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September 2018 Music Thread

(905 Posts)
folkmamma Sat 01-Sep-18 08:21:42

Hi all! Our lovely host Waffle is away at the moment and has asked me to start this months thread.

Here is a place for us to share stories, ask for advice, and generally support one another through our DCs (and in some cases our own!) musical journeys. All are very welcome, from the early beginners to the very advanced. Some people have been regular contributors for years, but we also have a lot of newcomers and love welcoming new contributors to the MN Music Thread team. I became aware of this group about 9 months ago via the NCO 2018 thread and I now spend more time here than on Facebook... grin.

Over here, I have Noo, just turned 11, violinist, violist and pianist. She is playing at aroud G7 standard on violin (first study) and is starting JD this month, eek!. Noo is also an associate member of NCO and this year joined the Pro Corda ensemble training programme, which she loves above all else! She is also very into musical theatre and regularly performs in professional and semi-professional shows - it is a challenge to juggle it all, but somehow we do. This month is a biggie for Noo as she starts secondary school as well as JD.

DD2 is Moll. 8yrs old and plays cello and piano. She is a very different kettle of fish to big sister - every bit as able, but some self esteem issues, together with a slightly quirky personality, mean her journey is not often quite so smooth (and mine completely turbulent!). Working towards G3 cello this term (although she doesn’t know it yet) and will go for a consultation at Noo’s JD sometime this term also.

I’m sure Waffle will drop in to update us on Goo, Rara and her own musical self once she gets back from holibobs.

Good luck to everyone with back to school, changes in school, new routines and audition prep! I predict September will be a busy month on the thread!

Over to you.... smile

raspberryrippleicecream Sat 01-Sep-18 09:38:59

Thanks for getting us going Folk.

I mainly have DS2, 15, trombone, piano and organ. Also former Cathedral chorister, still singing on the back row.

He plays in wide variety of school and local ensembles.

I also have DS1 already at uni who plays a lot of extracurricular music and DD about to go who is also taking her instrument with her.

Doubleup Sat 01-Sep-18 09:40:18

Thanks folk for being super-sub and setting up this month’s thread. Lots of change this term for our household too.

DD1 (15) goes into her GCSE year where she is doing both art and music - and probably not enough on either of them so far, so I can see that becoming a scramble. Never one for planning, however much you try and get her to. She also has Grade 7 sax likely and her oboe teacher is talking about Grade 8, although that wouldn’t be until next summer. She auditioned successfully for the county youth orchestra too. Busy!

DD2 (11) plays bassoon (Grade 7+), classical guitar (Grade 3-ish) and is due to start piano when she starts secondary school next week with a music scholarship. She is currently having a week of no practice following the NCO U11s course.

Doubleup Sat 01-Sep-18 09:42:47

Good luck to your DD Raspberry! When does she head off?

LooseAtTheSeams Sat 01-Sep-18 10:07:15

Thanks to Folk for new thread and look forward to hearing from Waffle post-holidays!
My own piano lessons start on Monday and I haven't done enough practice since we went on holiday. I am setting a bad example!
Anyway, I have DS1 who starts sixth form soon and is working for a performance diploma in bass guitar. He also dabbles in guitar and drum kit.
DS2 aged 13 plays cello (G6), piano (g5) and electric guitar (g4). He has spent most of the summer holidays asleep in his darkened lair or on the computer. He is going to find getting up in the morning a massive shock to the system next week!

TaggieOHara Sat 01-Sep-18 10:52:48

loose 13 yo DS snap! Poor DS1 is going to have a nasty shock next week!

I have two DSes: DS1 (13) plays the piano; DS2 (10) plays the violin and piano and is also a chorister.

Like folk I discovered this thread after moving on from the nco audition thread last year, and it has been a life line for me as DS2 has become more serious about his instrumental music. He now plays in nco U10s and pro corda. No violin grades yet, but he is working towards grade 4 piano.

