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January to March 2019 music thread (Title edited by MNHQ)

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CruCru Mon 14-Jan-19 09:46:20

Hi all

Here is the new music thread for January - I hope no one minds me starting it.

I am mum to a son (7) who is learning the piano and trumpet and a daughter (5) who is learning the piano and violin. I am having piano lessons and played the trumpet as a child.

Some of the people on these threads (and their children) are fantastic musicians. Some are more like me. All are welcome.

Thank you to Wafflenose for all the time she has spent managing these threads.

NeleusTheStatue Thu 17-Jan-19 19:18:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NeleusTheStatue Fri 18-Jan-19 11:13:10

Pardon me for my mumbling...

I contacted several cleaning companies for deep spring cleaning (our oven in particular needs a serious rescue...). One of them sent someone to visit me for more detailed quotation. A gentleman turned up and I took him for a (very short) tour while he was taking note, then he saw the piano. He asked me if I played so I told him it's my DS's. His eyes lightened up and told me he studied piano very seriously and becoming a pianist was his dream but he took a different path at 18. Recently he'd moved in his own place so been thinking of getting a piano so that he could go back to play again. He wiggled his fingers and said they were a bit rusty. He repeatedly told me music was his life, his everything, and he didn't want to give up piano. He checked every room and left with a big smile. Such a lovely man. Though, somehow this left me a bit of bitter sweet feeling. I wonder what happened to him when he was 18 and after. I didn't ask.

bostik Fri 18-Jan-19 11:36:59

Ah, Neleus that's really poignant... I hope he gets his piano and starts to play again.

catkind Fri 18-Jan-19 12:51:53

Aw, wishing that gentleman a lovely piano and much joy with it. I remember the happiness of being able to get a piano again when we finally had space, but how much worse if it's your main instrument. Those of us with portable instruments are lucky!

NeleusTheStatue Fri 18-Jan-19 19:35:23

It wasn't the first time of meeting someone who expressed a regret of giving up music and interestingly they were all men (in my experience). I am sure there are plenty grownup women who share the same regret or sadness but, am I being a sexist to think male musicians may tend to give up and take a different path for financial reasons, perhaps more than female musicians? I might be thinking too much!

CruCru Fri 18-Jan-19 19:55:30

I know a couple of female musicians who’ve done far less once they had children. Having said that, they usually do a lot of music with the children so perhaps their regret is not so great.

NeleusTheStatue Fri 18-Jan-19 20:00:43

Yes I know a few female musicians who cut down their work as a musician or changed profession after having children. But what I meat was those men who I met made the decision at the time of going to uni/college. There may be more parental involvement for the decision...? So it's a bit different...

CruCru Fri 18-Jan-19 20:47:07

In fairness, the female musicians that I knew weren’t well paid (and had had a lot of help from their families). Super famous musicians might earn a lot but most don’t (bit like acting I suppose).

catkind Fri 18-Jan-19 22:23:00

I can think of two people I know who wish they'd gone for performing as a career. One male one female. Both were pushed into more career oriented courses at uni by their parents. (To be fair, one of them I seriously doubt would have got into music college, the other was easily good enough.)

Performing musicians who are trying to find a more settled career to fit round families are a source of excellent teachers IME!

Josamac Sat 19-Jan-19 07:40:36

Hi all,
My first time on this thread but I’ve been on the NCO thread for the last couple of years. I’m after some advice....
My DD is 10 and taking viola G5 this term and singing/flute G4 next term. She is in NCO U11’S this year having loved the U10’s last year. Clearly her grades are lower than some others on here and in NCO but playing viola can help open doors sometimes. Not that she chose it for that but that’s another story!
She is in a quartet locally and school orchestra etc. Until recently she just loved it all. At the moment though she is really off it all. The world has started to revolve around netball & hockey. This is from the girl who at age 6 announced she wanted to try to get a music scholarship to senior school. It seems to have come at the same time as she has got into the regional youth orchestra which is an excellent one. She has only been once and found the music very very hard. The average age is 15ish there so she isn’t with her friends.
She was so pleased when she got in but there were tears last night to say the least. I’m not sure whether to just push her on or pull her back. She is so sociable as a character and NCO is so good as it is all children of the same age. I don’t want her to go off music altogether. And she has her work cut out for her exam this term too. She’s a calm child so her being so upset is out of character....
Have any of you been through similar? Any advice?
Thank you!

