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February Music Thread

(747 Posts)
Wafflenose Thu 02-Feb-17 21:51:32

Overdue again, this time due to our local music festival. I put in 32 entries, and am now finished for this year, but haven't had a lot of sleep recently!

I am a teacher of woodwind - mostly recorder and clarinet at the moment - and have two DDs. Goo (short for Kajagoogoo in case anyone was wondering - and no, that isn't her actual name!!) is 11 and plays the flute, recorder and piano. Rara is 8 and plays the cello, recorder and clarinet. We are heading towards a half size cello soon, and I think we might have found a suitable one. We're going to try it out this weekend.

The girls have been entered for Grade 7 Flute and Grade 1 Clarinet this term, and I am really regretting it, as they are so under-prepared. But hopefully after a slightly quieter weekend, we can all get back on track.

Please jump right in, ask questions, moan about practice/ scales/ attitude, tell us about your DCs or your own learning... and new members/ beginners are always welcome!

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 02-Feb-17 21:59:07

Shiny new thread!

DS2 is steadily and conscientiously working towards Grade 6 clarinet.

DD is haphazardly and intermittently working towards Grade 4 flute. Today she announced that she no longer wants to play in the junior orchestra at school.

I sing in a choir; currently rehearsing Dvorak's Stabat Mater.

raspberryrippleicecream Thu 02-Feb-17 22:14:02

Another month already!

DS2 (14) did Grade 7 piano last term, and is embarking on a very slow meander to Grade 8 with lots of non-exam pieces.

He plays trombone (around G7) and clarinet (G6), playing in lots of school and music service groups. He has also just begun organ lessons. He also sings in the Cathedral Youth Choir and as Junior Choral Scholar.

DD plays sax and clarinet in various groups.

DS1 is at uni but still very involved in extra curricular music,

No exams for us this term, but our local Festival next month.

Fleurdelise Thu 02-Feb-17 22:48:41

New thread yay!

DD is 9 and playing piano and clarinet. She is currently working towards grade 5 piano in the summer term and maybe clarinet grade 3 same term or the term after. She has also recently joined the junior wind band at the local music school and loves it.

Talking about neighbours, I am really worried now about the clarinet, she is playing two octave scales and the upper notes are ear piercing, she practises at 7,30pm no time at all earlier. They didn't complain...yet.

Fleurdelise Thu 02-Feb-17 22:55:15

Oh and talking about neighbours again, I feel so great tonight grin. I have a neighbour who insists to park in front of my house even though there are other parking slots around. This does annoy me as it means we need to park both cars on the drive in front of each other and move them around if the driver at the back needs to leave first. So it is a bit of a silent battle to park in front of my house but I never officially complained to them as I wouldn't have any grounds (no dropped kerb or anything like that). A few months ago this neighbour decided we are at war and therefore not talking to each other so if she sees me on the street even if I smile she throws me dirty looks.

Anyway, tonight I get home, she's parked in front of my house and her passenger car door is open. Looked around, nobody. So I get a dilemma of either not telling her so it rains inside her car (sweet revenge) or tell her and be the better person. I decided to be the better person, knocked on her door, she answers with a dirty look almost ready to argue and I tell her about the door. wink You should have seen her face. grin I am great right?

Fleurdelise Thu 02-Feb-17 22:59:07

And last post for tonight: did I tell you I am a bit of a music related stuff compulsive buyer? Well I just ordered DD a new ligature. When I got the mouth piece I googled it and I read about the Rovner ligature so I ordered one. I am happy at least that she can carry these over to a new clarinet when the upgrade time comes.

I'm out, good night all!

Kutik73 Fri 03-Feb-17 06:12:02

Thank you for the new thread, Wafflenote.

DS is 9 and plays piano and violin. He got in NCO regional this year and he's just started enjoying his very first orchestral experience. Although he wasn't overwhelmed by the high standard at the last (and first) rehearsal, it's quite clear that he needs to gain lots of new skills required to play in an orchestra. So I have booked him in for three days orchestra workshop during half term holiday. It's a full day x 3 days plus concert in the evening on the last day, and also it's designed for G5+ young musicians. It's going to be a challenge for him! But he is counting his fingers so it seems he is not worried about his lack of experience (yet)!

I am non-musical I'm afraid, but have started plonking piano using my DS's old music book (G1). I have so far managed to learn the first two lines of Minuet in G by Mozart....

Kutik73 Fri 03-Feb-17 06:34:17

Fleurdelise - I like buying music related PRACTICAL stuff too. My recent hit was a waterproof cover for DS's violin case. It's very thin and small when folded so it's kept in the outer pocket of the case. DS has a soft case but a wooden frame fitted inside so is relatively protective, and the outer fabric is water resistant. But it's not waterproof and it was bothering me when we had rains unexpectedly. Now a problem is sorted.