Main features this term are 11plus pre test prep, nco audition and loads and loads of choir! I’m excited but also a bit daunted...

bostik Sat 01-Sep-18 11:02:16

Hello everyone! I have been around for a couple of months on these threads and tend to get lost as the month carries on - this time I will attempt to keep up! DD (10) plays violin at G5 level and DS isn't musical but could write a book about WARHAMMER! Nearly back to school - I find this and the run up to Christmas so busy with various performances. Early nights required to cope with it all (I tell myself every single year but never act on it!) smile

Knittinganewme Sat 01-Sep-18 11:07:05

I no longer have a runner in this race as DS and his instruments will be leaving for uni in a couple of weeks. It is possible to come out of the other side of parenting a musician and survive.

TabbyTigger Sat 01-Sep-18 12:56:43

Thanks folk! Good luck for Noo’s first day of secondary school which I’m assuming is in the next week...

And raspberry when is your oldest DD off?

I’m a mum of 6 but only really post about DCs 2, 3 and 4 on here as DS1 is 19 and studying dance at a conservatoire who dabbles in music very casually, while DDs 4 and 5 aren’t even school age yet (but sure can make a lot of noise...).

So: DD1 is 14, going into year 10, and is planning on doing music GCSE despite reservations. I’m hoping she loves it! She plays violin (hoping to do grade 5 in the winter exam series) and wants to try and do grade 5 theory at the next sitting in order to do grade 7 flute next summer. Given her thousands of sporting commitments (triathlons, football, netball, badminton, hockey... the list keeps growing) it seems ambitious to me but she’s old enough to be in control so I’m just going to see what happens.

DD2 just turned 13 so is going into year 9. She’s due to take grade 7 piano and grade 5 clarinet (self taught - eek) this winter, and is eyeing up grade 8 cello for some time in the next year. She’s a crazy dancer (22 hours a week lined up this year) who also does netball with school and is dropping her long term hobby of trampolining in favour of diving.

Together DD1+DD2 are working on writing a musical and they both attend their school’s orchestra. DD1 also does flute choir and DD2 is part of a senior band. They both like to pick up random instruments (particularly DD2 - most recently, the accordion. Sigh. I just go along with the madness.)

Meanwhile DD3 has recently turned 6 and is a very new but very keen violinist! We’ll see what happens there as over summer she’s had no proper lessons (she does them in school) but DD1 has been teaching her things and she’s practised at least once every day we’ve been home... she’s also a very good gymnast for her age and does swimming, a little bit of dance, art club and her school’s KS1 choir. Definitely not going to be the chilled child I was praying for after the intensity of DDs 1+2 grin

We’ll see if I can keep up with this thread (and my family!) this month...

raspberryrippleicecream Sat 01-Sep-18 13:12:17

DD goes next weekend! Thank you for the good wishes.

DS2 also has a busy term, but I'm not thinking about it this week!

LooseAtTheSeams Sat 01-Sep-18 14:25:44

raspberry and knitting just wanted to wish your inspiring dcs all the best for uni and hope they have a fantastic time.

Corneliawildthing Sat 01-Sep-18 14:29:15

Thanks for thread. I found an old violin of my dad's after he died and have just got it in a playable condition. I learned from age 7-9 but switched to cello. I am now practising away at my beginners' violin and Grade 3 scale books.

It's hard work but I'm enjoying it so far [happpy]

TaggieOHara Sat 01-Sep-18 14:43:38

Welcome cornelia. There are quite a few adult learners on this thread! I’m looking forward very much to hearing about your violin adventures. How are you finding the transition from the cello?

