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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:55 am
Posts: 8
Are the any music scholars' mums or dads out there?

I'm a newbie here and my DS has just started the big school as a music scholar. Everything is fine, but we struggle to find time to practice his 2 instruments when he comes home at 6:30 in the evening. How do you guys do it?

And most importantly: how long is the practice per instrument? I'll talk about it at the first parents meeting, but I'm hoping to get some advice from here until then.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Edit: Forgot to add the busy 3 - 4 evenings with extra activities (you know, the usual: scouts, orchestra, sports etc).


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:48 am
Posts: 60
Location: Finchley
Can he do it in the morning before school? My next door neighbour has two boys who are music scholars and they both practice before leaving for school (albeit at 6am in the morning!).
The also seem to play last thing at night but only for 10 mins each or so.
HTH


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 875
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Are there practice rooms at school? Perhaps he could do a lunchtime/ break/after school session on a day when the instrument is in school anyway for band/orchestra?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8204
Location: Buckinghamshire
10 minutes a day is better than nothing - then catch up at the weekend with a solid half hour on each instrument.

No need to do anything on the day that he is at Orchestra - that is practice in itself.

Also decide which instrument takes priority when time is short.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:03 pm 
In my experience, it is hard to persuade a music scholar to do anything other than practise their instrument. Everything else comes way down the agenda, including sleep, and definitely homework and outdoor pursuits.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 10:57 pm 
Children on a music scholarship at some schools are expected to give up some of their lunch time to practice.
My son's instrument teacher, however, says that orchestra does not count as practice.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: Birmingham
The answer depends on the instrument and the standard they are already at.

Both my children (1 at Independent and 1 at Grammar) have music lessons interleaved at school.

We found that you will struggle to get more than about 1/2 hour per day from them due to homework and other commitments. This probably isn't sufficient for them to progress quickly enough so we found the best thing was to supplement the lessons and ensembles etc with 2-3 day intensivem instrument workshop. These intensive sessions really helped them to progress quickly

For my daughter this was some of the flutewise residental courses in Brighton and Staffordshire; and for my son a Sax Summer school in Harrogate. They both did the piano as there other instrument but this takes a lot of time.

Apart from the School ensembles and orchestras that also both joined the B/Ham Music service groups which practice every Saturday.

Later on they both did Grade 5 theory evening classes.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:44 pm 
Hi KenR,

I have just looked st the flutewise website and it looks excellent - do you know of anything similar for the bassoon, clarinet or a general music residential course for Grade 1 level and above? Thanks :)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 76
Pencilone,
It is not how much you practise but how well you practise. 15 minutes of diligent practice,paying attention to problem passages or bars in the scores will be more effective than trying to cram in a set half an hour per instrument, especially when tired.

Having attained a music scholar level, your DS will be able to hone his practice to make sure he is improving day by day. It won't be so critical then if he missed a day of practice if he makes it up with good quality practice on other days.

_________________
Nicholas


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: Birmingham
Tipsy

Uppingham run summer school course for children and adults for a variety of instruments

http://www.uppinghamsummerschool.co.uk/childrens_courses/music/young_musicians_weeks.html

Also look out for a number of summer school courses abroad. My daughter went on a very good 10 day flute summer school in Croatia a few years ago. Check out some of the good music shops such as John Packer or Top Wind - they will be able to advise.


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