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Recorder Thread!


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#3691 Maizie

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 06:23

You'll be fine, so long as you don't go looking like your profile picture none of us would recognise you ;)

 

I appear to have found a recorder teacher :o The recorder orchestra I'm in is run by a lady of national repute, who happens to live locally to me.  She only moved this way a few years ago, and was not taking on private pupils (I was teacherless at the time, so of course I enquired!)  Only yesterday morning did it occur to me that now she's well settled in to the area, she probably knows the local recorder teaching scene somewhat and might be able to provide a direction.  So at yesterday's orchestra session, I asked if she knew anyone in our neck of the woods.  And she said that while she doesn't have many private pupils, she does have a few, and if it can be a bit ad hoc (as in, not the same time every week, but maybe every 2 or 3 weeks, and probably different days/times to fit us both on that particular week), then she could take me on :o :o :o  Her September is "bonkers", and I said that was OK, not having children or otherwise being tied to term times, I have a lot of holiday in September...so start of October we'll try and sort something out :D


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#3692 andante_in_c

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 07:49

Really good news, Maizie! I had been feeling guilty for ages that I got your hopes up by telling you that your teacher-to-be had moved to your neck of the woods only to find that she wasn't taking on private pupils. So glad that things have changed. :D I'm quite envious as I used to have lessons from her before she moved.


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#3693 elemimele

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 11:28

lovely news, Maizie! Recorder-specialists seem very rare - it's a weird situation, there are loads of people advertising themselves as recorder teachers around here, and I'm sure they're all very honest and professional, but when I asked around a bit a few years ago, it became very obvious that they're all teaching exclusively under-12s with a view to moving them on to flute as soon as possible. There was only one specialist, well-known in the local folk scene, and very capable, but I noticed last year that her website has gone and she's disappeared from view, so I assume she's moved away. A pity... I'd been trying to get myself organised, and build up courage to approach her. Still, I'm not organised at the moment... there's time...

Maizie, have fun! Sounds great!


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#3694 Maizie

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 12:01

andante_in_c - nothing for you to feel guilty about!  If anything, the time has been useful because I've had a chance to work out some of the things inside my head which I found confusing about what music is to me.  And one of the big things I worked out - will improve not only every situation in which I'm a student in future, but quite possibly an awful lot of other aspects of my life (things I find difficult, are suddenly:ooooooh, it's that same thing!)  Another advantage is that I'm not approaching a 'stranger' so I may be marginally less terrified in lesson 1 :D

 

elemimele, when the time comes, I hope you find someone and get on with them fabulously.


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#3695 Zixi

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 17:17

Maizie - wonderful news! I'm pleased for you! An inspiring teacher makes learning special!

 

elemimele - your time will come!!!! ;)

 

edit to correct grammar!


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#3696 Zixi

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 06:05

I've been given Gudrun Heyens version of La Follia to make of it what I can. I've got a recording of  La Follia and it's beautiful. But what Heyens has done to make it playable for learners is really impressive. It's from her Concerto book which I mentioned some time back... It's lovely, and attainable for anyone who isn't that advanced yet. She's also got sections that are more difficult that you can insert if you've reached that stage. So, I think it's a book that would 'last' beyond initial learning.


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#3697 Maizie

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 10:07

Well, if I'm going to have a lesson, I have to do some practising and have something to play (and vaguely played in recorders :blush:)  This comes back to the ever-lasting Maizie problem of 'what to play next?' - this is essentially why I need a teacher, because I simply can't decide!

Anyway, descant, let's fall back to the reliable Bigaglia, sonata in A minor (4th movement was one of my G5 pieces).

Treble, hmm, Marcello's sonata in F, always a favourite.

Tenor...why don't I have much tenor music?  That's not right.  Of course, I could just play anything descanty on the tenor.  Why not a Van Eyck piece?  Oh, way too much choice there.  Browses.  Orders Bach's sonata in D minor arranged for tenor, plus a Steve Marshall piece for tenor with 5/4 and 7/4s in it, just for a complete change.

Because, of course, any excuse for shopping :rolleyes:


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#3698 elemimele

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 16:32

Yes, nice! I don't know Steve Marshall at all, but anyone writing in those timings must be (a) mad and (b) after the end of music, i.e. post 1750. I'll find him on Youtube! You're so right, one of the many valuable features of a teacher is they kick you into playing all sorts of interesting and educational things that we wouldn't otherwise think of. Years ago as a teenager, I did have proper organ lessons, and my bestest teacher was the one who made me realise that organ music wasn't limited to Early English anthologies for the beginner, and Bach for anyone serious. Bigaglia's fun. I find tenor really hard, both on phrasing, and also on keeping the pitch; even playing solo, I start to notice that my octaves are not in tune.


