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(Mostly) August Music Thread

(843 Posts)
Wafflenose Fri 28-Jul-17 14:29:14

Here's a new thread for August, but we're starting it a few days early, because you lot have managed to be super chatty this month! I wonder if things will slow down in August due to people going away... maybe or maybe not?

I'm Waffle, a teacher of woodwind - mostly recorders and clarinet, but I have a couple of flutes currently, and teach saxophone, piano and theory when required. I am determined that the music threads should be open to ALL, including complete beginners and adult learners. It's a good place to discuss lessons, practice, concerts, exams and our generally hectic lives!

I have a DH who plays the guitar for pleasure (no lessons) and two girls. Goo is 11 and has her Grade 7 Flute (March 2017) and Grade 6 Recorder (December 2015 and now pretty much stopped sad ). She has been learning the piano for 15 months, is refusing to perform in any way, shape or form, but will probably take Grade 5 next year. Rara is 9 and has Grade 3 Cello (July 2017), Grade 3 Recorder (December 2016 and also ceased) and is working towards her Grade 3 Clarinet... probably next spring. Goo is off to NCO Under 12s on Sunday, and we need to pop out to get her some shoes and general supplies in a bit.

I have just realised that we will probably have Grade 8 Flute and Grade 3 Clarinet going on in the same session, Spring 2018. Oh dear! If Rara bothers with Grade 4 Cello, we'll probably have that at the same time as Grade 5 Piano, next summer. Double oh dear!

drummersmum Fri 28-Jul-17 15:42:57

Thanks Waffle! How long has this been going on already?!
I'm the mum of a percussionist/pianist (15). This last year he did G8 for Drums, Classical Piano and Orchestral Percussion, and he's not doing exams for Jazz Piano, so we're exam free for now! Nevertheless, it promises to be the busiest, fullest year so far, as he's starting jd in September and tackling GCSEs while already playing in six ensembles at school. Can I borrow your "Oh, dear", Waffle? smile

Wafflenose Fri 28-Jul-17 16:07:08

Oh dear indeed! I think he will take it all in his stride though.

We were going to go out... but I forgot we now only have one car (after a blissful two years with two cars) and DH has it today. We could get a bus into town, but there wouldn't be another one back by the time we'd done what we need to do. So we'll rush around town tomorrow instead!

I suddenly panicked that I might have forgotten to insure Goo's new flute, so rang my insurance company... and I was right! I thought I MIGHT have done it during one of many phone calls lately (to add the 1/2 size cello and then to make a claim regarding some damage to it a couple of months later), but no, it was uninsured, and she has been taking it to school for the past two months. Oh well, it's done now, ready for NCO.

I scared myself by adding up the value of the instruments on my policy. I was a bit shock when I added it up. We're not a high earning family at all, can't afford to go abroad or anything, and now I know why! Our money goes on music lessons, sheet music and instruments, and I've been collecting since I was about 15. Anyone like to guess (a) how many instruments I have on there, and (b) the approximate value?

For anyone who wants to play, I'll start by saying that most of my instruments are inexpensive, decent student ones (my clarinet is nicer) and the instruments NOT on the policy are my digital piano (nobody is likely to steal it!), the two guitars, loads of tin whistles, and about £250 worth of cheap and step-up plastic recorders.

DH just got back. I think I can whiz Goo into town for shoes!

Icouldbeknitting Fri 28-Jul-17 16:33:50

DS (17) is a brass player and is off on tour with a music centre wind band in August. I have no idea how he will manage two instruments, music stand, trombone stand and a suitcase but it's not worrying him at all. I've filled all the forms in, arranged the insurance, bought more concert shirts but still need to get some euros and a waterproof jacket.

Our insurance policy helpfully lists all the instruments on a schedule which is good because it's the only way we can identify the ones that he's had for a term from music centre that only needed the insurance for the few weeks they were out of the cupboard.

The summer school that DS and DH are on this week includes a family with four children. There have been times when I've had all on supporting one musical child, I can't imagine keeping track of four of them.

Waffle I have no idea - I'm looking round and can count eleven plus piano and recorders. I suspect yours will be the top side of 25.

Fleurdelise Fri 28-Jul-17 16:56:24

Dd is still 9 soon to be 10 (another month) and is playing the piano and clarinet. She just did her grade 5 and grade 3 clarinet last Abrsm session. She's currently in her piano lesson playing a lovely duet with her teacher. I love it, I wish I could record them (without looking crazy suddenly starting to record their playing). She's planning to play this duet with another of her teacher's pupils for the festival.

