Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Musical notes

As an enthusiastic amateur musician I'm so happy to see my daughters enjoying playing instruments. This year we have lots going on musically ...

Angel is still playing the cornet in our local brass band and is now lead second cornet after her previous second cornet partner was promoted to first cornet - quite a responsibility for an eleven year old playing in an adult band. I'm immensely proud of the progress she has made since she started in the senior band at the beginning of the year, and grateful to the band members for their enthusiasm and encouragement. She plays her trumpet in the music group at Church and goes to a Saturday morning Music School run by our local education authority where she sings in a choir and plays her trumpet in the junior wind band and orchestra. She hit lucky this term and squeaked into a music and computers class - right up her street as it combines two of her main interests. It is intended for older teenagers, but this year they had a few spaces left for younger children and she managed to get her name down quickly enough to get one. She has been learning to use this Sibelius software, and will get the opportunity to work on both arranging and composing. We downloaded the demo program and she has been playing around with composition at home. It isn't possible to save or print files from the demo, but she has still been having fun with it. She quit piano. It really isn't her instrument and she was losing interest, so she swapped piano lessons for tap dance classes.

Star is still learning the baritone horn with the junior section of the brass band and has just started Saturday Music School. She is playing in the junior wind band, goes to a rhythmic workshop, and has started a beginner guitar class that she is loving. She has ambitions to play tuba and electric guitar, which would be an interesting combination. Also both a loud and bulky one. She has enough trouble carrying both her baritone and a small acoustic guitar. She has also mastered playing the recorder with her nose. Trust Star to add an eccentric twist.

The Bookworm (yes, that's me) has taken the plunge and joined the South Beds Concert Band. (Beds, in case you are wondering, is the standard abbreviation for Bedfordshire.) Before pregnancy I played violin with a local orchestra, but their Thursday night rehearsals just won't work logistically as they clash with Little Cherub's bedtime and one of Angel's dance classes. The Concert Band rehearses on a Sunday evening which is much more manageable. It also gives me a chance to play my second instrument, the flute, for a change. I have only been once so far, and it was a challenge. All my technical weaknesses jumped out and bit me. I am also playing the flute in the Church music group. So far it has been working well with Little Cherub tucked up in a wrap or sling - until last Sunday when she woke up during the last hymn, hit her head on the flute and was (entirely reasonably) most displeased.

Little Cherub has her first musical instrument. A soft piano thing that ties into her cot for her to kick and bash. I found it at a "nearly new" sale last week. I usually avoid noisy electronic toys like the plague, but this one looked rather fun. I'm not sure she has yet worked out that she is responsible for the noise, but hey! one has to start somewhere. When she is older Angel and Star want her to play trombone to fit in with their own brass instruments. I'm sure she will have her own ideas!

Tevye, who is not musical, cheers from the sidelines. And occasionally gets exasperated by the debris of instruments, music stands and music left strewn round the house.

It seems that music is definitely turning out to be a family charism.


Jennifer said...

Wow, the South Beds Concert Band! Good for you! I haven't kept up with my own musical instruments or managed nearly as well as I'd like to encourage Marianna. Ever hopeful however...

Alice said...

Oh, how I would love for music to be one of our family charisms! My daughter Theresa is back to violin after a two and a half year hiatus. I am enjoying the sound of strings in the house again.