September 21st, 2017
September 21st, 2017
I often find people asking how I got into playing my instruments? I started playing the flute at an early age, I believe I was eight and I can honestly say I have never looked back – music has always been a huge part of my life both socially and in my career. I was inspired by a girl “Michelea” who was several years older than me and I very much looked up to her. When she came home with a flute one day – well I had to have a go! That was it! It was then when I asked my parents if I could learn the flute.
Along we went to Dawkes Music – which was then on the Bath road at the time and purchased a new Yamaha flute! I started having lessons at school and before I knew it I was off to the National Youth Orchestra and preparing for Music college auditions. Several years later I picked up the clarinet and the saxophone and found playing the different instruments opened up playing a new style of music, I loved it!
Now as a teacher and performer I often find that people always say “I wish I had played the flute” or “is it too late for me to play the saxophone” NO! Its never too late! I have always taught adults and children and although the teaching style is different the fundamental goal is the same – the love for music and wanting to play some melodies that you recognise! Some people may well go on to play professionally but for many its about the love of playing and performing within a group.
This week My Music has just started two new saxophone players off on their musical journey, both adults, both excited to start to play their first notes. I very much remember this and wanting to get home and get going, then the weeks that passed my sound got better and my fingers started to remember which note was which! I always encourage pupils to practice for 15 minutes per day to start with – not long at all but allowing the embouchure (the way we blow) to form and strengthen. I caught up with one of the ladies to find out how her lesson went….
“I had my first lesson today with My Music. I was naturally a little apprehensive as I have not had any form of lesson for the past 30 years! I have just had a big birthday and my husband had purchased me some lessons as a present. Its something I had always wanted to do but didn’t hadn’t got round to it or didn’t really know where to start! The staff at Dawkes Music were very helpful and they introduced me to my teacher and showed me where the lessons would take place. I hadn’t decided if I wanted to play the alto or tenor saxophones but after a quick hold of them both I decided the alto might be a bit easier to hold. In my first lesson I learnt how to hold the saxophone, how to put it together (which is obviously going to be helpful at home!) and how to blow and make some sounds. My next lesson is booked for next week and I hope to get started on perfecting my G,A and B notes!”
I don’t think it matters what age you are or which instrument you want to learn, they are all great fun! I cant wait to hear how the lady is getting on over the next few weeks….. If you fancy having a go why not get in touch with us to arrange a FREE trial lesson
September 18th, 2017
Back in July some My Music pupils choose to take ABRSM music exams, Jacquie (flute) and Tessa (alto saxophone) took their ABRSM music exams at Norden Farm in Maidenhead.
When taking exams its not only playing your chosen instrument during the exam, there are aural tests, sight reading and scales to think of too! The exam is made up of six different parts, starting with three different pieces, its always good to make the program as contrasting as you can – making sure you show the different styles of music and different techniques you can achieve. For example in grade one, the examiner would be looking to hear that you can play with different dynamics (loud and soft) and varying articulations.
You will also be asked to play some scales and arpeggios, dont panic – by the time your exam comes round you will have memorised these ready for the exam! Aural tests – lots of our pupils find this part the most daunting, mainly because they do not know what to expect! However you will find with a bit of practice you realise there was no need to panic! The last part is sight reading, this is something we should build into our daily practice, give it a try! Pick a new piece of music and take a quick look over it for around thirty seconds …. then play!
Its always lovely to read such fantastic comments on our pupils playing, we love teaching and hearing our pupils progress however its lovely to read that the examiner enjoyed their performances too! We were thrilled to hear that Tessa passed her grade 2 alto saxophone with distinction and Jacquie passed her grade 7 flute with merit. A huge well done to them and also thank you to our teachers for all their help!
If you would like any more help getting ready for your ABRSM exam… Please just get in touch..
September 11th, 2017
Its always great to get such lovely feedback on our monthly group sessions. Lets get “Learn the saxophone” ticket on your bucket list!
“I first heard the My Music group playing at a Learn to Play Day at Dawkes Music and was so impressed.
They didn’t have a baritone sax at that time, so took the plunge and asked Vicky if she’d like to have one in the group.
I went along for a free taster session at their next meeting, and was made most welcome by both Vicky and the other players.
I signed up immediately afterwards, and always look forward to our regular get-togethers, returning home afterwards feeling great.
Vicky is endlessly encouraging, supportive and wonderful fun, and she organises gigs in local schools/halls/bandstands etc. for those who want to participate.
