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Autumn Term Music and Musicians Thread

(323 Posts)
Wafflenose Wed 02-Sep-15 09:47:18

Hello everyone!

I know not everyone is in the UK, but my children went back to school today, and I have found that having a new thread every few months works well. The school terms sort-of coincide with music exam sessions here - I will shortly start preparing the pupils that I plan to enter for November/ December.

As there are quite a few people reading/ posting on these threads, I would find it really helpful if people could remind us what children they have, how old they are, and what they play. If you don't mind, of course! Please feel free to ask questions and talk about your own learning too!

I'm Waffle and I'm a teacher of woodwind - mostly recorders these days. I have Mini who is 9 and plays the recorder and flute properly, and a bit of piano, trumpet and ukulele for fun. She is a member of South West Music School and NCO. I also have Baby who is 7 and plays the recorder and cello, and would like to play the piano.

For exams this term, Mini is doing Grade 6 Recorder with Trinity, and Baby is doing Grade 2. Next term, they are doing Theory exams - Grades 5 and 1 respectively. I know Grade 1 is utterly unnecessary, but Mini found it helpful to have a practice run by doing her Grade 3, and I can think of worse ideas than sending Baby in for the first time with her big sister. The next Flute and Cello exams will be Grades 5 and 2, but not yet.

I need to change their names at some point - Mini is not mini any more. She is 4'8" and up to my top lip. Baby is clearly 7, so I need to think again.

Icouldbeknitting Wed 02-Sep-15 12:08:19

I've had a name change because of the hacking but it's not changed much. I the non musical parent in the household.

For us back to school is next Wednesday, I've got as far as ringing his music teacher to schedule a lesson. DS(15) is a brass player, we have a month to decide whether he's taking his diploma in the next session. I've taken the big decision to stop lessons on his second instrument, he wasn't practising and it's not as if he'll find any more time in his GCSE year. He wasn't bothered at all so it's the right decision. Rumour has it that DH will be taking G8 piano sometime soon which will be good because I've listened to his pieces quite long enough.

We're waiting for the results of an audition for a national group, two months down and three more to go.

Wafflenose Wed 02-Sep-15 12:25:23

Hi, and I recognise you! grin

Wow, what an exceptionally long wait for an audition result!

LooseAtTheSeams Wed 02-Sep-15 12:42:14

Lovely to see a new thread! We all go back to school tomorrow. I've been learning piano for fun for past 3 or 4 years and am supposed to be taking grade 3 this term though any chance of postponing it will be seized!! I teach English in FE.
DS1 is nearly 14 and plays drums, tuned percussion, flute and bass. He is supposed to take G4 at Christmas for flute and we're definitely due a tuned percussion exam at G4 or G5 this year but I need to check with the teacher. Think flute may take a backseat after grade 4, it's less used than the others, but most off putting aspect is the 8.30 am lesson on Saturday which I am trying to reschedule. It would be a shame if he stopped as the tone is lovely but it's a difficult instrument.
DS2 is 10 and learning grade 2 cello pieces at the moment and will be starting G3 piano. His great love is the string orchestra he plays with on Saturdays. And the fact he is catching up with me on the piano! So we're far behind many regular posters in terms of grades but a lot of fun is had by all. Dad plays electric and acoustic guitar and lives in hope that both DSs will abandon their other stringed instruments and join him!

TheWildRumpyPumpus Wed 02-Sep-15 12:43:17

I shall say hello! DS1 started the violin last term so is a newbie - he also plays recorder in the school club but I don't know whether they do grades or if it's just for fun.

More excitingly for me, I have my first cello lesson tomorrow! I've always wanted to learn a string instrument (did piano and flute to grade 6 as a teen) so I'm taking some time for myself to learn a new skill!

ealingwestmum Wed 02-Sep-15 13:23:11

Hello to everyone for the new term, special thanks for Waffle for keeping it going for us!

One DD only (nearly 12) - started senior school today. We'll wait to see if her new school violin teacher thinks she may be ready to sit her G8 violin in Easter....or else she starts again with new ABRSM syllabus. Won't be the end of the world.

Also plays piano at around G6 level but enjoying a long hiatus from piano exams!

Our challenge for this year is when to practice...with morning piano slots taken with the new commute and most evenings with sport of some kind. Culls choices to be made I think...

