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February Music Thread

(526 Posts)
Wafflenose Thu 01-Feb-18 22:06:19

Have a new thread for February!

This is a place for our ongoing conversation about music, instruments, lessons, ensembles, scales, practice, exams, aural, theory and whatever else you'd like to talk about. Everyone is welcome - new and older members, beginners and advanced.

I have two daughters - Goo (12) flute and piano, in a bit of a slump at the moment, and Rara (9) cello, clarinet and recorder (yes, she's picked it up again) on a roll at the moment. I teach woodwind and have my own little clarinet group called the B Flat Blues, who don't rehearse together regularly, but played in a festival this week.

I also have quite a bit of news, mostly good, but am so tired that it will have to wait until tomorrow now. Hopefully it's worth waiting for (and before anyone asks, no, Goo didn't get the desire of her heart).

Doubleup Thu 01-Feb-18 22:41:41

Thanks for the new thread Waffle and look forward to your news tomorrow.

Icouldbeknitting Thu 01-Feb-18 23:09:46

I'll sit at the side. DS is not far off 18 and I don't like to share these days because he plays a minority instrument and I have my concerns about identifying him. I suspect there has been some secret piano playing this week as it seems to have plugged itself in (it shares a plug with the vacuum cleaner) and the piano stool had been moved. I've said nothing but pulled out some level appropriate music and left it on the stand.

I like good news, there's precious little of it around here so I'm relying on other people to provide it.

catkind Fri 02-Feb-18 00:09:05

Hi again. News sounds intriguing waffle.
Signing on for Feb, I have two littlies, relative beginners here. DS (8) plays piano and DD (nearly 6) plays violin and more recently piano too.

raspberryrippleicecream Fri 02-Feb-18 00:53:07

Hello all. I have DS2 15, trombone, piano, organ and recently euphonium. Also ex Chorister and still sings some services at the Cathedral, even getting paid occasionally!

DD is 17, A levels and uni choices are her main focus at present, but she plays sax at school and a Youth Concert Band. She passed her driving test last month, one stress out if the way!

DS1 is at uni studying a science subject but.very involved in music at uni - I always mention this to show the value of all these early lessons!

DS2 has a busy.term. It's our festival next month and he's also been asked to play as guest soloist at a couple of local concerts, which is lovely.

Hope your festival is going well Waffle.

Trumpetboysmum Fri 02-Feb-18 06:25:06

Thanks for the new thread waffle . Looking forward to the news ( and sad about Goo ).
I am mum to ds 12 ( 13 next week!!) who plays trumpet and piano and dd 10 who sings and plays piano and cornet. Ds also sings - very well it turns out- bit tricky at present as his voice is breaking !!, but we don't talk about his singing at home as dd says singing is her thing and she's sick of him being good at stuff - fair enough. So he keeps his singing at school !! Dd is currently preparing for grade 1 cornet - as long as she doesn't have a wobble on the day she will be fine and ds is preparing for the school music competition . Nothing else happening here just lots of practice ( for ds anyway ) and an AYM course at half term .
Has anyone on this thread ever been to the Young Muscician of the Year final - and how long did it last? Ds and myself would love to go ( for my birthday plus if she gets through fingers crossed Ds might end up knowing one of the finalists!!) but I want it to be a family thing and am worried about dd if it goes on for hours and hours !!

Floottoot Fri 02-Feb-18 08:02:41

Happy February!
I have ds, soon to be 12, who is a cellist and music scholar at our local cathedral school, and dd, 14, who is keen on drama and has recently started having singing lessons, as she was feeling left out of the whole music thing.
DH and I are both professional orchestral musicians, so it's a bit music- heavy in our house!

Ds is in the middle of moving from a 1/2 size cello to a full size, which is very exciting; the difference in the sound he can make on a full size instrument is amazing. He is performing 3 solo pieces in a local concert this weekend on an antique French cello he's trying out, so it will be lovely to hear it played in with as it were.

Good news is always good, Waffle!

Floottoot Fri 02-Feb-18 08:03:57

in situ not in with.

LooseAtTheSeams Fri 02-Feb-18 08:11:55

Thanks to Waffle for the thread!
I'm an adult learner of piano, currently plodding through G5.
DS1 is in Y11 so GCSEs are interfering slightly with music (!) but he plays bass guitar and drums/percussion. A double bass has mysteriously appeared in the music cupboard at school and he is teaching himself from YouTube videos. This is how I got suckered into the bass guitar lessons!
DS2 plays cello and G5 exam is due this term. He is doing some strings workshops and a concert over the next few weekends. He's also working on G5 piano.

Wafflenose Fri 02-Feb-18 08:28:07

I have been to a category final Trumpet and it went on until 10.30pm. I took Goo to see the woodwind a couple of years ago. This year I'm taking both kids to the strings final, complete with 3 hour drive home! Or maybe we'll stay somewhere overnight.

