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Ok,assuming child is very able musically-what is next?

(169 Posts)
Worriedandlost Sat 02-Nov-13 21:56:00

Dd1 is taking music lessons and considered to be good at it (piano/violin). Assuming that pattern continues, what is next? To carry on with private lessons as it is now or are there other ways? And what is about future, what are employment opportunities for the adult musicians? I have heard that music area is very competitive and low paid. The reason for the question is that dd1 is coming to the point where practicing takes too much of our time and this affects other activities, this is not to mention cost of the lessons, would be nice to know that there are at least remote possibilities to get something back out of it smile

Worriedandlost Sun 03-Nov-13 22:39:37

teacher123 thank you for your input! Yes, we live within the commute distance of London and Saturday school is a good idea, thank you! But it is not necessary to get there as at early age as possible, is it?

mistlethrush Sun 03-Nov-13 22:55:15

I was at school with two people that did the Saturday music school in London - one is a principal in a top London orchestral, the other didn't do music at uni and has another profession - although she still plays. I did my local county music school (I started quite a bit later than they did) and really enjoyed that, did a music degree, but then decided I didn't want to play or teach full-time so had probably better find another profession, despite really enjoying my degree - I still play and sing regularly though.

Violin is a really good instrument to play - there are 34 violins (and another 14 violas) if you have a full symphony orchestra - so plenty of opportunities. This compares to 2 (or if you're really lucky, 3) oboes, flues, clarinets etc.

I would make sure that she is optimising her practise rather than simply doing the hours - 10 mins concentrated playing is probably better than 30 mins general playing to a certain extent anyway.

Worriedandlost Sun 03-Nov-13 23:10:21

CURIOUSMIND, thanks for your comment! The thing about being "absolutely talented" is that I am not a musician and only have about half an year of musical training, as my parents never pushed me-I liked it, but I needed a good push to continue and they did not recognise it.

Obviously dd1's teachers praise her, but all children get it from their teachers, don't they? so you always have to take it with a pinch of salt. My inner feeling based on what I see is that it is for her. But then my dd1 has a friend who is taking the same route, nowhere close to my dd1 by abilities and progress (as I was told by teachers), and yet her parents think she is a genius. Apparently they are wrong, but I can be wrong too, cannot I? smile. Dd1's teacher says she is excellent, hard work but she will be great at the end (because of behaviour), very musical, but then every second child gets it. You see, my intention is not to tell the world about my great dd1 smile but decide for myself what I need to do smile

But I'll tell you that she is KS1 age, and started piano at 4.3 and violin at 4.8. Still too early to discuss the future with teachers! Suspected to be autistic (which indicates that she may indeed be very good at music as some of them are!)

Worriedandlost Sun 03-Nov-13 23:11:35

mistlethrush , thank you!

Worriedandlost Sun 03-Nov-13 23:19:03

And may I take the opportunity and check-my understanding is that violin is an "easier" instrument from career point of view? Dd1 likes both, occasionally likes one more than another, depends on which one seems to be easier at the moment smile

mistlethrush Sun 03-Nov-13 23:38:46

There are more 'openings' for violinists than pianists - pianists really need to be soloists or accompanists (or play chamber music - but that is more or less soloist) However, piano is a really good accompaniment for violin - I did both and I'm sure it helped, even though the piano never felt comfortable compared to violin / viola.

1805 Sun 03-Nov-13 23:41:00

Well I just hope she wants to do it. I can't imagine how you could do this job otherwise. Why not direct her to a job which pays more and works more sociable hours?

1805 Sun 03-Nov-13 23:47:53

OMG I've just seen how old your dd is!!!!!!!!!!!!!
relax! keep both instruments going and join local orchestras when she is older. If she is good enough, you will come across people to guide you what to do next.

curlew Sun 03-Nov-13 23:49:40

Please don't even think this way if she is KS1 age. Things change so much.make sure she has all the space she needs for music- but stay in the now.

Strumpetron Sun 03-Nov-13 23:53:47

I think you should concentrate on letting her be a child. MINIMUM one hour and up to 3 a day? That's a bit OTT OP.

You simply cannot push a career on her. Whether your parents did it or not, it's not fair and will cause her unwarranted stress.

MrsHoolie Sun 03-Nov-13 23:54:35

I'm a professional violinist in an orchestra.

1805 is spot on with her advice.

There are bound to be some small local groups she can join,there are often groups even for beginners.

