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To tell you to join a band or orchestra?

(61 Posts)
TheOddity Thu 04-Jun-15 08:59:28

If you can play an instrument of course! I hadn't played for ten years and joined a band again a month ago. It is such a pleasure to play again, it lifted my spirit. I even enjoyed the waiting bits where you are listening to the French horns bodge a bit or as I can just zone out and feel relaxed. It made me feel like I was 15 years old again and I could still play pretty much as well as ever. Just wanted to encourage anyone with a dusty instrument to make a phone all and give it a try! Can't wait for my DS to see me in a concert as well.

JeanSeberg Thu 04-Jun-15 10:56:22

Interesting post as I've recently had my French horn overhauled and would like to start playing again. I don't think I would feel confident to join a band/orchestra straight away though. Did you have some refresher lessons or practice at home before joining?

PattiODoors Thu 04-Jun-15 11:02:14

Lots of local bands and orchestras have Training groups and would welcome adult returners and also adult learners.

Jean have a toot at home first, muscle memory (wrt scales/fingering) is one thing, embouchure stamina another!

BarbarianMum Thu 04-Jun-15 11:03:05

Ds1 is in 2 bands. I think you are forgetting a few things, namely: the cost, the time it takes, the endless rehearsing, the hanging round waiting to perform, the having to be at odd venues at odd times of day, the dragging of unwealdy indtruments in and out of cars and up flights of stairs, the uniform... And did I mention the cost?

Obviously there are a lot of plus points (I guess you can at least drive yourself and French Horns are not that big) but please give a balanced picture grin

Lilymaid Thu 04-Jun-15 11:07:44

And if you don't play an instrument, join a choir ... similar effect of lifting the spirits!

bikeandrun Thu 04-Jun-15 11:15:37

Good stuff, completely unmusical so not relevant to me but just great to celebrate doing something for yourself. Assuming you are a woman, its all too often women who give up hobbies/ pastimes once children are on the scene.

leedy Thu 04-Jun-15 11:21:56

Totally agree, it's the best fun! I only really started to work properly at music/singing once I started playing with other people, and I'm still in a band at the grand old age of 42.

Agree there's a cost (buying and care of instruments, possible rehearsal room rental, rehearsal time, orchestra/choir may have subs, lugging of stuff around the place, recording expenses, etc.) but for me it's definitely worthwhile.

ISingSoprano Thu 04-Jun-15 11:28:40

I completely agree - I joined a choir a few years ago and love, love, love it! The thing is, you have to concentrate on the music so effectively switch off from all the other stuff going on in life. It's very therapeutic.

willnotbetamed Thu 04-Jun-15 11:50:47

Seconding all singers! Met my DH in a choir (after I moved to live in a new country), and now our kids sing too. A lot of our closest friends are people we know from singing. It has been a great way of keeping a social life and a hobby going while the kids were small.

Balaboosta Thu 04-Jun-15 12:04:25


drspouse Thu 04-Jun-15 12:10:43

I've just realised that DS is nearly 3 1/2 and at 4 he can join the junior choir at the music centre that I used to go to pre-DCs. That means I can go to the ensemble group that meets at the same time. Roll on January!

TheOddity Thu 04-Jun-15 12:31:13

Ah that's lovely DrSpouse, perfect way to both do it together. It was my DH who really encouraged me as we moved and I have lost a lot of good friends. Maybe even he wanted me out of the house! I have been going running/walking with a friend a bit too, but that no way gave me the same feeling of wellbeing as playing my flute again has. I'd just forgotten how fun all the little side chats are, the jokes about the different instruments when they go wrong, the camaraderie, that great feeling when a song ends with a bang and the conductor smiles. So good. I don't have to pay anything I don't think, as I think the council give the room and we are a bit of a public service playing at outdoor concerts and things like that. Maybe there are fees that they just haven't mentioned yet, but I don't mind paying as it is after all a hobby. If you can find one in walkable or short drivable distance it doesn't even cut into your evening too badly. Hope I inspire a couple of people to enquire.

