Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by davidquinlan, Oct 22, 2004.
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I have seen the report, and have banged on for ages about the banding world about missing opportunities for recruitment, and the importance of the contribution a band makes to a community.
Join our band and you'll get an instrument and tuition provided FREE!!
I notice that the only Brass they have on their list is Trumpet!
Tuba would have been on there but their statistics program can't cope with 100% expressing the same preference.......
I read this earlier on today, and a more "politically correct" piece of tosh at the end I haven't seen for a while. "Most activities tended to represent Western classical traditions"?!?!?!?. Well excuse us for living in a Western country!
It's the PC brigade again, if you want to take up something obscure it's "development" and they'll throw funding at you. Play in a traditional brass band and you get very little.
Ok rant over, to get back to music in schools, bit of a pet subject as my wife teaches brass in the local school! The article does have it spot on in that they are short, low cost lessons, because they have to be (incidentally it's nothing like the figures they're on about- wish it was!), due to the numbers wanting to take part, and there's a waiting list, too. It's done as a tie-in with the local band (not Eccleston, we have our own system), who provide the instruments free on the understanding that when they're good enough they'll move into the band. Of course you always get some who are doing it as a lesson skive, or because their friends are doing it, but they tend not to last so long.
Thing is, if you want to be good at anything quick, you need individual tuition tailored to your level, and that doesn't come cheap whether it's music or flower arranging. Group learning is cheaper, but slower. So you pays your money and takes your choice.......
Youth Bands Are The Way Forward
I agree with much of this, but I don't think you become good (to an acceptable standard) at anything quick especially music; quicker maybe with individual tuition. Group learning can be good for getting people hooked, before progressing to one to one. As your wife will bear out music is the hardest game in town and requires a certain amount of disipline, this is probably why in our modern day culture of all things instant people don't have the staying power to learn an instrument.
A couple thoughts on this:
Since parents have had to pay for lessons in Wigan two things have become noticeable
They are extremely picky about which instruments they will pay for lessons on (huge rise in piano/violin/flute/clarintet)
Those parents who have low incomes are extremely reluctant to pay any amount towards lessons because their incomes are so low that they cannot afford another drain on their limited resources
I notice that the OFSTED report does concentrate on the 'posh' instruments - probably a reflection of where the sampled authorities came from and the backgrounds of the inspectors.
School constantly complains about the cost to the school of lessons - despite the fact that there are very few (maybe one or two) free lessons for kids and a small number of reductions. Yet again, music is not important enough to put money into. I wish I could get my HoD to tell the head to stuff Christmas so that they could see what it would be like without our contribution.
I think there's a bit of a question of priorities in your (2) item, though. Some "very poor" families who may be reluctant to pay towards lessons still manage to have a car, or TV, satellite TV, sony playstation, and so on.
There are relatively few people in the UK who are truly "very poor". There are many who have a lot less than others, of course, but true poverty isn't a widespread phenomenon here in the way it is in some parts of the world.
I agree, Daniel, but I accept that priorities are very different. In Wigan that's even more true. Here you're more likely to find culture in a yoghurt pot or a discarded McDonalds than in the average home.
It is true that very few people go without food in this country, but in some parts of it far too many go withouit mental nourishment because the system encourages indolence.
The thing I tell parents who ask me about the trombone (when I play in the local music centre) is that it is very cheap, like all brass intruments - much cheaper than the violin, clarinet, etc. - tends to get them interested.
The cheapest instrument to hire in wigan is the tuba - still not uptake. at least the trom has a certain cache thanks to the Lurpak ads
However the description on the BBC website a had in my sig for a while was less than flattering! :~
Come to GRESLEY JUNIORBAND/LEARNERS CLASS FREE INSTRUMENT AND TUTION
HAVE A LOOK AT
NOW -NEWSDESK SECTION:-D
At the school I teach at there was very little going on before I arrived. Music service lessons were availiable for those who asked but this was not integrated into school life. Now we have a brass band (very small but making great progress!) this is purely down to me. I found the instruments in a cupboard, pushed to get them fixed up, started a huge recruitment drive etc. Now pupils get an instrument and a 15min lesson (every two weeks) in return for coming to band rehearsal and jobs. Luckily our head is a musician and so very supportive, actually timetabling me to teach brass. However I can't say it's been easy! I'm just about to start another recruitment drive and a funraising push (repairs cost a fortune!) as we need new cases, uniforms and more instruments need repairing. It's worth it though, the kids who play are lovely and wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise.
Quite. My definition of "poor" is if you can't afford fags or beer, cos you're spending all you have on food. I suspect a lot of people who claim to be "poor" would fail that test.
You wouldn't see someone being charged to learn french or maths so why do parents have to pay for instrument tuition. In most schools gifted puipils in other subjects are given additional tuition/opportunities, why can't we have the same opportunities for those who are gifted musicians schools are only to happy to use school bands etc to promote themselves
Sorry pal but the Violin is MUCH cheaper than almost any Band/Orchestral instrument. You can buy a kazoo or a recorder cheaper but not much else.
Perfectly good violins can be bought new for £30 through music sevices! Really pretty good Stentor full-size Violins cost £45 (+ VAT which you don't pay if bought through Council). Both these include good bows and even some rosin. Imagine what these sell for 2nd hand?!
Cheap new, decent Trumpet/Cornet; Besson 1000 £150 + VAT
Trombone; Besson 1000 = £200 +vat
Flute = £200 +vat
Clarinet = £150 +vat
I wish brass were cheaper but they're not!
There must be such volumes of Violins sold that they can sell for this sort of money. They also don't have any moving parts I suppose.
As for taking up instruments, I think times have changed. The world today for kids is that of instant results; instant satisfaction. Learning to play any instrument well takes patience and time.
I strongly believe kids need to play in a Youth Band with their mates to keep their interest high. A kid in a band meets new buddies and has a reason to improve as a player.
Very true - the problem is getting them there in the first place. Lack of parental support and low school priorities do nothing to help.
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