Icouldbeknitting Wed 02-Sep-15 15:17:08

Waffle we had a change of strategy with the audition process. The last time round we took the latest local regional audition (November) so he had the summer to get to grips with all the scales that he'd been avoiding since he started and that meant that there wasn't long to wait for the results in December. This time we went for the earliest local regional audition (June) because his scales were good and I wanted it out of the way so he could focus on other things. It means he has to wait for them to complete the auditions at all the other venues.

TheWildRumpyPumpus - good for you with the cello. I keep thinking about learning something just to see if I can ditch the label of "no good at music" that I picked up at seven. I'd want it to be something that no-one else in the house plays and something that the dog doesn't howl at.

Mistigri Wed 02-Sep-15 17:58:21

Hello everyone!

Well that was a stressful day - DD14's first day weekly boarding at her new school (a French lycée where she is in equiv Y11) combined with not one but TWO auditions at the conservatoire, arranged at the very last minute because we only just got back from holiday.

She had barely played the piano for 2 months because of travel, and had to audition on a full-size grand when she is used to a digital piano. And they were running late so she was incredibly stressed about being late back to school. It went OK though - due to shortage of time she played only one piece (Traumerei) but she made a decent job of it. We will know in a week or so but enough complimentary things were said for us to be very confident she will get a place.

Other audition was for guitar (classical, which she has never played before) and that seemed to go all right too. Not sure if she'll get a place but she will continue her jazz guitar class elsewhere so not a big deal either way.

Now winding down in mcdonalds on the way home!!! I need a stiff drink!

Mistigri Wed 02-Sep-15 18:05:26

Sorry, that was a bit rude - in such a flap that I didn't introduce myself. I am the non-musical mother of DD14, multi-instrumentalist and singer, and DS12, who is totally unmusical.

DD plays guitar, bass, piano, sax, recorder and wants to play double bass (!) - that might have to wait until she is self-funding her musical adventures though ;) She also sings and writes songs.

Wafflenose Wed 02-Sep-15 18:55:58

It's so helpful to be reminded who's who, and what they play! Thank you all.

Helenluvsrob Wed 02-Sep-15 19:37:15

Hi all . Waves frantically . Nice to see everyone back for a new term.

Only have dd2 at school now ( sniffle) so all the awful multiple exams oer term is over. I think it's grade 7 singing this term but I could be wrong. Hopefully not piano as im not sure she's touched it over the summer. At some point, I'm hoping sooner rather than later there will be grade 8 recorder and clarinet. Trouble is we don't know how the new a levels will pan out re workload and she doesn't want to be leaving them till upper 6th.

( the artist formerly known as Theas18)

raspberryrippleicecream Wed 02-Sep-15 22:39:21

Hello all. Another hacked namechanger, but should be easily spotted I think!

My DC don't return until next Tuesday, I work in a different school and start tomorrow.

I have DS1, going into Y13. Plays trombone and tuba. May do Grade 8 tuba next spring depending on A level workload.

DD, Y11 - alto and bari sax, possibly also Grade 8 on alto next spring. Piano for fun.

DS2, Y8, trombone (G5) , clarinet (G4) , piano (G6) and Chorister.

DS2, to his teacher's great pleasure, has decided not to do Grade 5 trombone this term, but to keep moving forward. He is hoping to do his Gold RSCM award this term and has prepared all the written submission work over the summer. Grade 5 jazz clarinet is on the cards for the future, but school only do exams in the Spring term

All 3 play in lots of school and Music Service groups.

Waffle lovely to see Grade 5 theory planned for Spring term, she has done really well.

Anyone else tearing their hair out already with teachers/groups deciding to move nights with no warning and causing huge knock on effects? Two so far here!

Wafflenose Thu 03-Sep-15 10:00:18

Yep raspberry - flute teacher hasn't got in touch yet, and a few of my pupils have casually asked to change days. I'm letting it all wash over me until other parts of my timetable are more clear.

If school didn't get in the way, I think Mini could have managed the theory this term. But with one long session a week, it's going to take the rest of the term to finish the book, and then we'll have about 8 weeks in the new year to do one practice paper a week, and learn the rest of the words. She hasn't done Grade 5 Flute yet, so we actually have plenty of time.

Mistigri Thu 03-Sep-15 10:22:50

raspberry timetabling will be our big issue here too. i am crossing my fingers that she gets a conservatoire place, as it's so close to her school and they will schedule lessons in the gaps in her school timetable. However they will only take students for maximum two instruments plus theory, so we will still have two other classes to fit in.

