Have you ever wondered what it would actually be like to learn a musical instrument, often people say "I haven't got the time" , "I'm too old" or "It's too late for me to start"...
We thought it would be a good idea for our pupils to answer some questions that you may have and you can hear from them directly what's involved in learning a musical instrument...
Q: How long have you been playing your instrument?
Well that's an interesting question! I started playing the flute as a teenager for about 4 years, then I had a very long (30 year) gap and returned to the flute a few years ago when my children were teenagers. So, I've had about six years of active lessons and "playing" time in total.
Q: Why did you start playing your instrument?
When I started playing the flute as a teenager it was quite usual to take up an instrument in school and "work up the grades" (I did grade 5 practical and decided not to do grade 5 theory when it got busy with school exams) and I played in a youth wind band after school.
When I took the flute up again about 3 years ago it was for enjoyment, something I did as a hobby for myself, and I'm loving it. I particularly enjoy playing different styles of music with Vicky's expert tuition and also playing in a small trio ensemble led by Becka which is great fun.
Q: What do you most enjoy about playing your instrument?
I get a sense of satisfaction when I improve my playing of a specific piece and I love the sound of the flute now I've had some help from Vicky on improving vibrato and high notes with some Trevor Wye exercises thrown in. About six months after I started again I also treated myself to a new flute as my entry level flute of 30 years ago really needed upgrading! I took the step of moving to open-hole which I love the feel of.
Q: Do you belong to any groups or orchestras?
Yes, an ensemble which Becka (MyMusic Teacher) runs which is really lovely.
Q: What’s the most rewarding thing about learning a musical instrument as an adult?
Being able to choose your pieces and experiment and not getting told off for not practicing, if I you don't have time to! I also like not feeling any need to continue with grades unless I choose to take them up again at some stage. I've been playing a range of classical music, some Latin, some initial practice on an Ian Clarke piece.
Q: What’s the most challenging thing about learning a musical instrument as an adult?
I had to "re-learn" some of the notes and I even had to get used to reading music again after such a long gap, but it did come back after a relatively short while. Then I had to get back to the level I was at 30 odd years ago - but now I've moved on from where I was and am progressing from there.
Q: What has been your favourite piece you have learnt to date and why?
It's easily "Arie des Lensky" from "Eugen Onegin" by Tschaikowsky. Vicky's adapted the violin part for me as the flute version is out of print. When I first heard a wonderful recording of Pahud play this, I thought "if only I could just learn to play the first few bars", and now I'm making progress through the full piece with Vicky's help.
Q: How often do you have lessons?
Generally, a half hour individual lesson once a week in term time but depending on work commitments. Plus, I play in the ensemble trio fortnightly.
Q: What do you enjoy most about having lessons?
I learn a lot during each lesson and really feel I've improved at the end of the half hour. It's also great fun.
It's an added bonus that Vicky plays the piano to accompany.
Q: How often do you practice?
Oooh!... some weeks a few times a week or more, but other weeks I struggle to fit in any practice!
Do you want to get started?
We offer flexible lessons, that take place in our teaching rooms at Dawkes Music in Maidenhead. Lessons are scheduled between 9.30-5.30pm. Our pupils usually come weekly as we find this enables better progress, although some do some every other week and for more specialist queries and pro players they come every so often.
We hope you enjoy reading these pupil interviews and it might encourage you to take the leap into "giving it a go". All our teachers are professional, love what they do and have a passion for making music.
Why not email us for a FREE taster lesson......firstname.lastname@example.org