We've had our festival this week. My pupils and I competed over three days, and I had 53 of them in - a handful of flutes, clarinets and saxophones, loads of duet items, a clarinet ensemble, and a coach load of 50 recorder players doing all kids of comedy items involving car horns, duck quackers, hand jiving and loads of silliness. Many of the children took part in recorders and the orchestral woodwind classes too. Anyway, Rara came 1st in Woodwind Solo 10 & Under, Jazz Solo 10 & Under, Woodwind Duet 10 & Under, 2nd in Woodwind Beginners and Woodwind Ensemble 13 & Under, middle of the pack in Strings 10 & Under, and both 1st and 2nd in her two recorder ensembles. She says she's going to start practising again and compete in the recorder solo classes next year! We also did a non competitive duet and she played beautifully. Goo didn't want to know this year, but she took part in a huge Woodwind Solo 12 & Under class and placed 3rd, then Woodwind Solo 14 & Under and placed 2nd. I think she's a bit down as it's the first time she hasn't won multiple prizes, but she saw her friends and Rara having lots of fun, and thinks she might like to do more duet and fun classes next year.

I took part in the Open Solo for Recorder and didn't play my best, because I had taken a slice out of my thumb at the weekend while chopping veg! I also hadn't had time to practise properly, so played two Grade 7 pieces. I got the only distinction of any of my 32 entries this year (marking was pretty low in general) and thought that was that, because there's usually no prize or anything. The adjudicator then gave a talk about how festivals nationwide are struggling somewhat, and how the country needs more people like me...! She talked about how much work I had put in, and said that she and the committee had decided to award me a prize for Exceptional Contribution to the festival. I can't believe it! Here are some pictures of Rara and me.

Goo will be fine. She's currently THIRD on the leaderboard for house points in a school of 1200 pupils, is working at a GCSE Grade 6/B for English and not far behind that in a few of her other classes. We got a phone call last night from the head of music, saying someone has dropped out of a the big school production next week, and can she start rehearsals today to learn the Flute 1 music in time for the first show on Monday. Steep learning curve I think, but everyone else has been rehearsing since last summer, and it's great that they think she can basically sight read it. Goo needs to work on her resilience and confidence, but she is learning that although she's super bright, life doesn't just deliver what you want on a platter. She's so fragile in many ways, but I think she'll grow up so much this year.

And that's my news!

se22mother Fri 02-Feb-18 08:35:12

Thanks for the thread waffle. Congratulations to you and Rara.

Dd is 9 and will take exams this term on both violin and clarinet.

Greenleave Fri 02-Feb-18 08:49:57

Wow Waffle, many congratulations to much deserved prize! Love both of yours/Rara’s smile and thank you to the new month thread!
I have a 10 yrs old who plays violin(G5 June last year) and piano(passed G7 November last year). We havent had any plan for coming music exams rather than the need to start for 11+ prep which hope to happen after this midterm holiday.

TaggieOHara Fri 02-Feb-18 09:01:12

Wow - congratulations waffle to all three of you. Sounds like you have had a busy but triumphant few weeks smile

I am mum to two DS's. DS1 is 12 plays the piano to grade 6/7 standard. He enjoys music but it isn't his strongest interest at the moment.

DS2 is 9 and plays the violin and piano. He is also a chorister. I don't know what grade he is on the violin - grade 7/8 for pieces and scales; but much lower for aural and sight reading (and a lost cause for theory!). He will play in the NCO U10's this year. On the piano, he is working towards his grade 2.

TRL Fri 02-Feb-18 10:07:41

Wow Waffle, what a busy week! Massive well done to you and Rara, and what an accolade to Goo that the music dept think she can learn Flute 1 so quickly! smile

I'm mum to 5: DS1 is 15 (bassoon, cello, chorister - bass now), DS2 is 13 (violin, oboe and chorister - treble but not for long!), DD1 is 11 (harp and chorister), DS3 is 7 (cello and would-be chorister and trumpeter), DD2 is 5 (kodaly on Sats, instrument next year). Our house can be quite loud at practice time ....

folkmamma Fri 02-Feb-18 10:45:50

Folk checking in!!!

Wow waffle!! Amazing haul for Rara and Goo, and huge congratulations to you on your award.

First NCO SW rehearsal for Noo and I this month, looking forward to maybe bumping into Waffle!!!

Just submitted our application to RWCMD Junior Conservatoire for Noo (10) on advanced course and Moll (7) on Music first. Pro Corda audition for Noo this month too, and we're on permanent theory bootcamp so it's all go here!!

AlexandraLeaving Fri 02-Feb-18 11:13:46

Happy February everyone!

Thank you for the new thread Waffle and thank you for continuing to sit by our side Knitting.

