One for the teachers, student standard?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Bryan_sop, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    Here's a question for the brass teachers on here,

    What would you class as exceptionally good standard and, is it regional?

    Would a 12 year-old cornet/euph/horn etc etc player expect to be of a better standard in, say yorkshire, where banding is very popular than say, where I teach, in Cambridge, where banding is dragging it's heels and bands are collapsing?

    I ask, because I've got some exceptional and really keen students, that have next to nowhere to play. I've got a cracking young lad that is really going to go far but finding him somewhere to play with others is an issue! Grade 4 merit last term, Grade 5 merit last week, aged 12. He needs people to play with!

    I'm looking for places for him to perform, whether it's competitions or whatever. He's one of only a few students I have that come out of exams looking like they've really enjoyed themselves, grinning like cheshire cats!

    I'm looking at leicester to enter him for the slow melody. He'd kick ass at the Air varie but isn't old enough! but I think you need to be tied to a band?
  2. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    The LBBA's Spring Contest (held in April) is open entry and I think this means you can enter if you are not attached to a band. It might be worth getting in touch with Lesley Bentley (details on the website) to see exactly what the rules are regarding unattached players. I certainly remember competing there (in about 1732), against unattached players.
  3. euph77

    euph77 Member

    I would class that as exceptionally good - I had an 11 year old who passed grade 5 with me (I forget what he achieved) and then went on to a specialist music school. My good players of a similar age are around grade 2 or 3. I'm based in Gloucestershire where we have quite a thriving band movement and a fabulous youth brass band.

  4. Split Splat

    Split Splat Member

    H Bryan,
    What an excellent post and one close to my heart at the moment!
    In the early stages of a players development I don’t there would be regional differences and I think that progress would be down to ability, desire to learn and the ability of their tutor.
    Once the player has reached a certain stage in their development I think it is very important to play in a band to progress further AND understand that there is also a social side to playing, again fueling their desire to take things further..... so it’s a positive experience for a number of reasons..... 1) player development 2) social skills/standards and the list goes on!

    Just as a comparison, my daughter passed her grade 5 (tenor horn) with Merit aged 12, narrowly missing Distinction. She scored 29/30 in one of her pieces but it was the aural where she dropped the majority of her points!

    But now I have had my proud dad moment (and to get back on track) I am also struggling to find her a Youth Band locally, she has just joined Elland Youth which is going to be a 75 mile round trip for me every Saturday morning!
    There are brass bands locally, but hardly any of them have kids of a similar age and I don’t think she would find the experience as rewarding if she played in a band full of adults!

    My daughter has lessons through the peri system at school and is very fortunate to have an excellent teacher.

    So, no I don’t think there will be a regional differences in standards in the early years BUT I think players who then go on to join bands/orchestras will then go on to improve/develop at faster rate than those who don’t.....O and because all the best bands are in Yorkshire that would mean that Yorkshire players will continue to be the best! ;)
  5. lannerfalcon

    lannerfalcon Member

    I'd say Cornwall has its fair share of talented youngsters, you only have to look at the success that Camborne Youth have had. At Lanner we set up the 'Lanner Brass Academy' two years ago which has gone from strength to strength.

    One to watch out for in the future is the 8 year old principle cornet, Siana. She passed her ABRSM Grade 3 last year with distinction and is now working towards her Grade 4.

    She performed A Whole New World at a recent concert and despite it being a church fete with lots of hustle and bustle going on around her she gave a cracking performance. (well I thought so but maybe I am a little biased ;))

    At her request it's been put on You Tube: A Whole New World

    ... and probably the best thing is she just enjoys doing it!
  6. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    Looking for a comp? Foden's solo, duet, and quartet competition has classes for all age groups, including an Air Varie class for U 16s. Players don't need to belong to a band, and can play in ensemble classes with players from other bands. We had a few up from Cambridge and Middlesex last year and they had a fab time. Be great to see some of your pupils, and the band is putting on a workshop as well :D
  7. lannerfalcon

    lannerfalcon Member

    If you weren't 300 miles away it would have been great to come along. Maybe 2013 we could look to arrange something...
  8. Kiz7

    Kiz7 Member

    You could make a day of it at the Forest of Dean Solo, Duet & Quartet competition on Sat 14th July - not quite as far away from you as the Foden's contest!

    Drop me a PM if you'd like details - same to you Bryan as we aren't that far away from you
  9. lannerfalcon

    lannerfalcon Member

    Not far at all, only 200 miles (or 4 hours) away! Thanks anyway.
  10. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    I too did loads of SM Contests around about 1732 (Ha ! Ha ! ~
    I don't look my age !)_ there were always quite a few "Unattached" entrants. Nobody seemed to bother about it. You paid your entrance fee and got up there.

    ~ Mr Wilx
  11. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    I wouldn't think that there would be many competitions still in existance that require membership of a band.

    As for the original question, absolutely not. Talent is talent, full stop. Of course in the areas you mentioned you will obviously have greater numbers due to popularity, but that is never going to affect the overall standard unless all the best teachers are situated there and the other areas have no good teachers, which is of course not the case.

    I would encourage them to attend as many of these kinds of competitions as possible, it's a great way of developing confidence as a player, plus learning how to deal with the odd bad experience that may crop up. I regret not doing much of this when I started playing.
    On the topic of young regional talent, check out this whippersnapper from a competition Eikanger were involved in hosted in Bergen a few weekends ago..
    Hard to believe she's only 11!!
  12. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    We had players from N Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man - folks'll travel miles for our comp! We could sort you out with bed and breakfast! ;)
  13. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    Since my original post, the lad I mentioned has been playing with a local non-contesting band's youth band and, after winning the youth section of the band's solo competition, is playing in the main band (only on 2nd bari though) He's stuck at G5 theory now but making a good attempt at G7-8 pieces. He's the kind of student that needs something to aim for, otherwise he doesn't bother. He asked if he could go straight on to his G8 after he gets G5 theory and I'm tempted to say yes, to motivate him to practice! He gets bored if there's nothing to aim for...
  14. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    Great stuff, Ill see you and raise you!!! lol Check this kid out on youtube dont know how to inbed youtube here.
  15. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Check out Trinity Guildhall exams - MUCH better syllabus (in my opinion) and no need to put exams on hold because of theory.
    That said, I think my opinions on exams are known - a bit of paper for the parents, not something a student should worry about. Let the student play for the love of playing rather than to achieve the next bit of paper (a bit like the bands who only seem to live for contests - what is the point?)