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January Music Thread

(770 Posts)
Wafflenose Mon 02-Jan-17 22:24:02

Happy New Year!

Sorry I'm a bit late starting this thread - I've been away for a few days without internet access. Anyway, this is our monthly thread for musicians and parents of musicians of all ages and all abilities. It's a great place to chat, or to ask questions about lessons, practice, exams, auditions or anything music-related.

I have two DDs: Goo (11 and in Year 6) who plays the flute, recorder and piano, and Rara (8 and in Year 4) who plays the cello, recorder and clarinet. I think we have Grade 7 Flute and Grade 1 Clarinet coming up this term, and also the local music festival and Junior Young Musician competition for Goo. Grade 7 Recorder and Grade 3 Cello are tentatively pencilled in for the summer, but we'll think about those nearer the time. Goo is also in NCO, and lives for it... it's all she talks about, she loves writing to and texting all the friends she's made there, and she is in Under 12s this year. I am a teacher of woodwind and have a little clarinetist who's just got into Under 10s. I hope to have a few more trying out next time.

stringchild Mon 02-Jan-17 22:59:49

Hi Waffle - thanks for the new thread!

Mom to DD (11) who plays cello, clarinet, sax and sings (choral); at a JD and loving it, and has got into the NCO for the 4th time (under 12s with Goo). We have happily finished with the nightmare that is secondary school entrance exams/scholarships, so music will be a big focus for the next 6months i think. DD has decided against trying for a specialist school at this point - NCO and JD, plus school and other outside music seem to be 'enough' for her right now. Festivals in May, plus G8 and G6 exams in the next two sessions.. I travel a lot with work so not always able to keep up with the thread, but join in when i can.

Happy New Year to everyone!

onlymusic Mon 02-Jan-17 23:12:12

Thank you for the thread Waffle flowers
I have dd who just turned 9 (finally) smile. Plays violin, piano and recorder. Piano around grade 4 level (though probably lower), violin about grade 5 level (though probably higher), recorder - no idea. Next stop is grade 5 theory.
Ds5 is learning violin and I cannot decide about piano (does he need it or does he not?)

I am also coming to the point where I am thinking that perhaps I should consider JD or music school, subject to some provisions.

Wafflenose Mon 02-Jan-17 23:23:43

Piano is always a useful addition, but at 5 he doesn't NEED it, no. I know from some experience teaching it that the second year is so very difficult that the child needs to be mature and resilient enough (which your DD clearly is/ was) and I didn't feel that Goo was ready for that until she was 10.5 - that's fairly late (although not as late as me - I started at 15) but it was right for us, she flew through stuff she wouldn't have coped with younger, and her first exam is likely to be Grade 5.

Greenleave Mon 02-Jan-17 23:29:23

Thanks Waffle for a fresh 2017 thread. Just be back from holiday and exhausted so will read the old one in details tomorrow. I have a 9yrs old who plays violin and piano. We havent planned anything for this term yet, it should have been a violin term for us although we havent been settling down with new teacher, new violin(prob too big and might need to be returned). We tried NCO last year and didnt get a place, we will try again if we could settle down with teacher, new violin.

raspberryrippleicecream Mon 02-Jan-17 23:33:40

Thanks Waffle and Happy New Year.

I have DS2,(14, Y9) just passed Grade 7 piano, working towards Grade 7 on trombone and Grade 6 on clarinet. Also a Chorister, about to be valedicted though and move into the Cathedral Youth Choir. He is starting organ this term, it was promised when he moved on from Cathedral Choir.

Very busy term, big event tomorrow, NYJO workshop and concert this month, NYO Inspire residential next month and local music Festival in March!

I also have DD in Y12 who plays clarinet and saxophone in lots of groups and DS1 at uni who plays brass in lots of uni groups.

I think 2017 may be an exam free year here!

disorganisedmummy Tue 03-Jan-17 06:52:48

Thanks for the new thread Waffle and happy new year to you all.