Very best of luck to raspberry and knittting with all of the pre-uni preparations. It is bad enough getting them ready for a one week residential!!

tabby - I didn’t realise that you had six multi-talented DCs! I’m seriously impressed you manage any extra curricular activity at all! Looking forward to hearing about your DDs’ musical smile.

bostik we avoided war hammer thankfully. A houseful of Lego is enough to cope with

double and folk. Good luck with DCs starting secondary school. We found it an exciting but very challenging transition!

stringchild Sat 01-Sep-18 14:50:36

Hi hope everyone has had some nice times this summer? Dd is going into yr8 and plays cello and clarinet. Aiming for g8 clarinet this term or next; NCO audition booked, and will have jd ensemble auditions soon without having had a lesson on clarinet for nearly 4mnths and cello not much different. Should be interesting 🙄. Currently helping her dad prepare for g3 piano (you may remember him from his g1 exam where he asked for - and got- a selfie with the examiner!)

cantkeepawayforever Sat 01-Sep-18 15:24:27

Checking in for an exciting term ...

DS (probably best remembered as Nosebleed Boy for events around his G8 jazz clarinet) got his G8 jazz sax last term. He's winding up to apply to conservatoires to do Jazz Performance, deadline for the form 1st October so I expect the final week of September will be stressful. Went for a consultation lesson fairly late in the Summer term (after starting to ask for it way back at the beginning of the year) which was inconclusive in many ways (though, I gather, enormous fun but has led to an audition for junior conservatoire next week. I would say he is a very marginal candidate for conservatoire, so it will all depend on whether puppyish enthusiasm will make up for perhaps a lack of depth in his experience / technique.

Also considering the step up from student sax to a more serious one - long drive yesterday to visit a large showroom, where he spent a very happy couple of hours in a practice room and has emerged with 3 front runners but no crystal-clear preference.

All in all, likely to be a busy and expensive term...

folkmamma Sat 01-Sep-18 15:33:01

Thanks for well wishes - first day at secondary is Tuesday. I feel horribly under prepared mentally, was just so excited that she is going to the school we wanted I haven't give much head space to the enormity of it all and now it's happening! She is her usual laid back self though, so perhaps it's not really that much of a big deal 🙈.

Lots of exciting things happening! Good luck to Nosebleed boy in the audition- let us know!

Also just thought I'd mention our spin off video channel on Cluster - it's lovely to see the DC's play so if anyone would like to join in with that, PM me!

MeltingWax Sat 01-Sep-18 15:40:35

Thank you to folk/waffle for the new thread.

I think I sort of fell off the last thread with being away for quite a bit of August. Back home tomorrow though and DD is very apprehensive about starting secondary school this week...lots of luck to everyone's DCs who are embarking on new beginnings!

I have DD aged 11 who plays piano, cello and recorder. She has just sat Grade 3 piano, Grade 2 recorder and Grade 3 theory. She has been learning the cello since January. She's been playing with a local training orchestra since June and will be joining another one this month.

Then there is DS aged 9 who plays piano and viola. Has just sat Grade 2 piano and Grade 2 theory, he's been playing viola since Easter time.

Am also a lapsed oboist/pianist and am in the middle of trying to get my oboe serviced so that hopefully I can pick that up again.

Hope everyone has had a good summer.

cantkeepawayforever Sat 01-Sep-18 16:01:07

Thanks for the good wishes, folk

The thing is that, at the ages many DCs on this thread are, DS was a footballer (and history obsessive). He had small group lessons with a peripatetic teacher at primary, but the music service fell apart around him, and he had 3 peris in quick succession - the final of whom, miraculously, was a good jazz player, woodwind teacher at several local private secondaries, and all round good egg, who took him on for private lessons during his final year at primary. Even so, he didn't take his first exam until after starting secondary, and didn't pick up the sax at all until part-way through Y8.

Gradually, football has fallen away (last season, U17s, was the first time he didn't play competitively for a club) and music has crept up.

But he's missing those years of playing, the experience, the gradual stepping up through the ranks, the grades (he's done 3 in each instrument, but not the steady progression others do, just the key ones for the next step - 4 or 5, 6, 8) that someone who started earlier and more conventionally would naturally have.

catkind Sat 01-Sep-18 17:29:59

Hi all, folk thanks for the thread.

Can't, I think they have plenty of experience of spotting talent regardless of experience. Could regale you with tales of late starters we have known but you probably know plenty already. Good luck to him!