She's not working on any grades at the moment, just learning a lot of repertoire on the piano, she has 4 pieces on the go currently, 1 slightly easier than the others (was grade 4 before) but she's meant to play them at a high level.

From a clarinet perspective we are changing teachers from September but she's still got another lesson with her current teacher tomorrow and then I'm planning to get her to have lots of fun from all the books I bought.

Waffle no clue, I would assume you have a clarinet yourself, one for Rara, a flute yourself and one for Goo, plus the older flute Goo had, digital piano and then lots of recorders? I don't even want to think how expensive this is.

Fleurdelise Fri 28-Jul-17 16:57:14

*grade 5 piano above (not both grades on clarinet grin)

Fleurdelise Fri 28-Jul-17 17:08:03

Raspberry just seen your post on the other thread, I think it would be a good idea for dd to do whichever grades when she's ready for them, currently she's not against clarinet grades, because obviously somebody she knows is in the exam room with her while with piano she said she'll only do grade 8. Her teacher doesn't fully agree, she's ok skipping 6 as long as she's still preparing for it but not going straight to 8 as apparently 6-8 are harder exams and she'd like her to take at least one of them to get a feel for it before 8. She also needs to build her confidence so festivals and playing in front of people more (with the clarinet) should do this to prevent further meltdowns in exams.

drummersmum Fri 28-Jul-17 17:26:20

Waffle I dare not try to guess!
I met a music mum at the exam center, turned out her DD was there doing g8 percussion and also jd. So I asked her what instruments she had at home (a common subject between percussionists’ parents!). Then she tells me: 4x timpani, 2 full size marimbas, 1 xylophone, 1 glockenspiel, 1 vibraphone (vintage from the fifties), 1 drumkit, several marching snares, an orchestral base drum, one cajon, piano, and planning to buy tubular bells next. I wanted to die on the spot. It made me feel so sorry I could not provide DS with what he needs. It sounded to me her DD was on the path to BBCYM. To give you all an idea, that’s over 50 thousand in gear. I think she saw me go pale grin

drummersmum Fri 28-Jul-17 17:31:06

DS has been playing drums today for five hours. I am going to ask social services to remove me from the home.

drummersmum Fri 28-Jul-17 17:40:21

Correction: Over 50 grand not counting the piano...

Wafflenose Fri 28-Jul-17 19:47:39

Nothing like £50,000 here, fortunately. There are 14 instruments on the policy, worth £9,000. My clarinet is by far the most expensive, followed by one of my saxophones, then Goo's flute. The rest are relatively inexpensive. The listed items are: Mandolin, Dulcimer, Viola, my clarinet, three fancy wooden recorders (descant, treble and sop), alto sax, soprano sax, my flute, Goo's new flute, Goo's old flute (well done Fleur), 1/2 size cello, and Rara's clarinet.

Unlisted items: two guitars, electric piano, broken blue violin, two pairs of step-up descant/ treble recorders, loads of standard descant recorders, three or four cheap trebles and four tenors.

raspberryrippleicecream Fri 28-Jul-17 20:05:03

I thought you had a xaphoon or something else unusual too Waffle.

Fleur they are all different! DS did some early grades on trombone and clarinet, I've always said it's totally up to him. He had 5 exams in 3 consecutive terms and that kind of finished him off! He gets plenty of solo performing opportunities!

Enjoy the duet, DS2 and DS1 used to do them in our Festival, DS1 plays with another student now.

Paulweller11 Fri 28-Jul-17 20:06:01

Wow- 2 marimbas!!! Amazing!
My little percussionist wants a marimba- but she'll have to do with the xylophone.....
I may get the 4th timp for her- but seriously running out of space. May go for a glockenspiel instead- smaller and cheaper!
I haven't insured any of the percussion stuff- figured it's too hard/heavy to steal!

Wafflenose Fri 28-Jul-17 20:07:21

Ooh yes! I do have a xaphoon, a bodhran and loads of tin whistles. Rara has a glock. As you can tell, it's all a bit incalculable.

Wafflenose Fri 28-Jul-17 20:07:32

Eek! And four ukuleles!

raspberryrippleicecream Fri 28-Jul-17 20:10:18

I have DS2, 14, who plays piano (G7 Nov16), trombone around G7, clarinet around G6. He started organ lessons last January and is around G4-5 I'm told! Also an ex Cathedral Chorister and still sings with Youth Choir and Full Choir.

He plays with Music Service groups, and several school groups, and a Jazz Group.

DD,17, passed alto sax G8 a while ago but still has lessons. She plays Bari in school groups and music service groups.