I have ds,10 and a half who plays violin. He's roughly grade 6 ish standard though doesn't take exams,just works through the sillabus.
Ds is in 2 local,county orchestras plus council run Saturday music school,he is lead violinist in a string ensemble and is lead in the school orchestra. He wants to join Junior Guildhall and we have to apply in a few days but having issues with practising at mo so not sure whether to defer it for another year.

Fleurdelise Tue 03-Jan-17 08:27:04

Thanks for the new thread Waffle and Happy New Year!

I have DD 9 who plays piano and clarinet, took grade 1 clarinet last term and is pencilled in for grade 5 piano in the summer term. She is also entered in a festival with piano coming up in February.

Not much practice during the Christmas break except picking up a few new clarinet pieces from some books she got as a Christmas present, she taught herself Summertime on the clarinet and I was a bit amazed finding out the piece is grade 3. She'll show it to her teacher in the next lesson.

Trumpetboysmum Tue 03-Jan-17 08:34:58

Happy new year smile and thanks for the new thread waffle
I'm mum to ds 11 who plays trumpet and piano ( just started) and dd 9 who plays piano and loves to sing
No idea really what standard ds is now on trumpet somewhere around grade 6/ 7. An exciting year ahead as ds got a place in the under 12s NCO orchestra. No exams this term for ds but 2 music competitions, regional nco orchestra rehearsals and his jazz days in London with the national youth jazz collective. He's also going on a workshop day this month for aldeburgh young muscicians our local alternative to a jd, not sure if it's the right thing for him as it's a very different approach to a jd ( which would be the right thing if it was closer). So that should keep him/ me busy !! Ds might be doing her grade 3 musical theatre exam this term though, but at least they are not both doing exams in the same term which happened last spring and is not something that I want to repeat in a hurry!!

disorganisedmummy Tue 03-Jan-17 08:57:31

Onlymusic thanks very much for that link on the December thread. That is definitely ds. His executive function is really quite poor. Stupidly I didn't put the two together until I read that.

I've spoken to a few other parents of musical children who have echoed what others have said here that during the hols especially Christmas practice tends to go out of the window so I will try not to stress too much.

stringchild Tue 03-Jan-17 09:17:35

TrumpetBoys - will DS do london regionals? DD is v excited at prospect of RAH! We do NYJC too but only the less frequent 'girls' sessions as we are not in London. Brilliant organisation.

Trumpetboysmum Tue 03-Jan-17 09:22:43

No string ds is going to the ones in Cambridge. NYJC is great he's done a couple of sessions now well worth looking into the sessions at kings place for next year if you are london based

Trumpetboysmum Tue 03-Jan-17 09:23:55

Sorry string just saw that you aren't london based I think they might be trying to roll out more regional work for 2017/ 2018 I'll let you know if I hear anything

Wafflenose Tue 03-Jan-17 11:45:42

disorganisedmummy why not just go for it anyway? It sounds like they want him - the worst they can say is "come back in a year", isn't it? If yours is the son with Asperger's (sorry, I have lost track of who's who) I really wouldn't worry about that. I think you'd be surprised by the huge amount of children playing at that level/ in NCO/ music scholars etc with the same or similar, including two of the three children at the school I work at, who are applying for music scholarships a year early.

disorganisedmummy Tue 03-Jan-17 11:54:19

Thanks Waffle,I think we should just do it but dh seems to think it's a bad idea because he can't commit to the practise. I think it's more that we need to find/work out how to help him with it. As you say,if they say come in a year,so what. Ds will then know what to expect and will be super prepared. I think dh' reservations are whether he can cope with the long day come September and the massive time commitment it will be for us as parents. I'm currently talking to ds's violin teacher about how best to go forward. I'm. Tempted to speak to the Head Of Junior Strings who assessed him but dh feels we shouldn't as it will let him know that ds is having problems with practise and therefore may jeopardise his chances?? No idea really. confused

Wafflenose Tue 03-Jan-17 11:55:55

I think that he will suddenly start to put in the time once he gets there!

disorganisedmummy Tue 03-Jan-17 12:00:09

He needs to up his practise now to improve enough for the audition if that makes sense.
According to the Head Of Strings,it's all there by needs refining especially his bowing.