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#3699 Maizie

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 17:04

At school I played a Bonsor piece, "Three in to Five".  I was of an age where Dave Brubeck and Take Five meant nothing to me...it surprised me years later, when I found out!

 

While I agree this is way past the end of Real Music, I still have an occasional fancy for such oddities, in some part from an "academic" perspective of "but how can that work?"  Plus, Steve Marshall plays in - and writes stuff for - the recorder orchestra I'm in.  If I'm going to have to sight read some of his strange time signatures from time to time, a bit of practice can't hurt!


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#3700 Zixi

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 07:16

I love Brian Bonsor's compositions! Our teacher won't let us play the same kind of music all the time - she'll say: That's a lot of Baroque and give us something quite different. I think it's one of the (many) reasons my playing has improved so much this year. You'll love having a teacher! :)


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#3701 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 09:41

Just an aside: I saw Darius Brubeck (Dave's son) perform a couple of weeks ago and he inevitably played a couple of things from the Time Out album.  I wondered if he got a bit fed up always being expected to do that, but he said the album paid for his entire generation of Brubecks to go to university so perhaps he doesn't mind.  Hard to believe this year is Time Out's 60th anniversary.


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#3702 elemimele

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 11:52

Thanks Maizie, for the lovely link. I've always greatly enjoyed the Formosa quartet too, for their jazzy stuff, including I think a version of "Take Five". Some of their jazz has a chap playing a bass recorder with very noticeable tonguing, which beautifully simulates the plucked double bass of a jazz group.

Yes, Variety is definitely a Good Thing.


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#3703 Zixi

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 13:39

Totally OT. I've been using a little iPad 'game' which gets you to recognise notes on a clef and it's extremely clear that I am much slower at recognising a note and naming it than I am at playing it. I appear to think almost entirely in fingering and then 'translate' that into the note. For top G and top A (on the descant) I even have to work from E or F if I'm to name it. But when I'm playing, I very naturally just play the note... I've just checked this today and there's no hesitation at all in playing. Does anyone else do this? Or is it just me, being me...  :blink: 


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#3704 Maizie

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 14:34

I don't think it's just you.

I default to treble clef, C-fingerings.  This obviously stems from playing a descant for years before I tried a treble.  I remember in my grade 1 treble exam (aged 12 or 13), one of the musical knowledge questions was 'what is the name of this note'.  It was B above the stave on the treble clef.  But, of course, I thought of it as F in my head, since it was the fingering for F on a descant.  And my head was so busy saying 'not F, not F, not F' but not providing the right answer, and I ended up saying D - my only vague excuse being at the time also playing the cello and I'd just read it as if it were bass clef.

It's not been dissimilar with playing other sizes/clefs.  I know people give us odd things for on the fly 'translation', like 'imagine you're playing X size on Y clef and add three flats' or something ludicrous that I will certainly never remember...I also remember other people saying never, ever, ever do this, always think of the note by the right name.  I eventually realised that it didn't matter what I called then note, I could call them Fred and Barney for all it mattered, it's the dot-to-fingers translation that actually matters.

Interestingly I've got on much, much easier with the great bass than I do with the F bass.  I think it's because I can cope with it being 'one step away' from my default, i..e bass clef, but I can't cope with two steps away, i.e. bass clef and F fingering.  I am now at the point with great bass where I see the dot and play the note, and don't have to think the note name in between.


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#3705 elemimele

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 16:38

I think I'm a weird half-way-stage. I do have to be aware of what clef I'm in, and the key-signature (so the add three flats thing does make sense to me), but I certainly don't (can't) do note-names. For that reason, I couldn't play if someone merely wrote the tune in letters: CDEC CDEC EFG EFG or whatever. When reading this forum, if someone refers to a note by name, I have to think about it quite carefully to work out what they're doing. I'd have struggled with Maizie's musical knowledge question too.

The people I really admire are organists, who are expected to transpose all sorts of intervals at sight, as part of their ability to move written music to suit singers. That's far more serious than knowing a handful of tricks for particularly useful transpositions.

Although I am not a synaesthesia person, I found it helpful when first I tried to play treble and descant to think of each in a different colour (a very specific colour for each!), so I could be clear which I was using. When I tried to learn to play treble on a French violin (= bass, ignoring the octave) clef, I found it very hard, but chose some really, really simple pieces for learning, slow things that gave me time to think about each note. Some were also pieces I knew already, most were in the same key (French stuff for musettes and such like usually is), and most had simple tunes with things like runs of consecutive notes where you don't really have to read much at all. I still can't change rapidly from one to another, and will probably always find it confusing. 

To be honest, I can't see that there are many scenarios where being able to name notes quickly is vitally important. If you can get fluently from dots on the page to the right notes coming out of the instrument, mission accomplished!


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