Children and music-too much or no problem?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Mark Time, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Mark Time

    Mark Time New Member

    Hi - just wondered what people thought about kids involvement in bands/music - can it ever be too much? Specifically my young daughter plays for brass band, school band, music centre band and scouts marching band. Of course this means she's out most evenings/weekends playing with one or the other. One or two people we know/relatives wonder if it's a bit much, although when asked directly and given the choice my daughter says it's 'no problem' and that she enjoys banding. Asked if she wanted to concentrate on one or two bands and leave the others she refused. Although it doesn't appear to faze her, I still worry a bit whether as a parent I've allowed her to take too much on? Or does it not really matter? Anyone else in a similar position, or have any thoughts on this? Cheers.
  2. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    If it's her choice, then not a problem. Although with all that playing, I wonder if her practice regime is suffering.
  3. Adam 2049

    Adam 2049 New Member

    Between the ages of 14 and 17 I player in 6 different bands regularly, so I have a slightly biased opinion. 3 of these bands were associated with school/education system. I dont think it ever did me any harm. I am someone who likes to be busy and I cetainly think it was better for me than watching tv or playing computer games which is what I probqably would have ended up doing if I wasnt out playing music!
  4. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    I think you would soon know if a child was finding it too much,something would change in their attitude that would generally flag up a problem.
  5. Gazabone

    Gazabone Member

    Just to add a slightly different perspective on this; how do you handle the (I guess) inevitable occasions when 2 (or more) bands are rehearsing/gigging etc at the same time. From experience, it can become difficult to deal with conflicting demands on your time and part of banding is about not letting your fellow players and your conductors down (those lessons are as important as playing notes).

    However, from your daughters point of view, I would not do anything other than encourage her enthusiasm, it is great to know that the next generation of bandsmen and women are being developed.
  6. whitewitch

    whitewitch Member

    My son is 12 and is a Percussionist. he plays for a second section band, a school jazz band and a school brass band. he regularly deps for a championship band, other 2nd section bands and last week depped in for a Philharmonic orchestra. He has lessons and takes grades.

    When he isn't doing this, he does his homework and spends the rest of his time on the xbox. So the above Poster was right in what he said. He probably would have wasted his time.

    As for what happens when 2 jobs come up at once, if it is a competition, the band he is signed for comes 1st. If it is a concert with that band, and it is up against the school bands, then he does the school bands, as he is the only Percussionist at school and our band has 5. obviously depping comes last, only if he is totally free. It gets crazy at Christmas though as one night he could have done 4 concerts. That night, school jazz won.
    This is all his choice and if he could do 'banding' every night he would.
  7. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    I can’t see the positives getting anywhere near outweighing the negatives......All I would say is from someone who does a lot of youth banding, the length of concerts these days seem to be getting out of hand. As far as I’m concerned a concert should be no longer than 2 hours including a 15 min toilet stop, there seems to be this drip drip drip towards 3 hour concerts and if there are events where a number of different groups play then it’s not uncommon to see 3 hour 30/45....It’s too much, audiences object to being asked to sit around that long, and the nature of youth banding means there is likely to be younger kids in the audience being made to attend who are younger than the band members. Young kids getting home at 10, 11 pm is not practical if not a little unhealthy!!!
  8. Mark Time

    Mark Time New Member

    Thanks for the various perspectives everyone - in reply to the posts above, my daughter also inevitably has occasional clashes, although not often as fortunately the school/music centre bands only do occasional concerts here and there. Where there is a clash, a contest would come first, and after that it would be daughters own choice which to attend. Also in reply to one of the questions above - yes all the banding does mean my daughter has 1 or 2 evenings a week max to practise any new music/grade music etc. Overall though it seems it's not a big problem as clearly quite a few of you play for several bands and manage ok! Cheers.
  9. jamieow

    jamieow Member

    I think it's good when 'managed' properly.
    From the ages of 14 - 18 I played for a 1st Section band, School wind band, area music centre brass band, 10 piece and wind band, county brass band, wind band and symphony orchestra. I also played for the town's Symphony Orchestra.
    I regularly depped for other bands, I had Tuba lessons - both in school and private. I played guitar in a rock band, plus had guitar lessons. I also had a girlfriend, who I'm now married to.
    I did all my homework and revision, got 10 A -C GCSE's and 3 A levels.
    My folks were great in terms of lifts, knowing when to say "you've had a lot on this week, maybe you should think about missing a rehearsal" etc

