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May/ June Music and Musicians Thread

(921 Posts)
Wafflenose Tue 24-May-16 17:48:12

Welcome, everyone. I can't believe we need a new thread already, but I'm delighted that they now seem so popular!

I'm Waffle, I'm a music teacher and I have two daughters - Goo (10) who plays the recorder, flute, piccolo (a bit) and started the piano a month ago, and Rara (8) who isn't as musically inclined but plays the cello and recorder. She is plodding (very) slowly towards Grade 3 on both.

We're going on holiday this weekend, so will have to have a good read when I get back. For now, I'll wind the thread up and let it do its stuff. grin

Swex Tue 24-May-16 17:52:26

Hello. New here and just a quick toe dip. Dc1 is doing piano grade 1 this term.

Two questions. It seems easy for him as he naturally took to the piano - how do I prevent his pieces getting stale before the exam.

Secondly, rattle on to grade 2? How quickly is too quickly?

Many thanks !

onlymusic Tue 24-May-16 17:59:09

Swex if piano seems easy for him, I would do grade 2 next term (in autumn)

Lunar1 Tue 24-May-16 17:59:13

Can I join in? Ds1 is 7 and will be doing his prep test soon. Non of our family are in anyway musical so it's a whole new world for me.

onlymusic Tue 24-May-16 18:07:11

Oh, forgot to introduce myself smile
I have dd1 y3 who is grade 3 piano and doing grade 4 violin at summer.
And ds2 yR who started violin couple of months ago.

Icouldbeknitting Tue 24-May-16 18:15:52

DS(16) is excused practice at the moment because of GCSEs. He's a brass player having a dabble at bassoon, DH is a brass player having a stab at flute. I had thought we'd done with exams (in my dreams) but DH is taking G3 flute this session after I bought him a flute and the G1 book at Christmas.

NewLife4Me Tue 24-May-16 18:22:23


Give him lots of other pieces to play at around the same level.
Check out your local music shops they have out of date syllabus music. They sell it cheap because it's useless for exams, but obviously if it was grade x 2 years ago, it's still the same level now.

I wouldn't rush the exams it stops being fun if it's just working to exams.

NewLife4Me Tue 24-May-16 18:27:15

Sorry, forgot to introduce myself to newbies.

I have 1 dd who is musical the other 2 are grown ups now and not interested in playing at all. grin she plays various Saxes, Clari, Piano, voice and violin occasionally for fun and boards at a specialist music school.

My dh is a famous (in his genre) Jazz musician and educator.

I volunteer, hopefully one day paid as an Arts in Music administrator and Entertainment manager. Not for profit sector.

Fleurdelise Tue 24-May-16 18:44:11

Hello all, welcome to the newcomers!

Swex my Dd's teacher advice is not to skip from one exam to the other as in the end you will be grade 8 having played 24 pieces and that is all. She takes time after each exam to approach different styles and repertoire, different composers, technical exercises and so on. The only thing that is introduced immediately after is the following grade scales. Saying that she doesn't do all the exams with DD, in fact she does an exam a year whichever that may be so if your Ds is ready for the next exam in a term let's say he can always skip it and go straight to grade 3 next year.

Fleurdelise Tue 24-May-16 18:48:17

Forgot to introduce myselfgrin

DD is 8 and has taken grade 3 piano in March, she is now being prepared for grade 5 sometimes next year I think as her teacher suggested skipping grade 4 while taking time to play various repertoire and catch up on theory. We play it by ear in terms of exams, go with the flow and Dd's teacher's suggestions. She also started clarinet lessons yesterday and is very excited about it.

I also have a DS 14 not interested in music at all.

NeverEverAnythingEver Tue 24-May-16 19:14:05

Hi! Between us we have piano, cello, violin, flute, drums - all about gr 2-4 but not all exams have been taken. smile

Half term next week. That means no practice because no routine. hmm

Ferguson Tue 24-May-16 20:00:38

Swex - I'll copy my reply to another Grade1 query, as the information may be useful:

The pieces at Grade 1 are obviously fairly simple, but they still need to be played as ACCURATELY as possible, in terms of correct notes, and correct timing.

And if there is scope for good EXPRESSION, observing correct phrasing, dynamics, and feeling the 'MOOD' of the music will all go towards impressing the examiner.

As someone else has said, if nearer the time, he is getting bored with the pieces, have a change and play completely different pieces of a similar, or harder, level for a while. Try and judge when he needs to come back to the exam pieces to give them the final 'polish' before the exam date.

At the exam, if can imagine he just wants to give the examiner a really enjoyable little 'concert', that may help calm his nerves.

