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 Post subject: another music question
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:07 am 
The answer to this question may be stark staringly obvious but when it comes to musical terminology I am clueless! :(

What does it mean when someone is described as having excellent musicianship. What is musicianship and on a scale of what a musician can do what does excellent mean? As is obvious this question does not refer to me! :lol:

Whilst I'm here I have a dilemma. DS is really struggling to set up his clarinet in the 20 min practise slots he has at boarding school. Can take him up to 10 mins to assemble and 5 to disassemble! I was thinking of trying to find a well padded slim bag or even a padded postal tube to keep it in so it is already made up for him. I know this is not ideal so does anyone have any ideas? Is there a suitable case or ideas for making one? Too long a story but there is no one who can help him put it together at school and it is not allowed to sit out already assembled for the next lesson.

At this rate we may need to start a music section!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:37 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 874
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Musicianship - that's a tricky one, but (obviously depending on the age and instrumental competence) I would expect it to include most if not all of the following:

Good memory for tunes - (not perhaps up to the level of Mozart who allegedly wrote down all of Allegri's Miserere having heard it only once in the Sistine Chapel) - able to play/sing by ear a melody having only heard it once or twice

Good sense of pitch, possibly perfect pitch, but certainly good at pitching intervals or (if not a singer) recognising when a note is out-of-tune with other

Good sense of rhythm - able to recognise the pulse of a piece, clap along in time

Good sense of harmony, able to harmonise a well-known tune by ear on the piano or sing/play a harmony line. Able to hear changes of harmony, recognise cadences

Would probably be able to pick up a new instrument and having learnt a few notes pick out a recognisable tune fairly soon

There are many excellent musicians who are technically very accomplished but struggle to play from memory/by ear, possibly never having been asked to develop those skills. I would classify "excellent musicianship" in a child perhaps as someone who has some or all of those skills almost by instinct. Hopefully that will also include a love of listemeing to and playing music and to lots of practice to improve technical ability, although there can sometimes be a frustration when the perfect sound isn't instantly played on every instrument after 10 minutes!

(PS these are only my thoughts as a long-standing amateur musician)

Re the clarinet problem - it is possible to buy a stand on which to leave an assembled clarinet between playing sessions at home (orchestral players use this if switching between Bb and A clarinets) but this would be risky in a school context. Make sure the cork isn't sticking making it hard to assemble - ask the teacher's advice re cork grease etc.

More detailed musical advice try the Associated Board forums - invaluable

http://www.abrsm.org/forum/index.php?s= ... 3e&act=idx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:57 am 
Thanks Solimum, reading the above on musicianship I think his teacher was being over zealous! :lol:

I will post on the link but he is not allowed to leave it out and the clarinet is well greased and this is not helping him.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 874
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Hi Tipsy - have been out all day since posting that, but another aspect of musicianship that occurs to me is to do with sensitivity to the music - playing with expression, and a sense of phrasing rather than robotically. Also being sensitive to others when playing in a group - good at duets or accompanying for example, not just ploughing on with your own part igniring what everyone else is doing!

But as I said, these are all aspects which develop over time depending on the level of music being played - I can quite believe that a child can be at an early stage of technical competence on an instrument but already show some signs of the wider musical awareness I've tried to tease out


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:21 am 
Quote:
not just ploughing on with your own part igniring what everyone else is doing!


This confirms she was being over zealous! :roll: :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
You could ask her what she meant! It might encourage her feedback to pupil and parent next time to be more specific and useful. I know what musicianship means, but if I was given a report which told me that I had "excellent musicianship" I would not find it useful in anyway. I would just think that the teacher was a flatterer at best, lazy at the worst!

I would suggest that the instrumental teacher be asked why 15 minutes of a 20 minute practice slot is being taken up by your son assembling and dissembling the clarinet. Either this is an unusual problem, or none of his/her pupils are ever getting much practice done!

It is much harder to have the motivation to practice at boarding school than at home.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:21 pm
Posts: 453
Hi T.i.p.s.y.

I don't see this comment from your DSs music teacher as being in the slightest bit lazy or obscure on her behalf. I believe that she has seen that your DS, for want of a better phrase, 'has the X factor' with this particular instrument. Am I right in thinking that is early days for your son on the clarinet? The teacher I think is saying that he has got what it takes to become excellent at it i.e he has found the right instrument for him - a brilliant start.

Sometimes a child can start an instrument and just 'play' it but not have any empathy with or for it. This happened with my Ds with his first instrument and we assumed (wrongly) that he was not musical - as he just plodded on and played, passed some grades, but it was obviously he did not enjoy it. He gave up. But then found (by himself ) the instrument that he wanted to play and has never looked back. He loves it and has also been told that he shows excellent musicianship with it - something so much more than just being able to play an instrument well. Musicianship is all those things listed by Solimum but I would also add to it: to have empathy with the instrument itself.

Don't worry about the amount of time he is taking in assembling the clarinet - this will of course get much much quicker over time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
Posts: 960
Is he consicentiously taking the reed out every time? Dd used to do this and it can be fiddly to put back. She now only takes it out every few days to clean under and round it. Slatternly but time saving!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:39 am
Posts: 109
katel wrote:
Is he consicentiously taking the reed out every time? Dd used to do this and it can be fiddly to put back. She now only takes it out every few days to clean under and round it. Slatternly but time saving!


I love this! My DD plays the flute, but with so little time to do anything, she never actually puts it away. The once beautiful silver is now a hideous shade of brown - but it still plays as well!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:15 am 
Thanks for the replies. OH built a very long thin box out of skirting board, lined with a blanket! :oops: It looks very pikey but it gets the job done. I am just hoping that the keys have not been bent in the process! :shock:


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