Wafflenose Tue 03-Jan-17 12:05:03

My two do far better when they're going to school each day, and know that one instrument is required before school, and one after school. When Goo misses a day, she's then a nightmare to motivate, and she missed 10 days before Christmas due to illness. We then had a few normal days, then went away for new year. They are both going back to school tomorrow, but it will take Goo until early next week to find her rhythm again and stop arguing with us. I'm finding age 11 delightful... not!

onlymusic Tue 03-Jan-17 12:54:55

18 messages already, wow!
Wafflenose, about my ds and piano-sorry, I didn't express myself very clear, I meant to start piano at 6 or 7, not at 5, definitely, who will take care of me in case I need to train another child in two instruments? grin
But even at 7 arrangements should be made in advance, good teachers are oversubscribed....

onlymusic Tue 03-Jan-17 13:24:05

disorganisedmummy I would speak to the Head... I have been in a situation before where I didn't provide full picture about our circumstances (and you may remember what they are as I pm-ed you some time ago) and we had to leave because people were not prepared to take it on board. Would they know in advance it could save me disappointment in people, time and money smile
Another thing, I, for example, would be interested to discuss dd's potential in details. As it seems that she has very similar aural skills to your ds (based on your description) I had that conversation (about her potential) dozens of time. Teachers seem to build their expectations on her aural and cognitive skills. What I don't understand - how this relates to, say, being a good orchestra musician? Soloist? Good performer basically. As no matter what potential one has - he/she still needs to invest in hours of practice, and this doesn't depend on aural skills, does it? The only real advantage I see in her is that she has potential to become a composer/jazz musician. The rest depends on hours of practice, doesn't it?
Sorry, I am not trying to diminish your situation in any way, just reflecting, as it is my long time concern...always try to discuss this with music professional but still didn't get clear answer what is advantage of "having a potential"...

LooseAtTheSeams Tue 03-Jan-17 14:37:36

Happy new year to all and thanks Waffle for the new thread.
Quick recap - I took up piano a few years ago and may be in danger of doing my grade 4 exam this term!
DS1 (15) is working on grade 8 electric bass and grade 6 tuned percussion as well as drumkit (roughly grade 6) and plays in a marching band so ear plugs are a necessity! I don't think he'll have any exams until autumn term, if then.
DS2 (11, nearly 12) is in Y7 and joined the school band. He is learning cello and piano for grade 4, no idea when he will take the exams. He plays in a training string orchestra as well.
DS1 practised loads over the holiday. DS2 has thumped along on the piano a few times, did scales once and played the cello once!

se22mother Tue 03-Jan-17 15:24:19

Thanks for the new thread waffle. Dd, 8-year 4, and plays violin and clarinet.

Goodbyekittymum Tue 03-Jan-17 22:21:53

Happy New Year Everyone.
Thanks Waffle for starting a new thread.
I have a ds 9 who will be taking G4 piano this term and a dd 6 who is still waiting for G2 piano results.

AlexandraLeaving Tue 03-Jan-17 22:35:16

Happy New Year folks, and thanks for the new thread Waffle. You're really good keeping us together.

The Boy (13, Y9) plays clarinet, piano and sax and is beginning to dabble in song-writing. He may or may not be doing G7 sax this term, along with a couple of local festivals on clarinet and piano. Longer term, G6 piano is possible next term but no commitments yet, and G8 clarinet possible for the autumn. I'm keeping my fingers crossed they all stay in separate terms...

gillybeanz Tue 03-Jan-17 22:46:12

Hello all, and thanks for the thread Waffle
Happy New Year all.

I tried to record dd playing something to add to the thread, but she said no sad
I would really like to take the few recordings of concerts we have and put them on a private Youtube account, adding to them over the years, but she said no sad
Why can't I have a normal child, who likes to show off. Her music is a really private thing for her, and apparently I'm a shameful mum. Any suggestions folks or is she right?
She's practised every day from 16th December when she finished school.
She even played her new flute xmas day and had to be told about 6 times to come and eat.
She now has 4 saxophones, clari, and flute, her Baritone sound is really good for a 13 (tomorrow) year old.

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