Wafflenose Tue 24-May-16 20:02:40

We are going camping next week. It's a bit of an arty campsite and they run their own music festival etc, so they like people to take instruments along and play them. DH always takes his guitar, and the girls will take all their recorders, the flute and the cello. I'm the only one in two minds about it... it's my week off, after all!

NeverEverAnythingEver Tue 24-May-16 20:32:00

Where is this camp waffle?

I'm told that a happy and entertained examiner gives more marks, so give a jolly little concert. grin

raspberryrippleicecream Tue 24-May-16 20:43:55

Hi. I have DS2 (13) who is a Cathedral Chorister and plays piano, trombone and clarinet. He's working towards Grade 7 on piano and Grade 6 on trombone/clarinet.

I have older teenagers who have reached Grade 8 on their respective instruments and enjoy playing in various groups. Though at the moment very busy with A levels and GCSEs.

No music exams for us this term. DS2 is competing in a local young musician competition. He is also singing Youth in Elijah which I'm looking forward to.

notbothered12 Tue 24-May-16 20:51:21

Hi can I join? I have three DC.
DS1 (12) passed G3 piano at Easter and is taking G5 cello this term. He has stopped piano for a term and is doing theory with his piano teacher instead. He will have to stop grades in cello (assuming he passes!) as he hasn't passed any theory exams. I am relieved to be honest he can just play for fun for a bit.
DS2 (10) passed G4 violin at Easter and is doing G3 piano in summer assuming he can get his pieces up to scratch.... Music prize competition at school in two weeks and his is playing the first movement of a violin concerto (an easy one). It is sounding great so have my fingers crossed.
DD(8) is doing G1 piano in summer. She has been ready for a while so is learning some pieces out of the upgrade 1-2 book. Teacher said she could skip it and do G2 at Xmas but she wanted to do it. And there is no harm in being super confident in your first exam to my mind! She doesn't do another instrument as she is incredibly sporty and spends around 8 hours a week playing footie and hockey and running.

Greenleave Tue 24-May-16 21:08:12

Thanks Waffle, cant believe we chatted THAT much in the old thread. I have a 8.5 yrs old who plays violin(sitting G3 in 3 weeks), piano( did G3 in March) and learning theory (planning for exam this June).
We had the first G5 theory past paper done and it was only 75% marked by our teacher. We still have Chords abd Ornaments need to learn and practise on

onlymusic Tue 24-May-16 21:18:34

notbothered12 what concerto your ds2 is playing? (good luck with the competition!)

notbothered12 Tue 24-May-16 21:38:23

Thanks only music! He is paying the first movement from Concerto in D by O Reiding op 36. It is all in first position but not easy as it is quite fast with some fiendish bowing (according to DS2) Really lovely concerto it is on you tube.

notbothered12 Tue 24-May-16 21:40:17

Also got the G5 violin music for him as teacher wants to crack on with it. It seems a BIG step up from G4 much more so than in cello. 10 scales. Ouch!

onlymusic Tue 24-May-16 21:48:54

Greenleave I finally discussed all the options regarding theory exams, we agreed to aim for grade 3 theory in March.

onlymusic Tue 24-May-16 21:50:56

notbothered12 , looked on youtube-lovely music, may ask our teacher to give it a go.

Greenleave Tue 24-May-16 21:51:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RueDeWakening Tue 24-May-16 21:57:04

Evening all!

I have a DD aged 9 who is doing grade 1 clarinet this summer (see below for the whinge,,,) and a DH aged <cough> who plays jazz saxophone to a fairly high level but has never done a grade exam in his life. I own a clarinet but don't really play it - I keep meaning to (re) learn but it hasn't happened yet! There's also DS1 who is 6 and interested in the digital piano we have in the house but not actively learning anything yet, and DS2 aged just 3 who is mostly interested in bashing on the piano keys and shouting "hammer" hmm perhaps he's a natural drummer? grin

Anyway, grade 1 clarinet - we got a letter from school today, via email, saying that the deadline for entries is tomorrow! And please could we print out, complete and hand deliver the form plus fee to the local music service today or by 5pm tomorrow. Am NOT impressed! I don't know whether her teacher doesn't normally enter students into the summer session, she said she wasn't aware of the deadline - is that normal? Teacher is a peri, lessons are at school.

The letter said that the exam would be w/c 18th July - school breaks up on 19th July so I've asked to avoid that day (due to potential clashes with having to pick up DS1 and general chaos of the end of term) - am hoping we won't get that day. If you request to avoid a date, does it normally work out OK? Also, given that it'll be the summer holidays, when do results get given out?

I remain clueless, but I'm doing my best to pick things up! DD is excited about starting grade 2 next term, so fingers crossed grade 1 goes well first!

Swex Tue 24-May-16 21:58:40

Thank you all!

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