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October Music Thread

(487 Posts)
Wafflenose Sun 01-Oct-17 01:18:09

Hello, I just fell asleep in front of a very long film that DH wanted to watch, and woke up in October! I couldn't resist starting the new thread before going to sleep properly.

The monthly music threads are welcome to ALL, and we really like hearing from new contributors and beginner musicians. We have all levels on here. It's a good place to discuss instruments, lessons, practice, exams, auditions and anything else that you want to.

I am a teacher of recorder, clarinet, saxophone and flute, and have two daughters. Goo is 11 and plays the flute and piano. She is planning to do exams on both next year, but none just now because she's just started at the secondary school 2 miles down the road, which has a great reputation for music and sport, and is extremely academic. They study four languages in Year 7 - Goo has just finished her unit on German (by the end of three weeks, they could write three substantial paragraphs - I couldn't believe it!) and is now embarking on Mandarin.
She's thrown herself into choir, orchestra, steel band, flute group and the gym. Rara is 9 and has been playing the cello since the age of 5, and clarinet for a year. She enjoys both, but is happiest when she's reading or cutting up paper/ making things out of paper! Rara has plenty of free time because she attends the village school five minutes away, and hardly gets any homework.

Goo attends South West Music School, which is the nearest thing we have to a JD in the south west. Rara is just about to join! Not too much on musically this term (and not a lot of practice taking place, quite honestly) apart from auditioning for the NCO. Goo has been in it for the past three years, and is hoping for Under 12s. After a wobble about even auditioning, she seems quietly confident now.

Schwanengesang Sun 01-Oct-17 01:51:13

I'll make use of my time zone to get in early...

I sing in our local cathedral choir, which is kind of the only functional bit left of the cathedral other than the building itself. Lovely choir containing men who joined aged 5 and have been singing there for the last 50+ years, and women who can keep up (women were added in the 90s after the trebles were disbanded). Eg Howells Requiem on 2 hours of rehearsal coming up for All Souls! I also play violin badly (I ued to be a lot better but haven't practised properly for 20 years), piano badly (as per violin) and recorders very badly (picked them up this year after having learnt in class 35 years ago).

DS is 11 months and can blow raspberries into a recorder, beat time vaguely correctly sometimes, and sing a D to tell me how to tune my violin. So no NCO auditions just yet... grin

Schwanengesang Sun 01-Oct-17 02:47:44

Waffle: another beginner recorder question, sorry. On my descant, f" seems almost a quarter-tone sharp; on my tenor f' seems flat (though less wrong). Why are fs so hard to play in tune? (I have Aulos recorders so I wouldn't expect the instruments to actually be wrong).

se22mother Sun 01-Oct-17 06:16:22

Waffle thanks for the new thread. I have a 9 year old dd who plays violin and clarinet. She also loves singing and sings in a couple of choirs. We have a violin exam too soon, playing appears to be going backwards

Trumpetboysmum Sun 01-Oct-17 06:36:57

Hi got a bit behind on the September thread so I'll try and keep up with this one . I'm mum to ds 12 who's in year 8 and plays trumpet and piano and did 9 who mostly loves to sing but also plays piano and has cornet lessons in school. She had been very reluctant to start the cornet which is the instrument offered for school lessons because she didn't want to follow in her brothers footsteps but it turns out that if she actually does some practise she's ok at it !! - so it could be a noisy year in this house. No exams for ds this year but he's auditioning for NCO again in a weeks time ( yikes that's come round quickly) and has just joined Aldeburgh Young Muscicians ( East Anglian answer to a JD ) so that's plenty to keep him busy. He also attends the local secondary school which has a fantastic music department and I think he seems to be getting less homework this year so hopefully that will give him lots of time for music ( plus playing on his computer and watching random videos on YouTube !!)

LurkyMcLurcker Sun 01-Oct-17 07:00:35

Hi, I would like to join. I'm mum to DD 7 who plays violin and has just started piano.. DD started violin at 4 with Suzuki method and has progressed well, she was learning the final piece in book 3. However, I am looking at the book 4 pieces with trepidation as they really do seem to need a level of maturity in playing and sound quality that I'm not sure she has yet. So after a chat with her teacher, we've decided to take a break from Suzuki and take grade 3 - now booked for the end of November. shock

She's finding the pieces easy and really loving them, scales are going fine too but we are struggling with the sight reading as she's used to learning by ear. But I keep doing 10 mins or so with her every day so hopefully she'll be okay. Very nervous though as she has always been one of the better players for her age in her Suzuki groups, hoping she does well in the exam as she sets herself high standards and gets downhearted if she doesn't reach them. Any tips for preparing her for the exam gratefully received!

