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May Music Thread

(752 Posts)
Wafflenose Tue 01-May-18 09:07:25

Have a new thread for May... you all managed to fill the April one!

This is a place to chat about music lessons, exams, practice, aural, theory, performances and anything else you like. We have many regular and occasional posters (some of whom are learning themselves) with children ranging from complete beginners to very advanced. We do try our best to make sure everyone feels welcome!

I am mum to Goo (12) flute and piano, and Rara (9) cello and clarinet. They play in loads of school groups, South West Music School and NCO, although practice isn't going too well at the moment. Later in the week, all three of us are taking part in a big community concert, which will be lovely.

NeverEverAnythingEver Tue 01-May-18 09:31:43

Hello! I haven't posted for a while. I have DC doing a few instruments between them - violin, cello, piano, flute... The neighbours probably hate us.

But I wanted to ask about summer music camps - does anyone know much about them? I've been told about Wells cathedral school International string week wells.cathedral.school/international-string-week/. Has anyone got experience of that?

Also picked up a leaflet on the National Chamber Music course - does anyone know anything about that too?

AlexandraLeaving Tue 01-May-18 10:02:13

Thanks for the new thread waffle - and welcome back neverever!

The Boy is 14, plays clarinet and saxophone seriously and piano now just for fun. Everything subservient to football and xbox obviously...

neverever sorry I can't comment on the two summer courses you mentioned but we have had great success in the past with Fantasia (http://www.fantasiamusicschool.co.uk). The Director is extremely good at ensuring that the music they do - in the large ensembles and small chamber groups - is pitched just right for the participants so that they are all stretched, but not out of their depth. The tutors and pastoral care team are all lovely.

Trumpetboysmum Tue 01-May-18 10:11:12

Never ever can't really help with that as I only know about brass ones !! Probably too late for this year ? but pro corda are good for strings .
I'm mum to ds 13 who plays trumpet and piano and sings ( a bit) and dd 10 who plays piano and cornet ( a bit) and sings lots !! I'm enjoying her current practise routine when she gets ready in the morning which includes lots of songs from Matilda!!
I'm currently feeling overwhelmed on Ds's behalf !! He's got far too many things going on and too much homework though school are trying to help a bit . He's currently injured and missing PE and once he'd got over that he looked relieved that he would have time to get on with music instead at school . I'm sure it will all work out at least we have a long weekend . I also really wish I played piano or knew someone who Ds could practise with more regularly / at all . It's often the thing that trips him up when he performs and I really don't know how to help. I've messaged the one accompanist I do know so hopefully I'll hear back . This lack of accompanist is also kind of the reason he hasnt been entered for his grade 8 yet . Not that there's a rush but he can play half the Trinity syllabus and is fine with the other stuff but I don't have anyone to accompany him . The syllabus runs out in November not sure what to do really . he can do Abrsm at school but I think Trinity is a better type of exam for him on the aural skills side . sorry for the moan smile Sometimes I just feel out of my depth

CruCru Tue 01-May-18 10:31:20

Hello, thank you for the new thread Wafflenose. I am an adult who is learning to play the piano (still Grade 1 stuff I'd say).

I am also mum to a son in year 1 who is also learning to play the piano. He has said a few times that he wants to learn to play the trumpet so the school have said that he can have a taster lesson on cornet at the start of next term. I dug my old trumpet out my Mum's loft last month and have given it a jolly good clean (thank you for the links SE13Mummy!).

I have a daughter who is going to start Reception this September. She is also going to have piano lessons and has asked to do violin as well but it may be a bit too much at once.

CruCru Tue 01-May-18 10:36:17

That does sound quite hard Trumpetboysmum. However - he's 13 and looking to do Grade 8? Gosh, that is impressive.

Wafflenose Tue 01-May-18 10:40:02

They don't tend to change very much of the grade 8 syllabus in one go, Trumpet. I bet there will be loads of stuff on the new one that he can already play.