LapsedTwentysomething Thu 04-Jun-15 12:36:05

I really want to do this but I have a rubbish, cheap cello that was the best my mum could afford at the time. I want a good one but don't have a few grand to spend.

LapsedTwentysomething Thu 04-Jun-15 12:36:32

And I want a piano!

drspouse Thu 04-Jun-15 12:37:57

It's nice isn't it TheOddity?

Only thing is my ensemble starts at 9 on a Saturday (urgh). There is actually beginners' recorder at 8.45 but I don't think he'll be ready for that (phew!) but it's an early start on a Sat. They have other groups later in the morning which he/I can go to when he's older but it is a long morning if you go to everything that you can so we'll just start with one group each I think.

FeckityFeck Thu 04-Jun-15 12:42:30

I so want to do this at some point. I have my old flute, but I'm not sure I can even read music any more. I also have my sister's old clarinet, so I'm planning on starting from scratch with a new instrument, when I have the time.

Playing in an orchestra is absolutely the best thing about playing an instrument. DH plays guitar and plays in a band, only as a hobby, but I know he gets a lot out of it too. It's important to me that the dc get a chance to play music with other people, it's wonderful smile

TheEggityOddity Thu 04-Jun-15 12:57:23

LapsedTwentySomething, could you hire a cello to see if you enjoy it first? To be honest, your cheap cello would probably be fine in an orchestra setting, as they will just be so happy to get a cellist (sp?) they are not exactly ten a penny. I know what you mean about piano, that is my secret desire, along with the harp and cello actually!

FeckityFeck you're right, same thing with a rock band really, just less call for flutes in there! My DH is looking for a new band, he really has missed that since we moved.

I think it's just doing something that you have always enjoyed when you were young. I can see why people go and take watercolour classes now or pottery. It's therapeutic to just do something for the sheer pleasure, not to get fit or lose weight or learn something!

FeckityFeck Thu 04-Jun-15 13:01:50

Hmm, perhaps I should take up cello instead of clarinet to improve my chances. I've always loved the sound of the cello. I have fond memories of being in detention (!) while my art teacher, who was supervising, practised her cello.

leedy Thu 04-Jun-15 13:16:36

I play the clarinet in a band! (and keyboards)

Figmentofmyimagination Thu 04-Jun-15 13:19:38

Singing - I love it - 15 years now in same choir, and it leads on to so many other good things you can do together.

...As well as the extraordinary sense of fulfilment you get when you realise how many "works" you have now mastered.

...Plus the fact that great tunes in your head keep you company all week

...Plus when things are not going well, it is a great escape.

Don't know what I would do without it.

LapsedTwentysomething Thu 04-Jun-15 14:34:46

Might get my cello out for a little play later. I'm not very good though!

ISingSoprano Thu 04-Jun-15 15:03:04

As well as the extraordinary sense of fulfilment you get when you realise how many "works" you have now mastered.

Crikey yes, I have a MASSIVE file of music scores now - it feels like a real achievement that nearly all of them have been performed in concerts

bigbluebus Thu 04-Jun-15 16:34:06

My DS plays in an orchestra that seems to be made up of adult amateur players - presumably many of whom have taken up their instruments again after a long gap. It doesn't cost him anything apart from the petrol to get there. Not sure how it is funded. They rehearse in a church, so maybe that's free. They have just had a concert so I guess the proceeds go towards any costs they have.

drspouse Thu 04-Jun-15 21:06:34

They may charge subs to those in work. I've been in choirs like that.

Teladi Thu 04-Jun-15 21:21:22

I feel like I would like to but have some issues to get over first. I used to be pretty good at my instrument (good enough that I strongly considered making it my career, and I could have had a go at it at least) my entire social life revolved around it as a teenager, and then... I don't really know what happened. I decided to go to university to study an unrelated subject and stopped playing entirely. I think I just lost my confidence, but I don't know how. When I look at my instrument case now, it just makes me feel sad. I haven't played it in about ten years. Even thinking about it makes me feel sad.

What a downer post to put on a happy thread! It's nice to hear about other returners though. Maybe I can be brave!

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