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 Post subject: Good second instrument?
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:14 am
Posts: 938
DS plays the piano and would like to take up a second instrument. Initially I said that I'd prefer him to take at least grade 1 in that first before embarking on something else, but his piano teacher seems to think he's quite musical (he enjoys making up his own compositions etc) and that it may in fact be rather a good idea.
Now his future school has given us a form asking if we require music lessons so it's crunch time. I also wonder if this may be a good idea as then school will know that he's playing an instrument and can encourage him to participate at school! The question is which instrument? DS originally said a bassoon, but now is not too sure. How do we decide? Does anything complement the piano? Would it be good to choose one that he can play in an orchestra?Or should we simply wait? DS doesn't seem to mind so much today, having been desperate a few weeks ago.:roll:
As I am not in the least musical any advice and experiences would be very welcome.


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 875
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
How old is he? What instruments are on offer? (strings can usually be started at a younger age than the standard orchestral wind). What did he like about the bassoon? - it's a lovely instrument which my DS2 took a fancy to at age 9 or so and has never looked back (pricey, but much in demand later for orchestras). Some music services will do an assessment of suitability to check breath, teeth, size of hands etc


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 6:52 pm 
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Hi,
He'll be 11 in a couple of weeks time. You see i've no idea what instrument might suit what age. I think he just took a fancy to it!
According to the letter they offer: piano, keyboard, drum kit, violin, viola, cello and bass, guitar- classical, electronic and bass, all brass instruments and all woddwind including saxophone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:02 am
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Having a husband who is a bassoon player in a professional orchestra I can say there are only ever two or three needed at one time as opossed to dozens of violins/violas/chellos etc.

Your son also needs to have his grown up front teeth (believe by 11 he has them all ) :D . As well' you have a constant cost (on top of the instrument) of buying/making new reeds. It sounds wonderful though :D .

We have a similar dilemma, my son has started piano few months ago (he is almost 9)and is doing very well but of course piano is not the orchestra instrument, I would be very keen for my son to pick up some wind instrument(if only to be able to participate in the school orchestra).But my husband being a musician, he is the last one to encourage him to pick any instrument (he knows it has to come from the child).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:27 pm 
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Def. consider an instrument that can be played in an ensemble - might be worth checking what the school runs (orchestra, training orchestra, big band, junior brass etc). Its much more fun if they play/perfom in a group.

I think anything would 'go' with piano as is it seen as a fundamental instrument for musicians to learn (not musical so I'm sure that isn't correct terminology - hopefully you 'get my drift' :)


If there is any likelihood of needing a fixed dental brace then choose with this in mind (I believe flute is pretty impossible, trumpet is painful but there are ways around it)

You should be able to hire the chosen instrument to start with at least - the school should have details.

Also worth checking arrangements for lessons in school. Often they are during lesson time & this can be tricky for year 7s to manage. Also means they have to take instrument to and from school (is it likely to get left on train/bus - have to be carried some distance)

Limited knowledge but clarinet is easy & portable & relatively cheap. can progress easily to sax (some of which are quite 'cool'). Don't know how it works with a fixed brace though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:31 pm 
It depends what you want. If it's a scholarship instrument then Bassoon, Double Bass, Oboe and French Horn are good. A musical child will pick up the clarinet quickly and is much more affordable too. There are always clarinet groups in schools.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:27 pm
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Both dc play piano and one other.
DD1 says sax is cool for a boy. These can be in jazz bands and some orchestras.
Clarinet def in both but many people play this so may be harder to get into ensembles with this unless you are a high grade in some schools.
Bassoon is not in jazz bands and costly instrument. Some areas I have heard have cheaper lessons or funding (one of these - can't recall where I heard it ) for less common instruments including bassooon, oboe and cor anglais.
Depends on what your tolerance of noise is like. Certainly even a good grade (eg grade 5) I think can sound awful on violin (purely my personal opinion but I've heard plenty). Cello more forgiving but transport can be an issue - cert if bus involved.
House size, detached or otherwise may be an issue. Certainly a trumpet may not be popular with neighbours if you are in a semi or terrace. Ditto drum kit. I am on quite a wide road and when first moved in looked for radio left on or thought I was hallucinating. Turned out to be son on opposite side of road.

There is a book called 'The right instrument for your child '. Looks at personality, dentition etc of your child and tells you about each instrument. Mine was lent to music teacher and not returned.
:roll:
Book had interesting titbits e.g bassoonists are classically the jokers of the orchestra, the french horn is for the intellectual of the brass section and the trumpet is for the extrovert as everyone can hear if they make a mistake. Don't know how true certainly the latter is as the 2 good trumpeters I know are unassuming. Maybe they come out with their instruments.

You are right in that there is a lot to consider.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:44 pm 
Quote:
bassoonists are classically the jokers


That is my son! :shock: :shock: :shock:

If your child is a bit of a weed like my eldest and can barely hold his head up then the flute is nice and light. :roll: Quite a good instrument for moving onto an all boys school as it tends to be girls that opt for this instrument.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:02 am
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rachag wrote:

Book had interesting titbits e.g bassoonists are classically the jokers of the orchestra, .


This is my husband :lol: , and everybody makes jokes about viola players :shock: (I heard so many from my husband).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6256
DS1 plays trumpet - we are not a particularly musical family so may not be best positioned to give advice. He absolutely loves it and has great fun. Is in school brass group and their numbers with swing and shades on were a great hit at Speech day! Joking aside it is a great instrument, not to expensive to start with and easily portable.

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