Musical Memories – sniff

I think one of the most fantastic gifts my parents ever gave me was the gift of music. I asked and receive a violin from father christmas aged 5. my mother made sure I practiced all the time, and being a musician, and teacher at the local music centre, we frequently listed in to the lessons there and also to show rehearsals in the evening whilst dad worked shifts. It was a wonderful opportunity. I got to join an orchestra by the time I was SB’s age, and just went on from there, every saturday morning.

I got to have a fantastic musical childhood, residential courses, international travel, solo’s at the royal albert hall, playing concertos with various orchestras as well as being in the orchestras for all sorts of stunning occasions.

The perhaps most magical thing was being involved with initially the setting up of a baroque string group and then a full concert orchestra with my mother and her friends. At the time I was the only student allowed [I was rather good] and it was an experience of ‘high performance’ orchestral playing. Being in an orchestra consisting entirely of music teacher peers and some semiprofessional orchestral players was something else.

My mother says I was lucky enough to catch the dizzy heights of musical ambition by LEA’s and then a wave of local optimism.

What reminded me of this? A programme chris found of the orchestra’s 10th anniversary in 1996. Mum, me and my sister in the same orchestral concert, with loads of old friends and teachers. how fab was that. My Mum has ‘retired’ this season from the orchestra, my sister and I don’t practice enough, nor live geographically near each other. The experience wont happen again. [well, we did all play in the 20th reunion concert! ] One day I would like to be able to perhaps sit with pride in an orchestra with my girls.

I haven’t followed my own musical dream, and I can’t believe it is right to impress it on my children, but it would be lovely.

20 responses to “Musical Memories – sniff

  1. awe what a lovely post x

  2. ps might be dropping in after christmas for violin lessons!

  3. look forward to it!

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  4. yes, great post. I’m glad to hear you value it; I really hope my kids will feel the same way when they are grown up.

    Meanwhile, I am the embodiment of my dad saying to me ‘you’ll regret giving up when you’re older’ – yes I do, so no way am I letting my lot give up, and therefore practice is insisted on! So nice to see some of it paying off in our house recently, and the children all enjoying themselves with it, and beginning to see the point of all their hard work!

  5. I never really played an instrument – recorder gave up when I was about 9 and piano lessons never really made the most of due to lack of willingness to practise but I did participate in the choir right through school and have the same sort of happy memories as you of residential sessions, grand productions with the county youth choir and being in big shows joining with other choirs and performers. My favourites were always carol concerts so it was lovely to go and sit in the same church I’d sung in as a child and listen to D in his first carol concert a couple of weeks ago. I think the collaborative teamwork element of making music together is an experience with a group that is hard to beat with any other skill. :)

  6. William was demanding to play the violin back in the spring… so we bought him one. 1/10th size, from a friend of mine who’s in the business.

    He can occasionally remember not to press the strings too hard, but he’s still got a way to go before he’s giving solo performances!

  7. Helloo Thomas! Sb and BB both started with a 1/10th size – BB more ‘plays’ at th moment. She seems my more musical daughter at the moment.
    We aim for 3 practices of each instrument a week, as SB is not so confident to practice without me. Hopefully that will change, and then she can practice with Chris. I will end up an every day girl! Giving up not an option!!
    Yes Nic, choirs also good – Thomas still is a member of a choir I was in in Leeds which was truly fabulous.

  8. oh, and with the number of starter violins since niccamsp, I will def be on for an orchestra camp at some point!

  9. Seriously – we could find an easy piece and do some beginner arrangements for Melrose next year, it would be fun. Give people the music asap and then have a couple of little practices during the week to play together on cabaret night?! I don’t mind trying to fit the cello into the car too! (this is all assuming we get permission from school, haven’t heard back yet :/ )

  10. Obviously I loved this post!

    I can’t play a thing (no my guitar isn’t at a point that could be classed as playing!), I was in a very good choir and sang at the Albert Hall also :-). It’s one of the things we also insist the children do, piano is a must and then they can learn what they like. Pea is on sax and Boo violin. They have both started to teach themselves guitar and plan drums, flute and maybe cello next year! We are VERY lucky to have the resources we have ;-)

  11. lol, yes you are, Ros. My kids don’t quite get the same benefits from our business … yet!

    Helen, just thought I’d reply to your twitter here … obviously Twinkle Twinkle, and any other similar nursery rhymes easily played with open strings? London’s Burning in a round. Will keep thinking and maybe go and have a look for some easy duets or something.

    Mr Featherstone (Joe’s teacher) has a load of duet parts to some of the easy suzuki pieces so perhaps I could copy some from him … will see what I can do.

  12. oh good, I was hoping things like that would be OK and not thought of as ‘too babyish!’

  13. lol, not at all! The easier the better, they need to have fun, not struggle to play it! I can make up a nice hard part for Anna’s cello ;)

  14. something like this maybe?
    obviously haven’t seen the inside yet!

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