen to Internet safety warnings!!!

Greenleave Sat 01-Oct-16 12:05:51

Petra grin

Loose: good luck with GCSE( nails biting here)

Wafflenose Sat 01-Oct-16 12:45:46

Oh yes, I forgot... Rara is also doing whole class trumpet lessons this year (Year 4) and going nowhere fast...!

Fleur this term is perfect for Grade 1 Clarinet - she can play the pieces, but they need work, and I think I pointed out the kinds of things... I would absolutely have entered her for this term. She's a tiny bit further ahead than required at this point.

Fleurdelise Sat 01-Oct-16 13:05:42

Thank you for the reassurance, DD's teacher pointed out the same thing today, she's done grade 1 before so she knows the format and most of all the aural part doesn't need any preparation, she got full marks for it in her grade 1 (and 17 out of 18 in grade 3) so it is mainly the pieces that need the focus.

Waffle the teacher pointed out the tongue and dynamics work that needs to be done today, she could play C3 (the Spanish one) at first sight today but obviously it needs to work behind in terms of where to tongue and so on. Thinking about it there is enough time to perfect them, we don't know the date yet but hopefully at least 6 weeks. I decided that she'll have to practice the clarinet even on the days we visit schools so she'll have to do it in the morning before school.

AlexandraLeaving Sat 01-Oct-16 13:47:18

Thanks for the new thread Waffle.

The Boy is 13, and enjoying a term without exams having done G5 piano, G6 sax and G7 clarinet earlier this year. He's also a bit of a 'free spirit' in the same sense of the word as miniLoose.

He plays in a couple of jazz bands, a concert band and two orchestras - not YET too much (not least as he gets by on less practice than I consider wise), but it will become so as the school work hots up. He's just been made principal clarinet in the Borough senior orchestra, which I hope won't go to his head too much. He's also recently been promoted to the senior orchestra of the one miniGreen and miniPetra play in, which will be a helpful counterbalance - he's the youngest in the clarinet section and the only one sub-grade 8 so they will keep him in line (I hope!).

Good luck to everyone doing NCO auditions - sounds great fun.

mom17 Sat 01-Oct-16 15:09:33

DS(10 years ) will be taking Grade-2 Piano this winter( Nov-dec), I think he could have given Grade-3 easily as he has done Gr 3-4 pieces with 2'nd teacher for almost 6 months but since we discontinued last month with 2'nd teacher as he was finding it very hard to practice two teacher's work everyday. Our first teacher is not aware of 2'nd teacher. My plan was to take grade -5 with 2'nd teacher sometimes next yr but couldn't pursue. I wanted to finish 5'th grade ASAP as come middle school, focus will be more on academics but ALAS!! He also did guitar for 8 months but we discontinued 8 months before as DS wasn't doing much practice. Plan is to start it again in Jan when academics are little less. Motivating him to do 45 mins practice is a goal from my side but DS is determined to break it. Pre-teens symptoms are already starting so better to take a back seat for Mamma. I m really impressed with so many kids here doing so many instruments, can't fathom my son doing more than 2 at any instance, so envy all of u.

TRL Sat 01-Oct-16 15:14:55

Petra - love it! grin

Waffle, can't quite believe it's October already ....

I have DS1 (13) who plays bassoon and cello plus composes and sings, DS2 (11) who plays violin, oboe and sings, DD1 (10) who plays harp and sings (and is desperate to take up flute), DS3 (6) who plays cello and piano and DD2 (4) who is doing kodaly/eurythmics at Guildhall on Sats.

No-one will take any grades this term, but DD1 is preparing for music auditions: NCO, NYHO and for music scholarships. She's also entering for a local Young Musicians competition and performing in the school concert to help practise for the scholarship auditions. She's pretty cool about it all whereas I'm an anxious heap already. (And don't even ask me about the academic 11+ prep we're just not managing to fit in!)

Fleurdelise Sat 01-Oct-16 15:29:00

Next time I add up how expensive DD's activities are and her instruments etc I will read TRL list of instruments that are played in her household and I am sure I will not complain again. grin Good luck with the 11+ prep TRL or the lack of it we are in the same boat, I keep amending priorities, practice or 11+, each week they keep swapping.

Fleurdelise Sat 01-Oct-16 15:32:26

Waffle do you know anything about the piccolo? DD keeps admiring her clarinet teacher's one. I wonder if it is hard to learn by herself once she has some experience on clarinet and what resources are there.

raspberryrippleicecream Sat 01-Oct-16 15:37:58

Thanks Waffle.

DS2, 13 and Y9, is entered for Grade 7 piano this term.. He is also around Grade 6 on clarinet and 6-7 on trombone, and a Chorister. We are just filling in an application for NYO Inspire workshops and residential. He plays in numerous school groups, County orchestra and Youth Concert Band.

DD is 16, learns piano for fun, plays Bari Sax in bands. She has also just started learning Sax.

And my DS1 who is 18 has just added his trombone to the very large pile of boxes waiting to go to with him to uni tomorrow!

Loose obviously it's a couple of years since DSs GCSE, but totally second the Grade 5 piece really well played. Ensemble piece was a duet with his teacher here.

Pradaqueen Sat 01-Oct-16 16:08:51

New thread grin

Miniprada is 10 and is aiming for G6 piano and G7 violin in a special visit in December but we'll see as we are heading into indie school application territory shock....

We have our NCO audition next Thursday at the RAH. She will play the G5 pieces well rather than the G7 not quite finished... I've learned that from this thread grin
Green - good luck to minigreen. we did it last year but I was very new to all of this so possibly she should've gone for the G3 pieces not the Reiding concerto which possibly was a stretch too far at the time. This year we are aiming for regionals if we can get a place. National would be lovely but she will be up against fierce competition. Definitely playing in the local orchestra has helped no end with sight reading which was an issue last year.

In other news she has just won a music scholar place (17 only) from the audition she cocked up last week hmm so that's great. A confidence boost before next week anyway.

Happy October everyone!

Pradaqueen Sat 01-Oct-16 16:09:27

Ps forgot to say thank you waffle!

drummersmum Sat 01-Oct-16 16:23:23

Prada great news and well done re music scholar place! Is that a grammar or a state with music specialism?

TRL you have 5 kids and all doing music? confused wine

Fleurdelise Sat 01-Oct-16 16:38:20

Well done miniprada! And also well done Alexandra's The Boy! Sounds like he will pursue a musical career?

Also forgot to say, next time I moan about organising 1 (one) DDs music practice, between academics and sports I will also think of TRL having 5 DCs doing music. grin

Icouldbeknitting Sat 01-Oct-16 17:09:12

Congratulations to miniprada on the scholarship place. It must be a great confidence builder.

AlexandraLeaving Sat 01-Oct-16 17:09:33

Wonderful news miniPrada!!!

TRL shock shock shock Makes me feel tired just thinking about the logistics of the two cellos and a harp transportation, let alone managing the practice rota in the house.

Fleur ha ha! Currently he's aspiring to be a professional magician and invests more time practising card tricks than scales.

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