Trumpetboysmum Tue 01-May-18 10:48:37

Thank you waffle that's made me feel a bit better smile not that it matters the whole point of him not doing it this year was so that he just played lots of stuff . Though I fear that the grade 5 jazz may push me ( if not him) to breaking point - I've realised that it could be in 5 weeks time ( and I've not entered him for it yet !! ) But there's no dissuading his teacher I'm sure it will be fine but a lot for him to take on as he can't just abandon looking at all of the other stuff he's been working on. Now to solve the accompanist problem . Maybe I'll email AYM surely they could point me in the right direction!!

Trumpetboysmum Tue 01-May-18 10:52:25

Cru cru glad you've got the trumpet clean - I actually quite like doing it ( now I've learnt how with ds) I'm impressed that you're learning piano too - one day I will wink

Japanese Tue 01-May-18 10:58:51

Thanks for the new thread Waffle and hope you are feeling better! flowers

Cru - hope you managed to find the lost music bag and folk - hope your DD is feeling more positive - maybe after a good night's sleep?

Well done to Trumpet's mini on her cornet result!

In our house we have DD (11) who plays piano, cello and recorder and DS (9) who plays piano, recorder (sort of!) and is about to start viola lessons tomorrow (very exciting!)

DD played her first public performance on the piano yesterday at a festival. She was incredibly nervous and was shaking beforehand. But she played really well and even managed to do the announcing of the piece beforehand and took a bow (the bit she was dreading the most I reckon!). She came away with a commended certificate in her class (Grade 2) and some really lovely and helpful feedback. Not having been to a festival before, I hadn't realised that the adjudicator gives feedback to all the players in front of everyone. It was really interesting to listen to her comments on all the players. As DD is an 11-year old in a Grade 2-3 class I was a little bit worried that she would be by far the eldest there and would stick out like a sore thumb but I didn't have to worry about that. Of the 14 in her group there were definitely at least 3 other Year 6 children. I took a video and thought I could upload it to the site but there was a big sign up saying parents were allowed to video their own children only on the proviso that they don't upload to any Internet sites.

DS was supposed to be playing next week but there has been an administrative error unfortunately with his entry. I had entered him into the Grade 1 class but when they emailed me back with his timeslot I thought something wasn't quite right (the slot for his class was nearly 3 hours long!). So, when I emailed them back to query it they told me that they had entered him into the recital class by mistake - the last one of the whole festival. The Grade 1 class has already happened so he can't take part in that. They offered to squeeze him into a class for older children but I didn't want him to feel totally out of his depth for his first festival so I think we're just going to wait until next year now.

CruCru Tue 01-May-18 11:13:43

Thanks Japanese. It isn't the end of the world - I've ordered one of the books and my son's teacher has said that he will order the next one of the other book (as he is pretty far through the one we lost). I told my Mum and said said that the reason I'm so irritated is the untidiness of having lost it - having this music bag with my son's name on it wander on a bus all over London.

It sounds as though your daughter did well. Was she very relieved when it was over?

AlexandraLeaving Tue 01-May-18 11:13:43

Oh yes, great news on cornetgirl's exam result smile

That's half-nice news japanese - at least in terms of your daughter's experience. Frustrating for your son to miss out, but there's always another year and I'm sure you're right that it could be off-putting to be in the recital class so early in his playing career!

trumpet I could give you details of a top-rate accompanist if you didn't mind travelling to London to see her/paying her travel expenses to come out to you (not sure whether she'd do that, but she might for a G8). Let me know if you're interested.

Japanese Tue 01-May-18 11:23:20

She was indeed very relieved! In fact her relief at having finished was so obvious that she whizzed through the last 2 bars and jumped up off the seat with her music as though it had burnt her...It definitely showed as her 2 points of negative feedback were 1. She needed a more confident finish and 2. Her p and pp passages were too quiet for the size of the hall/acoustics. She played a Telemann piece and the adjudicator said that it was unlikely that he had written it with p/pp passages but that those markings had probably been added in at a later date. Interesting to know!

The piano was flipping beautiful though - a Steinway which is apparently insured for £147,000. Gulp.