Trumpetboysmum Fri 03-Feb-17 06:52:31

Thanks for the new thread waffle
Fleur your post about neighbours made me laugh we also have to park on the street so I know what you mean!! We may however be looking ( again) to move this year as ds's trumpet playing isn't great for maintaining good neighbourly relations grin
I'm mum to ds nearly 12 who's about grade 7 trumpet no exams this term as he's far too busy 2 music competitions an AYM audition and numerous concerts and solos. I could feel quite stressed about it all but ds seems to take it all in his stride
Dd is less busy but is really into the performing arts and has a drama festival and hopefully a school play next half term

LooseAtTheSeams Fri 03-Feb-17 08:20:34

Thanks for new thread, Waffle!
I am doing my grade 4 piano exam at some point this term - the later the better!
DS1 is 15, working on grade 8 electric bass and grade 6 percussion and drum kit. He plays in a marching band and a concert band two evenings a week.
DS2 is almost 12 and is working on cello grade 5 and piano grade 4. He plays in concert orchestra on Saturday mornings and the school band.

ACMEinc Fri 03-Feb-17 08:28:11

Wow waffle those results are fab! Well done to all.
I have DD who has just done G4 clarinet. This term we have a music festival for the first time (inspired by this thread!) and a regional public speaking competition.
Working towards G5 in the summer and probably G5 theory then too unless her teachers at the Sage have booked her in already which is a possibility!
We will also be buying a new clarinet this year. I've applied for some grants on the basis that somebody has to get them! I was made redundant last year so money is a bit tight.
DS (9) is a reluctant musician but he is taking singing lessons at school and has a gorgeous voice.
I'm a singer too - rehearsal tonight for Candlemass choral evensong with my chamber choir and then I'm also doing a Beethoven mass with the local choral society

onlymusic Fri 03-Feb-17 08:57:30

Thank you for the new thread Waffle and massive congratulations again on the success of your dds and students flowers
I have dd1 who is doing piano, violin and recorder and ds2 who is learning violin for about one year now. gr5 violin exam this term and a lot of pressure on me from the teacher as it feels like we are about to break our record of distinctions only hmm

onlymusic Fri 03-Feb-17 08:59:02

Oh, what a brilliant story Fleurdelise

stringchild Fri 03-Feb-17 09:05:20

hi dd is yr 6, heading to cello g8 this summer, and clarinet g7 at some unspecified point. Is in the NCO U12s. Senior school entrance exams all done, so we can relax a little. so keep us on our toes, DD has a big competition next week, then two festivals in may.

i am v unmusical and so is dp, but he is doing g1 piano this term, and i have just started on viola (on the basis one distant day someone may need me in their group as the world is so short of violas - i would have no chance on anything remotely competitive)

Disorganised - if you are around, can you update us re what happened re the JD audition? was thinking of you/ds

onlymusic Fri 03-Feb-17 09:07:53

A bit of non musical staff, Waffle, I don't remember what exactly was the problem with Rara but I thought I would mention it just in case. We started cranial osteopath sessions with my dd end of Dec, I would not say it made a massive difference and may be it is just coincidence but it seems like it helped her slightly, she became a bit more settled and calmer...

onlymusic Fri 03-Feb-17 09:14:05

Btw, friend of mine visited RCM JD open day. She said the atmosphere was very friendly and relaxed, everybody was extremely helpful but she was puzzled by a number of instruments everybody was playing and how little time was spent on practicing each. Her assumption was that at that level it would be more specialised and serious. Parents are allowed to stay during the lessons, and it is possible to get various music classes for the whole day. And yes, it sounded like they were looking for potential rather than actual grades.

onlymusic Fri 03-Feb-17 09:25:32

Also my friend mentioned that it was possible to have mini audition on spot and have some feedback - I think it is quite useful thing to know

onlymusic Fri 03-Feb-17 09:31:34

Also there is a requirement to play orchestra instrument and participate in relevant activities even though her dc is a pianist. I think she is inclined to carry on private lessons till there is another entry at 11yo as she felt that with a good private teaching this would be more targeted and more efficient at this age (we are talking about 8-9yo)

Fleurdelise Fri 03-Feb-17 09:43:11

only I am annoyed this morning again as even thought neighbour has two parking slots at the back of her house allocated to her they are empty, her excuse is that she doesn't have a back gate into her garden (another neighbour told us) so when I pulled in after the school run this morning I could barely park on my drive as her car was in an awkward position. She is the worst driver I have ever seen, even when she parks there she is putting it at an angle half in the street, sometimes drives over the green grass area as she can't be bothered to do several manoeuvres. Grrr, I shouldn't have told her about the door at least I could have had a silent giggle. But I would have felt guilty so...