Icouldbeknitting Thu 03-Sep-15 10:26:07

In theory our music lessons continue over the summer holidays but the two week long courses for DS, teacher's holidays and our holidays fitted together so that he got one lesson in seven weeks. I am lucky in that he's picked up the same slot he had last year so I can drop straight back into the old (well worn) routine. Slotting everything together is bad enough with just DH and DS doing stuff (me - I don't get out much) so I imagine it's a nightmare with multiple children with activities.

Helenluvsrob Thu 03-Sep-15 13:07:11

Raspberry I totally hear you re moving days/times for groups etc. As DD moves up groups at school ( I think she's going to be playing in the senior orchestra this year, rather than a band, she's happier holding her own line rathe than sharing it) it's always unpredictable as to what can happen .

LooseAtTheSeams Fri 04-Sep-15 18:21:50

There's always something to sort out at beginning of the year! Have good news on the 8.30 am Saturday flute lesson, which is now 9.40 so was worth chasing. Instrument lessons at school get sorted out in the next couple of weeks but hopefully not too many changes. Same teachers, which is lovely as DS2 gets on really well with both.
Best of luck to everyone doing theory and auditions! There are some very motivated DCs out there!

Wafflenose Fri 04-Sep-15 19:29:52

Mini has made me laugh this week: "Please may I do my recorder practice now?" and "I love practising!" She has realised that four days in a row has resulted in some improvement! When it gets left for ages, she doesn't sound so good and then isn't motivated. School is very easy at the moment - mostly playing games this week and no homework, so she can fit more in.

I think I have around 10 exam candidates this term, and 7-8 Music Medals.

NewLife4Me Fri 04-Sep-15 19:36:11

Just as dd has made the decision to stop violin due to time constraints and enough to do already, she has been given a very old and very expensive violin by a lovely old man.
She hasn't put it down today and the tone is beautiful.
There is no way school will allow her to continue in a formal way and at weekends she'll need a break from music.
I am gob smacked, but trying to tell myself if she had wanted to continue she'd have taken her own out of the case this summer.
I'm right, aren't I?

NewLife4Me Fri 04-Sep-15 19:41:54


Our friend arrived at the school today and had a message from both her and her mum to say she has nice room mates and is bonding well. The 6th formers had to go earlier than the others.
DD goes on Sunday and she is so excited, the house is just mad atm grin
I told her there was somebody on here who knew her, small world an all that.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 04-Sep-15 19:51:36

Hi, can I join in? We have 4 children playing various things. They all do piano, DD1( 13) should sit her G6 in December and DD3(9) should sit her G3. We are waiting for DD2's (12) grade 4 results as she's just sat them.
DS (7) is working towards his G1 exam and will be starting drums this term.
DD1 is also sitting G5 Double Bass this term, DD2 G3 Trombone and DD3 is working towards G3 Bass as well.
DD2 hope to start singing lessons this term as well.
The two older ones play/sing in school bands/ orchestras as well as the county Youth Orchestra. They have an 'audition' next week, but just to place them in their groups for the year.
DD3 plays in the primary school orchestra and will join the local string group next year.
I am floundering around organising lesson times atm.

NewLife4Me Fri 04-Sep-15 21:03:48

I'm not surprised at your nn. grin
What a lot of ferrying around, how on earth do you manage it all?
We only have dd who is into music and that was bad enough.
Lovely to hear your dc are so busy,music is a wonderful hobby/ activity.
Welcome to waffles ongoing thread and I'm sure everyone will love to hear what your dc are up to as the year goes on.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 04-Sep-15 21:18:21

Double bass, drums and singing are/ will be taught at school. Up until now piano lessons have been taught in a block ( 2 kids having lessons with two different teachers for 30 minutes x 2) but we may need to have a couple of sessions this term.
Trombone is a private teacher because DD2 didn't like the school's one smile

raspberryrippleicecream Sat 05-Sep-15 11:11:15

newlife thank you, nice to hear. Such an amazing coincidence! You are right about the violin, but could she keep it for holidays for now and see how she feels?

NewLife4Me Sat 05-Sep-15 11:18:49

That's a good idea. We certainly won't sell it as it was a gift, but feel so guilty accepting it.
The old dear wouldn't take no for an answer, maybe she might play a bit at the weekends sometimes and holidays.

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