The Boy is still 14, plays clarinet and sax. Possible G7 sax this term still on the cards. Has a concert with his sax quartet on Tuesday - their first performance of Ulla in Africa (worth a google if you’re not familiar with it - one of the greatest pieces I know).

In other music news, I’m off to see Erasure in Dundee this evening. Beyond excited. grin

HUGE congratulations to Rara and Waffle on the festival haul. I read the “coachload of recorder players” comment and thought: this woman is amazing - possibly with a wee bit of crazy thrown in, but definitely amazing. I’m so glad the festival organisers think so too. They’re dead right: the country does need people like you and there are few enough around. Hope that trophy has pride of place on your shelf. Well done also to Goo. Life is hard when you’re transitioning every which way.

On a different note, if anyone in the London area on the thread is looking for an exam/recital accompanist, esp for higher grade stuff, PM me. Not for me to play for you, which would be a miserable experience for all concerned, but I have a friend who has a bit of spare capacity at the moment. She is amazing - can sight-read the most technically-fiendish G8 accompaniments without a blink and is the most wonderful calming presence, bringing out the best in those she plays for. The Boy adores her, and you can see a significant hike in the quality of his performance when he’s playing with her.

ealingwestmum Fri 02-Feb-18 11:27:18

Ooh, I have a love/hate with February being a short month, depends on how my mood and work load is!

But what a cheer up - waffle! Your news is amazing across the whole family and students' piece, but special well done to you for being recognised for all the added value you bring to your local region.

Alex; thank you for the nod of an amazing accompanist - very probable that we will take you up on this offer in the future (subject to your friend's diary of course), as DD's violin teacher mentioned the G8 word this week with a third piece on order. I am still in no rush for her to sit (so long as it's before GCSEs) as it's a crazy busy time for her. And I'm not sure if I can go through the trauma of scales learning so soon after G7 piano!

loose: your plodding through G5 piano = what an absolute brave star to lots of us non-musical parents grin

Kutik73 Fri 02-Feb-18 12:07:43

Thank you for the new thread Waffle and big congratulations to you and Goo and Rara on the efforts and achievements in the festival. I believe you will one day win an award for your contribution of running this thread. You so deserve it.

DS is 10, plays violin and piano. He's just come out of the 11+ madness so thought all was done and dusted. But recently we visited a music specialist school which gave us an unexpected twist.

We are also hunting a full size violin which seems exciting but daunting also.

So many things going on at the moment but I'm afraid I am still not 100% recovered from my illness, so cannot think things straight!!

folkmamma Fri 02-Feb-18 12:33:27

Poor Kutik, you are really having a rough time with the illness, aren't you? Hope you feel better after a weekend of rest. We all look forward to hearing about your 'unexpected twist'!!

TaggieOHara Fri 02-Feb-18 14:50:37

Feel for you kutik I am plumbing new depths of self pity because of some lurgy but it isn't anything like as bad as you by the sound of it. I'm fascinated to hear your thoughts about the specialist school smile.

catkind Fri 02-Feb-18 15:34:41

What a haul for waffle! Lovely that they appreciated your efforts too.

Trumpetboysmum Fri 02-Feb-18 15:55:19

Waffle fantastic results - and you truely do deserve your special prize smile . It's sounds as though Goo is doing fantastically well at high school and I'm sure she will
love being in the orchestra for the show - it's certain been a highlight for ds this year . Kutik hoping you are on the mend soon and I'm intrigued to hear your news about a specialist school !!

GI2015 Fri 02-Feb-18 16:09:51

Waffle congratulations on amazing achievement! It takes a lot of work with all students.

DS1 (now 14) plays horn, working towards his G8, plays at school and county bands.
DS2 (10) cello is his favourite instrument, not done grades but probably about G6. He is will be at U10 NCO and south easterlies and is hoping to make friends. He also plays piano (working on G6) and horn.
DS3 (7) is a little violin player, also plays some piano at home.

Icouldbeknitting Fri 02-Feb-18 16:19:00

Waffle congratulations to you, so many things rely on volunteers putting in hours of effort for no reward. I am so pleased that you have got the recognition you deserve.

Kutik73 Fri 02-Feb-18 17:16:20

DS is in bed now! What's happening to us!!! He has a party tonight but not sure if he can go...

Re, the specialist school. It's very difficult to explain, especially with my half sleeping brain... DS loved it, absolutely loved it. He had a lesson there and it was a mind blowing (to him). I was, on the other hand, less excited about it. It's a great school, no doubt, but I didn't feel it's the best match to DS. It's confusing really as I didn't expect DS and I would feel this way and our thoughts were so different on the school. I would like to be understanding and supportive to whatever he decides to do, but I feel, as an adult, I would and should know more than him what's good to him. Or would I? Sorry, hard to explain.

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