Tbh most of my colleagues would not particularly encourage a career in music as it is extremely competitive. In our orchestra we usually expect about 150 applicants for a violin job,we'll hear maybe 40 for an audition of which 8 will get a 'trial'. The trial can go on for two years,sometimes more and then one person will be successful (hopefully!). So I wouldn't say there were necessarily more job opportunities per Se. Having said that as a freelance player yes there are possibilities. However the freelance world is quite shaky at the moment.
There are 'endangered species' of instruments,bassoon/horn/oboe etc but if you're not outstanding you won't get a job.
If she enjoys it then encourage her,the best thing about playing an instrument is the social aspect,especially when growing up. Actually,that's not true it still is!
So....Saturday conservatoire or local group,and maybe look into the National Children's Orchestra for the future.

Worriedandlost Mon 04-Nov-13 00:06:58

1805, I would love her to become a barrister but I am afraid it is too competitive smile

No need to faint because of dd1 age smile - music is something you have to start very early to become exceptionally good, this is to do with the way brain develops smile, let me also refer to Maxim Vengerov again, he started at the gentle age of 4.8 and was practising for 7 hours from about 5 or 6 yo. And yet, he admits that his parents pushed him a lot as he was not happy to practise. We all know the result, don't we? smile And why aim at something lower? smile))))))

(just joking)

I knew that giving too much info will spoil everything smile

Worriedandlost Mon 04-Nov-13 00:10:29

Strumpetron, you do force me to give too much info. It is a twice exceptional child and has to be stretched intellectually (music is intellectual activity, right? smile) otherwise the whole household is in trouble. I really do know what I am doing with my child, I only not sure about music, as it seems to overtake all other activities, we could do math instead for example smile

Worriedandlost Mon 04-Nov-13 00:11:31

Besides, her teacher requires practising a lot, perhaps she sees a potential? smile)))

Strumpetron Mon 04-Nov-13 00:12:50

1805, I would love her to become a barrister but I am afraid it is too competitive
You need to think that right now she is a child, and regardless of what you'd love her to be it is her decision.

The rest of your post, I'm sorry it's not what you want to hear but I feel very sorry for your daughter. She goes to school, presumably has her dinner and a bath, then 1-3 hours of practice? When does she get to play, do you have time to read to her and go over any homework she has?

Please just do be careful OP. pushing her goes one or two ways, make or break. I think this much is break. I know how the brain developes as I study psychology and biology, but you should know how it can also adversely effect a person.

1805 Mon 04-Nov-13 00:17:23

you know, I started out giving advice, but I think now you're just taking the mickey.
Good luck all you fellow professional muso's on here trying to help.

Worriedandlost Mon 04-Nov-13 00:18:32

MrsHoolie thank you, she is having her first orchestra performance in November, she is the youngest there, though it is not a permanent orchestra. And you confirmed my worst fears sad.

Well, it seems that I need wait and see, but make her to practice meantime smile. Just in case smile

What is about composer careers here (just asking! no plans smile)?

1805 Mon 04-Nov-13 00:18:54

OP - you've made me quite cross actually.

NorthernShores Mon 04-Nov-13 00:23:14

Gosh your poor child sad

Worriedandlost Mon 04-Nov-13 00:23:21

Strumpetron, if you study biology and psychology surely you know what twice exceptional is? She does not have homework as school does not know what to do with her, they said we do not teach staff she needs at ks1. And yes, I let her play, but... it is too much too explain, she is just different.

Worriedandlost Mon 04-Nov-13 00:25:24

1805, no, just try not to be too serious, I said above, as much as I think she is very able I try not to be to serious about it as it is too young to tell, but I need to be equipped smile Thank you for your advice, I really appreciate it!

Worriedandlost Mon 04-Nov-13 00:29:06

1805, I am sorry, I did not mean too upset you, I really needed help, you can imagine what a huge responsibility I have to equip my child for the future with her being different. Please, do not be cross!

Strumpetron Mon 04-Nov-13 00:29:50

Yes I do know what twice exceptional is, but that doesn't warrant what you are doing.

Anyway it's obviously not only me who sees a problem with this, but it's also obvious you see no problem so there's no point smile

Strumpetron Mon 04-Nov-13 00:30:28

Good grief.

Worriedandlost Mon 04-Nov-13 00:40:03

Strumpetron, main problem that people who do not live with such child have their own opinion how I should interact and deal with my dd1. Therefore I may become very offensive when I get advice what to do with her. She chooses what to do. And she do prefer playing the piano to dolls. And she is making her own music. And she does play some things by ear, not with one finger, taking one note, than another, but outright with two hands (just like her farther actually). And she enjoys it. But would she be able to do this without practicing? I do not think so! And yes, she does not like to practice. But she does like to use the results of her practice! Anyway... how can I know what to do.....

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