Trumpetboysmum Tue 01-May-18 11:30:17

Yes cornetgirl's very pleased smile and so she should be
Sounds like your dd did really well Japanese - it is nerve wracking especially if she hasn't done anything like that before
Thank you Alex I'll pm you if i draw a blank locally

Mendingfences Tue 01-May-18 11:31:40

Thanks for the new thread waffle
Bank holiday here today and we've har practise on flute, double bass, violin and drums so we're just missing 2x piano but the kids are all expecting friends round so that'll have to wait

se22mother Tue 01-May-18 12:01:24

thanks for the new thread waffle

I have dd 9 who plays violin, clarinet and sings. She has been working very hard on theory recently.

Well done Japanese on your daughter's performance, festivals can be a daunting experience.

Kutik73 Tue 01-May-18 12:09:26

Thank you for the new thread, Waffle. How are you feeling today? Hope you are recovering steadily. flowers

Yay to Japanese's grave DD! And yay in future to your DS who def deserves the spot light next time!

DS (10) plays violin with passion and piano for fun. He's also started having fun playing recorder with me. We went through Book 1 last week, and book 2 has just arrived so we are going to have another fun week. I am a Guinness Record holder of a life-long failure of learning instruments. But the joy of playing recorder (with DS) may help me end the career of non-instrumentalist! grin

DS has just started playing a full sized violin. Gosh, it's so loud compared with 3/4! The room where he uses for practice has wooden floor and blinds so basically no many fabrics... I am thinking to get a mute. We have one but it's quite bulky so DS hated so never used. I am hesitating to let him use a metal one due to the risk of dropping and damaging the violin. Does anyone can recommend any slimish mute?

Kutik73 Tue 01-May-18 12:11:40

Sorry for my worse than usual English! 'CAN anyone recommend any slimish mute?'

Trumpetboysmum Tue 01-May-18 12:13:20

Kutik when the house is finished I'm planning on the music happening in a room with carpets !! - but something tells me Ds will practise in the new kitchen diner with the hard floors- for the accoustics wink

TaggieOHara Tue 01-May-18 12:18:39

Thanks for the thread Waffle

I have two DSes: DS1 plays the piano and DS2 plays the violin and piano. DS2 is also a chorister. There seems to be lots of musical activity going on at the moment for DS2 (NCO, pro corda, loads of choir). Next big thing piano grade 2 for DS2, which will be his first exam on either instrument!

Trumpet Sorry to hear you are all feeling overwhelmed. I think there is a lot of pressure at secondary school, especially for DCs who want to get stuck into everything! DS2 benefits loads from playing with the piano weekly, even when his pieces are at an early stage (my father is an excellent pianist). Would you be able to book a regular session with a local piano teacher, rather than waiting for the 'big occasion'? I guess it is yet another thing to fit in though....

Japanese Well done to DD! It sounds like she did really well to conquer her nerves. Sorry to hear about the mix up with DS. How frustrating!

Kutik I think Folk is the authority on mutes! I don't dare give DS2 one as it would be a complete distraction for him.

Mendingfences Tue 01-May-18 12:19:19

We don't have any carpets although we do have a rug under the drum kit. Dd1s full size violin is definitly louder than the 3/4 size but we don't really have any neighbours to disturb so practise time is just noisy..... yesterday she practiced in the barn which was quieter in the house wink

Kutik73 Tue 01-May-18 12:32:15

Another English error - not 'grave DD' but 'BRAVE DD'!!! I shall stop correcting my error now as it'll be endless...

Trumpet, he can use the bathroom for the fancy acoustics. wink

Good luck to miniTaggie for his very first exam experience!

Mending, you really sound like living in an ideal world for us Londoners...

Wafflenose Tue 01-May-18 12:37:35

I'm OK today. Thanks to everyone who asked.

Trumpetboysmum Tue 01-May-18 12:39:16

Taggie I think that's exactly what I need to somehow sort out ( and fit in !!) good luck to your ds with his piano exam . I love the idea of mine practising in a barn mending . We don't have that but do back onto fields so mostly they disturb the local wildlife rather than our neighbours ( I hope !!)

Mendingfences Tue 01-May-18 12:42:30

I think London has some advantages too kutik grin although i do like my barn...
Glad things are improving waffle

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