Trumpetboysmum Sun 01-Oct-17 07:21:21

It sounds like your dd is doing really well at the violin. Ds didn't learn by ear but made very rapid early progress and was hopeless at sight reading ( I think because he just didn't have the experience of lots of playing behind him and sight reading at early grades) so I did pretty much what you are doing lots of short bursts of sight reading practice- start much easier than grade 3 and work your way up to it she'll be fine smile

Mendingfences Sun 01-Oct-17 07:50:39

October already!
Yesterday i took dd1 (11) and dd2 (9) to the nearest city to hear the young talent concerts at the chamber music festival. Seems to have inspired practice 😊. Dd2 is also expressing an interest in a second instrument (flute is her first) - she wants to add double bass...... given i have to drive 90 minutes for dd1's violin lessons im not rating my chances of finding a double bass teacher......

disorganisedmummy Sun 01-Oct-17 07:53:21

Good morning everyone. I also lost track of the September thread. I am Mum to 2 ds’s. Ds2 is 9 but not terribly musical but ds1 is 11 and has also started Senior school but has stayed on at his current school as it goes up to 16. He has Aspergers and despite the school not being great for Music this was the best fit for him academically.

Ds plays violin and is grade 6,doing grade 7 work. He doesn’t do grades. He is in 2 local,borough orchestras and earlier in the year he got in to a county orchestra. He also plays in a String ensemble where he is lead violin. He attends our local Saturday music school but from January he will go to Centre For Young Musicians which is about an hour away from us.

Ds has perfect pitch and particularly gifted aurally. He auditioned for and got into his school A Capella group and is their only boy at the mo!!
He is loving his musical journey at the moment though we’re still struggling with doing enough practice and we’re trying to work on increasing his solo performance platform. It’s hard going as he doesn’t enjoy this as much as orchestra.

disorganisedmummy Sun 01-Oct-17 07:54:53

Oh forgot to add that he has recently started playing cornet in his school brass club and loves it. He seems to be able to pick up instruments very quickly!!

Icouldbeknitting Sun 01-Oct-17 08:51:25

^LurkyMcLurker* DS took his first exam at seven, I've never taken one and it was pushing thirty years since my husband's last one. My advice would be to have a look on line at the syllabus and make sure that you are both familiar with the format of the exam. For Trinity you booked in with the clerk and they ask you whether you are doing the scales or exercises and do you want to do the scales before or after the pieces (or they did when DS last took an exam four years ago). If you know that someone will ask you this you can be ready with the answers rather than having to think about it there and then.

DH is the musical parent and I'm the driver/form filler/cheque writer. DS is 17 now and in a year the house will be much quieter.

Icouldbeknitting Sun 01-Oct-17 08:53:16

Bold fail - I can't see the difference between the characters without bringing the screen up to my nose.

Mistigri Sun 01-Oct-17 09:14:48

I am horribly behind with the threads as usual - sorry sad

I now officially have TWO musical kids as DS is still making phenomenal progress on guitar - he is better than me now angry

Mistigri Sun 01-Oct-17 09:20:34

Didn't mean to post so soon!

Anyway, so DS14 now a better guitarist than me (6 weeks vs 3 years, grr). He wants to learn piano now, but for rock/ contemporary music not classical. Any advice? I can ask my new teacher but she is very classically oriented. Is there such a thing as a contemporary-music oriented method for near-beginners?

DD16 has less time for music this year due to ridiculous and partly self-imposed timetable at school where she sits her baccalauréat this year and has added optional music studies and Latin to her already heavy workload. Her piano teacher is making her work on Bach which she hates wink.

catkind Sun 01-Oct-17 09:48:12

Hi all, signing on to try to stay in touch with music threads!
I'm a good amateur string player myself, kids are still in early stages - DS (8) on piano thinking about grade 1, DD (5) on violin and as of recently piano. I'm looking for a horn teacher for DS second instrument. Still somewhat dithery as to whether he's ready to practice two - DD got her second early because she enthusiastically practiced both all summer, including the boring bits; DS is still reluctant to do more than minimum, he'd rather play through his favourite pieces with the same mistakes every time than learn new things or try to improve. He says he wants to though, so think we'll give it a go.