And hi from us. My two minis are DS (9) and DD (6).
DD is the keener musician at present, she does violin and also piano. She's ditched a favourite hobby in favour of baby string orchestra this term (her call) so really hoping that she will like it.
DS plays the piano and has recently started french horn, and does pretty well considering the amount he doesn't practice. Hoping for a quiet term musically after one trying to get him to practice properly for grade 1 and the next trying to get him to practise properly for music festival.
And I'm an enthusiastic amateur string player. Starting the term with a bang with assorted chamber music in september, which is my favourite thing so I'm a happy bunny.

Soursprout Sat 01-Sep-18 17:32:47

shock.. September already!
I have Dd (15) who plays clarinet and piano.
She hasn’t done every grade either but has recently decided to have another bash at exams .
She’s going into year 11 and on her 3rd round of gcses. (music in yr9, Art and French in yr10 and the other 8 to come this year) so I’m not sure if she’ll pull off a music grade as well

Lotsofmilkonesugar Sat 01-Sep-18 19:06:04

Hi all, hope everyone has had a great summer and good luck to all those starting new schools or universities this term! I have 4 DC, mainly post about DD(13) who is a keen flautist and also plays piccolo and piano. She’s off to an NYO Inspire day later this month which she’s looking forward to. Also have DS1 (11) who’s off to secondary school this time. He plays French horn which he loves and reluctantly plays a little piano ( as long as he can do whatever fingering he likes which drove his old teacher mad) . He’ll have a new piano teacher as he’s changing school so we’ll see how that goes! Also have two younger DSs who have just started playing a few months ago, the older one on clarinet and the younger one on a very cute and mercifully quiet 1/4 size violin. I sing in a choir, missed it over the summer break so looking forward to getting back to it.

se22mother Sat 01-Sep-18 21:22:14

Thank you folk. Wishing Noo all the best with her new school. Dd(10) plays violin - another Pro Corda fan- Clarinet and sings although this term is set to be all prep for January 11+ exams confused

Floottoot Sat 01-Sep-18 21:57:47

Hello, Folk
Well done for kicking off September. I will probably end up introducing myself on the thread and then dropping off the face of the earth for the rest of the month ( must try harder), but here goes -

I have DD1, who is more into drama than music, but has started singing lessons in the last year and took grade 2 musical theatre last term. She is going into year 10 and has ADHD, so life isn't always straightforward for/with her.

I also have DS, 12, who started cello lessons nearly 4 years ago. He's starting his second year as a music scholar at a wonderful cathedral school and is working towards grade 7 - we're currently in theory boot camp for the November session - and h e successfully auditioned for the county orchestra last term, so joins as their youngest member next week. He started piano lessons last year and is working towards grade 2 this term. I have booked a NCO audition for him but he's adamant he doesn't want to do it...I

DH and I are both professional musicians; we met playing in one of the well-known opera companies. I am a flautist (hence my username) and he is a percussionist. As you can imagine, music is a huge part of our lives. 😍

Good luck to all DCs who are starting new schools next week - I hope they shine like the stars they are. 🌟

PickleNeedsAFriendInReading Sat 01-Sep-18 22:11:56

For the first time, I'll introduce myself, even though I've been lurking on the threads since the beginning, as I find them interesting as an adult learner! I'm learning a less common instrument, and progress is very slow. However I also play in a very amateur orchestra as a string player, and sing (badly) in a choir. I teach (not music) but children with additional needs, some of whom learn music as a hobby, so I am also involved at times in helping them overcome particular difficulties with music reading that have to do with their learning needs.

I've followed the progress of many of the children here, and particularly some of them with specific extra difficulties that give me insights into some of my pupils. I'd like to watch the videos, but don't know how to access them.

littleladsdad Sat 01-Sep-18 22:59:56

Thank you for getting the ball rolling folk.

Big changes here as DS (Trumpet/Piano) is starting specialist music school as a full time boarder (Year 9) and will also be attending RAM JD on Saturdays. He's a member of the NCBBGB and will be giving the NCO a shot too.

Good luck with managing all your starts of terms!

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