DS1 is a brass player, still playing at uni in lots of group.

Helenluvsrob Fri 28-Jul-17 20:26:24

Any one going to the NYRO concert tomorrow ? I am on the way to NORVIS in Durham. 😂

Fleurdelise Fri 28-Jul-17 20:40:23

Helen just watched the video in the other thread, wow, such a wonderful voice! I hope she'll sing all her life.

string I've also seen ministring on violin and bass clarinet, she's really good, particularly violin even though it was a short clip it sounded so well. Can you tell me more about the bass clarinet? Dd wants one now! I blame you. grin

drummersmum Fri 28-Jul-17 20:56:00

paulweller we have a marimba but certainly no timps! What DS really needs is a vibraphone though. His school doesn't have one. With his jazz piano and tuned experience he could be playing some serious vibes.

stringchild Fri 28-Jul-17 21:02:21

Fleur - i fear she can't be that good as its a cello not a violin wink; yes the bass makes a v lovely sound. . Dd has played bass in some pieces in the nco before (they usually ask for volunteers esp as some people won't have played before and want to have a go) but hasn't done any solo work (but Waffle is about to solve that smile) She 'won' the bass seat last year in her JD wind orchestra. Waffle would know much more but i think that her fingers are so long is a help and she is tall (but you can sit on a stool); takes quite a bit of puff though! i think people usually go to the A before they go to the bass (DD did) but i don't know if you have to follow that pattern, and some people are happy never to play it.

Greenleave Fri 28-Jul-17 21:05:59

Helen, your daughter has a beautiful voice! I think its a great gift to be able to sing. No one in my big and small family can sing so very much envy here! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Waffle for a new thread! I did google some instruments you mentioned as no idea what they are. And Drummers, some people must have a big house for all these instruments. Maintaining them must be equally expensive. I need to get a second bow and I have been delaying it. Rehairing and getting a good bow are complicated and expensive enough for me. Living in a terrace and dont have a posh shed(wink wink to Loose and wanted to check how did it go with DS1 exam today?), a tall piano has already created a problem for us that we mostly have to wear headphone when we play/practise. It reduces her pleasure to play massively unfortunately moving to a semidetached in our area meaning over £70k stamp duty alone. I dont think we could ever afford it.

Nearly forgot to introduce ourself!! I have a 9 yrs old who is learning violin and piano. She has done her G5 for both and also G5 theory(last June). We are thinking of an exam next term however will decide by end of Sept.

Unfortunately from next year we might even have less time and focus for music as we will have to start learning, planning for secondary entrance as she is entering year 5. My task next week which I have been procrastinating is researching for schools and requirements etc. I dont know how to start. Will need to have a plan, hopefully after this holiday.

LooseAtTheSeams Fri 28-Jul-17 21:19:35

Hi Green and everyone and many thanks to Waffle for the new thread but where on earth did July go! I blinked or something!
Green - I have something that may help with singing, will try to attach document to a pm.
Anyway in the Loose household we have me and my inept grade 5 piano playing. DS1 (15) took his bass guitar grade 8 today and isn't sure how it went but agrees it was useful experience and is quite happy to re-sit if he needs to! He plays in a drum corps, is ace at snare drum and at some point has to bite the bullet and do grade6 tuned percussion ( not as confident on xylophone!)
DS2 (12) has just got a merit in piano G4 and if he can sort out his scales will do G5 cello in December.
Everyone in this house except me seems to be able to pick up a guitar and play tunes on it!

Fleurdelise Fri 28-Jul-17 21:30:15

Hahaha string I had to go back to YouTube and put my glasses on realising it is indeed a cello. Obviously! That shows you how much I know about identifying strings, like in that joke "small violin, medium violin, big violin" grin It also explains my warm feeling when I heard it, I always wanted dd to play the cello but she didn't.

Thanks for clarifying reg bass clarinet, just seen the price of one, not ever going to happen. shock

Fleurdelise Fri 28-Jul-17 21:33:51

Loose great to hear exam is over and I am sure DS1 is fine and won't need a retake!

Helenluvsrob Fri 28-Jul-17 21:41:16

Thank you for all you kind words. She will certainly keep singing. She's hoping for a chiral scholarship at uni. Some places don't want choristers though ( royal Holloway I'm looking at you ....) singing, well music, is so good for them as they grow up - I guess it's a constant through all the changes maybe ?

Really struggling with internet and you tube so the uploads are failing.

Managed to get this done. Ds at his choral scholars concert (aged 20)

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