Hi Lurky, DD is doing Suzuki books too, though her teacher is not actually Suzuki. Just towards end of book 1 though the pieces are taking a while at the moment. I learned with Suzuki too! Sight reading was always my weakest area when it came to exams, but really good pieces will help make up.

Misti, I'm sure jazz/contemporary style for beginners is a thing, perhaps your teacher will be able to recommend someone who can teach that way.

Mistigri Sun 01-Oct-17 09:55:11

Thanks cat. DS is very much a self-starter, so ideally I'd like to find a method for older beginners, and then I might download him the rockschool grade materials as IIRC they are available via a very good app. I will probably book him a few lessons with my teacher to avoid bad habits getting ingrained.

LooseAtTheSeams Sun 01-Oct-17 10:31:06

Hello all, I'm glad Waffle reminded me it's October - I had a gin tasting party last night/this morning and have only just got up!
Anyway to music - DS1 is 15, doing GCSEs and plays bass guitar, drums and tuned percussion, although I think he loves the snare drum much more than xylophone!
DS2 is 12 and plays piano and cello at grade 5 and has started learning electric guitar. Misti he's using Rockschool grade books and the corresponding Hot Rock books with his teacher. I think the latter go up to grade 5 so your DS could look at that one and see what he thinks. The grade books are good for technique. DS2 will take grade 3 some time this academic year.
I'm working on grade 5 piano. I think I have reached my limit although I probably said that about grade 3!

catkind Sun 01-Oct-17 10:31:34

Microjazz any good? I got DH a complete beginner book once, iirc it came with duet parts too.

Minimusiciansmama Sun 01-Oct-17 10:50:25

Wow October already... thanks waffle. Mama to a little 7yr old clarinetist/pianist/wannabe bassoonist. She is as I type at our Northern answer to JD, where she spends her Sundays as of last week. She played her first "proper" concert last night and was beautiful, totally unphased by being the youngest by a long shot. Also, unphased by having to be put on a box to announce herself and an extra platform to play on and didn't bat an eye lid at her first experience playing with a totally unknown accompanist.
No exams this term but she's looking ahead to G5 clarinet and either 3 or 4 piano- she's fully prepared for G3 but they don't do them in their first term so she might just wait til 4.
Two weeks until her first NCO audition. Extremely excited for it!

stringchild Sun 01-Oct-17 11:34:17

Hi Mini - I forgot how young/advanced your dd is! My clarinettist was yr 4 when she first got into nco clarinet (u10s) and was around g2 level. how would you feel if she got into u10s? She must def benofnstandard tonso so 😀

Wafflenose Sun 01-Oct-17 11:38:05

I imagine she will be principal! Or principal 2nd if they feel she's lacks experience.

Minimusiciansmama Sun 01-Oct-17 13:41:16

Argghhh you don't expect JD to be a danger zone.... I've just had a call from the centre manager that she's slipped and twisted her knee in the dalcroze class. I don't mind, accidents happen, but he said "she really do with something for her feet so she doesn't slip".... dalcroze isn't on her timetable! She mentioned a bit of movement to music in her musicianship class so took grip socks to wear for it. But she's a dancer, we've every variety of dance shoes at home she could wear.... if they'd told me!
Rant over.

Kutik73 Sun 01-Oct-17 13:52:12

It's so nice that so many opportunities are out there for young talents. I can see a bright future for minimusician's little girl! smile

DS (10) plays violin and piano. He also does lots of sports, is a maths/science kid and loves reading and writing. So basically he has lots interests and passions in life! Currently in the first round of the secondary school selection process. Applied for 3 music places and 1 science place at state secondaries. One was done last week and two aptitude tests to be done this coming week. All will be finished before half term, then will be quiet until the second round of the process kicks in in January.

Kutik73 Sun 01-Oct-17 13:54:01

Cross posted, minimusician. Sorry to hear the accident. Hope she is alright. flowers

LooseAtTheSeams Sun 01-Oct-17 13:59:30

minimusician oh no! Hope your little one is ok!

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