busyspinning Sat 19-Jan-19 08:05:49

I would encourage her to go to NCO as she enjoys it - it’s ages away anyway so she might be back in love with music by then. Remind her how much she loves being with her friends
Maybe give another youth orchestra rehearsal a try but if she hates it I would talk to staff but potentially pull out - there’s no point in feeling unhappy. Some children don’t mind being the youngest and feeling a bit out of their depth some hate it . She can always join again when she’s older .
Similar with the grade 5 ( apart from losing the fees!?!) if it’s putting her off does she have to do it now ?
Children often change their minds about what they’re really into ( well mine do) but I reckon she’s more likely to stick with it long term if it’s not stressing her out . Having said that I wouldn’t necessarily tell her that not doing the exam is an option just see how it goes ?
My 2 don’t like doing exams ( for different reasons) both love to perform . Ds is doing his grade 8 for a specific reason I think and to get it out of the way , dd has announced she’s doing 2 grade 3s in the summer term - we’ll see but it’s up to her I certainly don’t want to see her upset ( as often happens !!)

QueenMabby Sat 19-Jan-19 11:44:15

Hi. Can I join in with this thread? I have 2 DCs. DS not musical. Did guitar for a few years but never wanted to practice so gave it up.
DD is (just) 10 and plays piano and cello. Didn’t start doing lessons until she was nearly 8 (piano) and picked up the cello about a year ago (group lesson) with individual lessons starting last Easter. She has lessons for both at school. She loves music and also sings in a chapel choir. She’s just taken her G1 in the cello (took it before school broke up for Christmas hols but STILL no result!) and is taking G3 in the piano at Easter and then G2 on the cello in the summer.
She does a piano duet “club” at school and plays her cello in the school strings group and is in a cello ensemble. I’m really proud of her as she practises really hard and is doing very well despite her late start!
Anybody else waiting on pre-Christmas exam results still?

Luckyfab Sat 19-Jan-19 14:45:56

Hi, my Ds is 10 and grade 5 in cello.
She enjoys playing cello but seems stuck. Since she started school again in September she seems not to have make any improvement. Her teacher always complains about bowing and posture. She has told her 100 times and spend entire lessons on bowing.
I think she should know by now but it's not like that and she keeps doing the same mistake. Really don't know what to do to make her understand that these things are important. Hopefully she will one day.. soon

NeleusTheStatue Sat 19-Jan-19 17:12:15

Luckyfab, your DD probably understands in her head but her body can't follow it, just yet? It doesn't mean she is not improving - she seems stuck but lots things may be happening inside? Bowing and posture are hard to master, and breaking old habits is even trickier... I would give her time and support her with patience. Do you play cello? I don't play my DS's instruments but I had a go and that experience taught me how hard stuff kids were doing!

catkind Sat 19-Jan-19 18:41:29

Hi josamac, viola high five (I play too)! Hope you can find a level of music commitment that feels comfortable for her. 10 is very young to do such a lot. New orchestras are always hard though, specially if she's sat at the back of the section - much harder than sitting in the middle - and when you're reading new music; so you might want to encourage her to try a whole term before deciding.

Hi Queenmabby, sounds like your DD is really taking to it, what fun!

And hi luckyfab! I have still spent whole lessons working on bowing and posture as a grade 8+ adult, so I can sympathise. Good that her teacher is paying attention to technique. Though I think it can be a bit of a balance between having some fun and working on technical stuff. We have made some steps forward with DD and bowing recently by doing brief exercises but then also finding some music that she enjoys but is very easy so she can just think about her bow. And having a checklist to go through before starting rather than try to correct after the fact. I'm probably teaching granny to suck eggs here though, DD's at a much earlier stage!

I have just realise I need to knuckle down to piano practice if I'm going to accompany DS's exam this term. It would seem an awful waste of 10 years of piano lessons if I can't!

Luckyfab Sat 19-Jan-19 18:47:34

@Neleus and @catkind, thank you so much for your words.

NeleusTheStatue Sun 20-Jan-19 09:54:54

Scales are great for bowing practice as there is no complexity to take your focus away from what you like to work on. Some simple and easy pieces are good too.