Anyway, festival in two weeks time, DD's pieces are fine but still making small mistakes as she added some ornaments and they sound lovely when she manages to play them. grin

disorganisedmummy Fri 03-Feb-17 09:46:08

Hi all,amazing results Waffle you must be so so proud.
Stringchild thanks for thinking of us. Can't remember where we're up to in the saga but we had a date of 15th March for JD Guildhall but ds felt that he wouldn't. E ready despite his violin teacher thinking he would be. I emailed them and they said latest date would be mid may which won't work as ds has SATS followed by a residential trip. I'm waiting for them to come back to me but I think we'll be looking at late April/first week of May.
Pieces are coming along. One piece (Ladies in Lavender) is very problematic. The other piece;Vivaldi's violin concerto first movement is almost there. My issue at the mo is the amount of practice he's putting in. On a good day it's around 45 mins or so but he can only manage that 2-3 times a week because of other commitments. He does Theory lesson followed by String Ensemble on Monday,tutor (academic) Tuesday,violin lesson Wednesday,hockey Thursday,music school Saturday morning,then 3 out of 4 Sundays he has one of 2 youth orchestras. He loves it all and won't give any up but I'm concerned he's not putting in enough. The other issue is that he still has squeaky moments. I'm not sure what's that's about if any one can shed any light!!

disorganisedmummy Fri 03-Feb-17 09:52:11

Just wanted to add that he does practice most days but it's usually for around half an hour.

paperbattles Fri 03-Feb-17 09:53:11

Hello again, I have been scanning Jan thread since posting but madly busy as contract work is unpredictable. Today I have decided I am on strike. Wafflenote - We used to live in a London terrace - when the neighbour cooked fish our bedrooms used to fill with the smell. I wouldn't inflict the first year of learning violin on any neighbour - cheap Chinese violin squeaking, I think to get to Grade 1 shows any parent's resilience.
Dd did her music scholarship audition yesterday at a boarding school. How do these schools choose between applicants? They are all so talented, standard seemed to be over Grade 6 in at least two instruments, with a third too. The school mixed up 13+ applicants with 11+, so I felt for dd having to play after a girl two years older. School gave Grade 8 level sightreading for piano (which dd just laughed about it was so hard). The violinist before her said the sightreading was not bad as it was just one clef, she was relieved she didn't have to do piano.
Music competition this weekend, but I think dd is losing her voice and her focus so not sure how it will go. She's been entered for 6 classes, but pieces are a bit rusty as they are not the scholarship pieces she's been practising. Wafflenote if we have a tiny bit of your success I will be pleased. It's a virtuous circle (or even virtuoso !) - winning builds confidence, so next time they perform better etc.
Pradaqueen good luck for your dd's scholarship, I wish they could all get them. This Year 6 educational arms race is tough. Some of the results I have heard are surprising - girls who I would have put money on for scholarships didn't get them; but girls who I wouldn't bet on have got into selective schools. Funny world.

AlexandraLeaving Fri 03-Feb-17 10:47:07

Thanks for the new thread waffle, and for explaining the origins of Goos's name - excellent taste! And serious well done for the amazing Festival haul - really lovely to catch up with that news. Did Goo do different pieces in the U12 and U10 or double up? Hope you'll be able to post some clips if them both when life settles down.

The Boy is 13 and enjoying an exam-free term. G7 sax is next term and G8 clarinet at some point, but enjoying exploring repertoire at the moment - he's currently working on the first movements of the Mozart concerto and Weber Grand Duo, so practice time is great fun. Piano G6 has been abandoned (unclear whether forever or for the the being - I trust him and teacher to work that out sonewhere along the line) and he's just enjoying playing - current favourite is the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight, which I'm loving. He plays in school concert and jazz bands, two orchestras and another jazz band. We are so lucky with the school (state comp) and borough music facilities - the opportunities he gets are great (and I feel quite jealous!!).

onlymusic Fri 03-Feb-17 10:50:24

disorganised, I am sure you know it, but I think it is still worth mentioning, 'ladies in lavender' is played A LOT during festivals, competitions, auditions. Which is good if one plays it really brilliantly and not so good if not esp if judges listen to 5 performances in a row smile

disorganisedmummy Fri 03-Feb-17 11:29:27

Only I didn't know that tbh. That's made me worry. Ds does have another piece which is a grade 6 piece from the old syllabus (the extra pieces) but we don't have the piano part. It's quite a technical piece,a bit of a part piece. I'm wondering if he should do that instead of Ladies?? I will ask his teacher. If anyone has any thoughts on that then please say.

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