    I used to come across the odd conflicting moment - like the NFMY qualifiers (In Wxm) being on the same day as the Welsh Regionals (in Swansea - 4 hr + drive) one year.
    There were 6 members of the NFMY bands who were also needing to be in Swansea.
    We requested to play the NFMY as 1st on (school band, then area brass band), drove straight to Swansea (thanks to my Dad) and played with Rhos band.
    It worked out - both bands qualified for the NFMY at The Festival Hall (where both later won 2nd prize), the Rhos came 2nd in the 1st Section areas on Purcell Variations.
    It just needs planning!!

    My view is, the less you do, the less you have time to do.
    Busier people seem to be much more organised!!
  10. Mark Time

    Mark Time New Member

    I posted without seeing your latest message Toby - on that point (concerts finishing late 11pm etc) I would agree that it is not good if it happens too often - now and again is ok but as you say with young people too many late nights would be a cause for concern. Keeping concerts to one and half hours max for youth bands seems sensible enough to me. Cheers

    And Jamie - my daughter seems to be from the same stable as you when it comes to being busy all the time! :)
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  11. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    I suppose a parent has to weigh up whether it's having a detrimental effect on the child and family ie are they struggling to complete homework, are they tired for school, is their behaviour being affected, is the parent having to juggle things to fit practices/concerts in, is it causing disharmony, do you get enough time with your own partner and to follow your own interests etc?

    I can remember being in the local town band, the schools band, the schools district orchestra, as well as going to guides and playing bowls! As luck would have it, all my rehearsals were on different nights, were within easy walking distance and I didn't have many concerts to attend, so I could fit them all in. I didn't have a wide circle of friends to play with near me and loved going to all these things as it gave me a bit of a social life as well.

    Conversely, no1 son played in the same band as me, which was and still is a very busy concerting band,
    as well as playing in the local youth band. Our band was, and still is very busy, and concerts often clashed leaving us with the dilemna of which to attend. As hubby plays for another busy band the issue of transport was a logistical nightmare at times. On top of his other love, football, something had to give and we made a joint decision to leave the youth band. It wasn't an easy decision as he loved the social side and the oportunities that being part of such an outfit brings, but we managed to come to an agreement without falling out :lol:

    If it doesn't appear to be adversely affecting your daughter, or your family life, it sounds as though she's managing just fine - but keep the communication lines open as they I suspect that sometimes they don't want to admit that things are getting too much for fear of upsetting us :D
  12. TrumpetTom

    TrumpetTom Member

    If she's happy then it's fine. This time last year at 15 going on 16 I was playing with a champianship section band, an orchestra, youth band, school jazz band, school brass band, school orchestra aswell as studying GCSEs, piano and composition and then doing little extra things depping and playing with groups of friends at times e.g. jazz trio and a small few solo things. So 4 nights a week really and used to be 5 a few years ago (that felt like quite alot at the time). Saying all that though, I should've spent more time practicing individually. Now, at Chetham's, I play in a quartet, dectet, brass band, symphony orchestra, big band, trumpet ensemble and then again the odd other one off ensemble e.g. natural trumpets and I spend alot more time practicing than I used to I think!
  13. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    I agree with Toby about issues such as the length of concerts etc, but another positive of playing in several different musical groups is that it gives the child access to wider genres of music - they'll be able appreciate the differences in music styles/composition of the musical organisation/other intrumentation, etc rather than just being a 'brass band' player. (tho' there's now't wrong wi' that!) :D

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