NeleusTheStatue Sun 20-Jan-19 10:20:56

DS has gone to play football this morning. He came back with a finger injury from football last month. Luckily it was on the first day of the winter holiday so he had plenty time to let it get healed. However, he has two performances coming up this week. I told him to be careful, in which he replied 'but how?'. That's true... When it happens it happens, doesn't it? He also swims twice at weekends. It's much more stress free!

Lotsofmilkonesugar Sun 20-Jan-19 13:00:49

Hope he’s ok neleus it is a bit of a worry! my DS split his lip playing rugby the day before his horn exam after I’d told him to be careful! He also said how can he play without tackling people which I suppose is true. He still managed a merit, they are suprisingly resilient..

NeleusTheStatue Sun 20-Jan-19 15:51:58

Playing horn with split lip! Well done to him for getting through it and securing a merit!

DS's main sports are swimming, tennis and football. All of them are a lot safer than, say, rugby. But you never know what happens especially when you have a child clumsy enough to get hurt even by just walking on a flat surface!

I've managed to make myself free to go to both concerts DS will be in next week. Yay!

Lotsofmilkonesugar Sun 20-Jan-19 17:05:04

Glad you can go neleus !

disorganisedmummy Sun 20-Jan-19 17:56:49

Hi everyone and a belated happy new year to you all. My ds is 12 and a half and plays violin. He is around G6 level but is now playing G7 pieces. I'm hoping that this year is going to be better for him. He had a horrendous year last year which has really shot his confidence to bits. I won't go into it all now as some of you know much of what's happened and it's very long!!

After a struggle to find "the" teacher, we've finally found someone who can hopefully get ds to his dream of Conservatoire at 18. He auditioned for JGSMD in October but didn't get in and it really upset him. He's decided to leave it until he's done his G8 and he'll see how he feels then but he doesn't want to leave his teacher. She is amazing and I'm so glad we've found her. Ds has Aspergers which really complicates things. His teacher is working on building his confidence back up and getting his theory back upto scratch as he's fallen behind with it due to all the upheaval last year. He's going to spend this year working on his technique- he needs to be more disciplined with his bowing and finger patterns. He also needs to mature a fair bit emotionally too to help achieve all that.

He has a few courses planned with the County Orchestra he's in and will be auditioning for the top orchestra in the summer which is G7 and above. His aim is to get his G8 by the time he goes into year 10 in September 2020. 🤞🏻🙏🏻.

In the meantime if anyone knows of any ways to help build confidence in a young musician,please let me know.

Sorry it's so long!!

catkind Sun 20-Jan-19 21:51:22

Hi disorganised, he sounds very mature thinking ahead like that - sure I wasn't thinking beyond the next concert at that age!

For confidence - sounds like he's well on track clocking up experience and orchestral playing. Does he get to lead a section in any of his orchestras? If not might be worth staying in the lower county orchestra for an extra year if it meant he could lead. (I'd send him to audition for the senior one anyway then discuss options.) Chamber music is great for confidence too as you just get used to having to hold your own independently, anything going on that front?

disorganisedmummy Sun 20-Jan-19 22:27:24

Hi Catkind,ds is currently the lead in the County Orchestra and our local youth orchestra plus he also leads a chamber orchestra and did up until Christmas lead a string quartet but the quartet tutor is now on maternity leave so not sure when they will start back up. He also leads the second violins in the other local symphony orchestra that he's in so he's getting lots of experience. He sings in the school choir and in their A Capella group (he has perfect pitch). My concern is that he doesn't seem to follow the bowing and fingerings that his teacher and he agree on. I'm not sure whether it's because he gets so carried away when he's playing that he forgets or what it is but it does have an impact on his sound (from what I'm told,I'm not v musical). I'm not sure how to get him to be more disciplined without ending up in an argument with him 😬. I absolutely do not want to kill his passion and musicality.

catkind Sun 20-Jan-19 22:49:24

Wow, all that and he's still not feeling confident?! Bowing and fingering - higher standard of orchestra should help with bowing at least as they won't let him get away with not matching. One option would be to give him harder music so wrong fingering will make it impossible to play I guess? (That's DC's piano teacher's solution to kids who ignore her fingerings anyway!) Another would be giving him music that is easy in other respects so all he needs to think about is say bowing patterns. I'm sure teacher will have seen it before though, do you need to input anything at this stage or can you just leave them to get on with it? Sounds like he has a lot of momentum going.

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