There are groups on the day to suit everyone, so if you’ve ever had the urge to play an instrument, it really isn’t ever too late to go for it, give it a try. It’s a must for anyone’s ‘Bucket List’ – I’m 69 and expect to be a much better player by the time I’m 79, and know I will have had a lot of fun on the journey.
Just proving its never too late to learn a musical instrument!
September 11th, 2017
September band news…..
We had great fun at our September band sessions! Everyone arrived with fantastic enthusiasm and we have been working hard while practicing the music for the Maidenhead Music Festival which takes place in October.
All of our groups will be performing at Norden Farm in the groups category. We perform at the festival as it gives us the opportunity to really work on a piece of music, we think about articulation, dynamics and trying to play and listen as a group. As well as having a great time and real giggle!
Lots of members who play with the beginners band have only been playing a few months and this will be their first public performance, in the reversals before hand we talk about the logistics of performing, where and how to stand etc.
In our September rehearsal we were very excited to welcome along our first brass instrument to our 25 member ensemble! A trombone player joined our band – we hope that lots of other brass players will follow!
We currently run four different groups that usually take place on the first Sunday of the month.
Beginner Wind Band
Our beginner wind band meet on the first Sunday of every month for half an hour. This new group will be for people who have just started to play an instrument or who have not played in a band before and are looking to play in a group. We will be playing music in simple time and key signatures for our players to gain confidence whilst playing in a group setting. This group includes the following instruments:
- Alto Saxophone
- Tenor Saxophone
- Baritone Saxophone
Our beginner woodwind group meet on the first Sunday of every month for half an hour. We play a large range of music, from Handel to Gershwin. We aim to make our sessions relaxed and informative and we also have a lot of fun. Our woodwind group play regularly in the local community. This group includes the following instruments:
Our beginner wind band get together once a month for an hour. Our 20 piece band play music from throughout the decades from film and TV music, Christmas carols to a rags by Joplin. We pay particular focus to listening and making our sounds blend as well as the fundamentals of playing music together. The band are regularly playing in the community from School fetes to Cookham Christmas Fayre. Our Windband took part in the Maidenhead Music festival and received a gold medal in 2014 for our performance of Badinerie by Bach. This group includes the following instruments:
- Alto sax
- Tenor Sax
- Baritone Sax
Our saxophone group meet once a month for thirty minutes and we have a great giggle. We currently have around 15 members of the group from soprano to baritone saxophone. All our players have been playing under 4 years. We enjoy coming to together to work on sound projection and balance. This group includes the following instruments:
- Soprano Sax
- Alto Sax
- Tenor Sax
- Baritone Sax
Its never to late to learn a musical instrument or to come along and join a band.
Why not give it a go?
June 26th, 2017
March 23rd, 2017
We have just had our ABRSM exam results back and they were fantastic! A huge well done to Tessa who got a distinction for her grade 2 alto sax and Jacquie who got a merit for her grade 7 flute!
March 23rd, 2017
March 23rd, 2017
A huge congratulations to Jocelyn who is one of our lovely repairers at Dawkes Music who recently passed her grade 5 clarinet with Merit!
Fantastic news – Well done to Jocelyn and her amazing teacher Karen.
December 5th, 2016
Charity concert for Dogs for Good – 18th March 2017
We had a lovely time performing at Crown house school on Saturday 18th March. One of our pupils Jinny along with Kerry had organised a fantastic concert to raise funds for “Dogs for Good” charity. Our intermediate band looked fantastic in our new concert dress and sounded great too! We played five pieces in total from Weill to Mozart and they all went down really well to the packed hall. I was thrilled to hear some members of the band perform solos – they sounded great! The concert raised a fantastic £702.47. For more information check out: www.dogsforgood.org
Thank you to all the members of the band who took part and for Jinny and Kerry for inviting us to come along to play.
We had a chilly but fantastic day at the Cookham Christmas Fayre on Sunday 4th December. There were so many things going on, christmas stalls, christmas music, food and wine.
Our intermediate band had a great time playing to crowds and lots of people commented on how much they enjoyed our performance. A big Thank you to our teachers Karen and Nick who came along to support our groups and play alongside our 15 piece band, which included alto sax’s, tenor sax, clarinet’s, flute’s, oboe, bassoon and baritone sax!
I am already looking forward to next year!
Wishing all our band members a very merry Christmas and a new year full of fun, laughter and of course MUSIC!