The Generation Gap??

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by lil_hel_102, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. lil_hel_102

    lil_hel_102 New Member

    Are there any other bands out there suffering from the generation gap or have you found a way round the struggle and come out the other end better off? Or Is it just bands in yorkshire that are finding it hard to find players??
  2. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    I think it's a country wide issue. Certainly there is a massive shortage of cornets in west and south west london. If it makes you feel any better, I was chatting to the recruitment officer for the Coldstream Guards and they are having the same problems.

    It seems that we have a whole generation which are growing up with little or no contact to music. Despite so-called "goverement incentives" kids are not being made aware of how much fun it is learning and instrument and playing in a band. One school I know of were given some brass instruments under a "goverment incentive" for 6 months and then they were simply taken away and told "right now you have to pay".....
  3. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    the problem is..... it just isn't cool - and the next few generations will be brought up with the notion that not being cool is a heinous crime. Brass Banding will never get more kids involved without either

    A) getting into schools at an early age and catching the keen ones before other influences ruin them (my choice - having seen it work)


    B) we all pander to the 'cool' vibe and start playing Puff Daddy.

  4. bbg

    bbg Member

    We are having a slight generation gap problem at present - we can't get the adults at band!!

    Youth band are strong at the moment, to the extent that of a travelling party of around 40 (including a few non players) for Germany next month, more than half are under 18. Work / uni / family commitments are taking a toll on the 20s and early-30s age group, then there's me with a grown-up family.......anyone in their 30s / 40s like to join us??
  5. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    When I played with Lofthouse a few years everyone was of the 'older' generation, or under 18. Then there was me stuck in the middle in my early twenties!

    The other bands I have played with down south have mainly been adults - probably with the exception of Tilbury, which has a really vibrant youth band going. The amount of enthusiasm that is put in down there week on week is amazing.
  6. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    Here on the Isle of Wight we have no problem recruiting youngsters and there are several flourishing Youth Bands (Vectis Youth, Shanklin Youth, IW Youth Brass Band), I'm currently teaching a band of 30, 9 to 13 year olds at one school alone (Nodehill Middle School).
    The problem comes at 18 when everyone heads off for Uni or out to work. We have no Uni on IW so we don't get any inflow of 18 year olds and anyone working in the low-wage economy that is our little Island is generaly too busy to play.
    At around 40 people start to return to banding because they have a little more time and money pressures are less or perhaps their own children start to play.
    My father started playing at 13, gave up when he got married and only started again 19 yrs later when I, the youngest child, started playing. It's only the committed/lucky few who carry on regardless. It's not a new thing.
    At the Brass band I conduct ( we have only 3 or 4 under 40s in our regular line-up - a couple of years ago that would've read only 1 or 2 under 60s so we ARE bringing the age down...
  7. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Put a brass band on "Britain's got talent."

    Then we might get somewhere.

    I suppose half the problem is that a lot of youngsters don't even know we exist....
  8. KenIrvin

    KenIrvin Member

    We do not seem to have a problem at Ashbourne with third of the band aged between 10 and 20, the rest spread up to 70. However I don't think the schools help - we get no encouragement from the local school and our youngsters often feel they being disloyal to school by playing in the town band. We approached the music department at every school in a ten mile area and got exactly 0 responses. :frown:
  9. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    Most - and I said most, not all - young people don't know what most of the instruments in a brass band are. During a gig last year, a secondary school student (12-ish perhaps) came up to me and, pointing at the cornet section, asked if they were saxophones.

    I will say there are a lot of younger brass players in my area, but the vast majority play the cornet. There is only a certain amount of back row cornets one can have without upsetting the balance. The problem I can see is some of the younger ones (and some of the slightly older ones) won't be coaxed onto another instrument... call me selfish, but we have in excess of 10 back row cornets and only one baritone, for example.

    We have an extreme lack of Sop and Bass Trom players in North Wales... I only know of 1 Sop player and 1 Bass Trom player within a reasonable distance.

    This makes recruiting for the band a nightmare.
  10. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    All the young trombonists on the Isle of Wight seem to want to play Bass Trombone !! Perhaps we need to arrange an exchange.
  11. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    This is a problem in many (not all) areas. In Co Durham a friend, who is a peri, told me they were actively discouraged from promoting brass bands to their pupils. When I conducted a local youth band one local comprehensive wouldn't allow their players to come to our youth brass band, even though they were actually formed using instruments from our organisation and had pupils who played in their 'big band' on our instruments.
    Can organisations not see the mutual benefit in sharing youngsters talents...?!! :confused: Muppets!
  12. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    My sister's daughter is learning baritone at the moment, however she is not allowed to use her school instrument in any outside this means that unless she could find a brass band with a spare instrument she wouldn't be playing in any local bands.....if this is the case countrywide, then there is an issue right there! Children being encouraged to play brass instruments, but not being allowed to play them in anything other than a school/county organised band.
  13. KenIrvin

    KenIrvin Member

    I think a lot of bands have the opposite problem - like us. Kids use the expensive band instruments (Bass, baritone etc) for school bands but are still discouraged from playing with the town brass band.
    Regarding your sister's problem most bands would be happy to lend an instrument to a youngster who is kean to have a go. We have a training section and all are provided with a good quality instrument.
  14. toptutti

    toptutti Member

    [ We have an extreme lack of Sop and Bass Trom players in North Wales... I only know of 1 Sop player and 1 Bass Trom player within a reasonable distance.

    This makes recruiting for the band a nightmare.[/quote]

    You know two - but last time I played sop at Gwernaffield I wasn't allowed on stage :ranting2:
  15. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    @ toptutti:
    PM sent
  16. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    Some bands are very particular about this too... I have heard some people saying that they can't dep for us because the instruments are provided by their band...

    I use a band instrument because it's a better model than the one I own, but I use it in 4 organisations and nobody has complained at all.
  17. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    I'm the same, even though I know its bad thinking, I actually think of my band instrument as mine! I've loaned it out to deps, and players in other bands, as well as playing for other bands myself using this instrument. Mind you, I am funny about loaning my stuff to other people lol! Like I won't let anyone else use my mute, coz I bought it, and I don't want it wrecked lol!
  18. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Burbage are a band that teaches all our players from scratch therefore at present we haven't a shortage of players in our band. However we struggle to attract players especially decent cornet players. Our back row is very weak because of this and we struggle to give them the time to develp there playing. We have started to do lessons before band for the lesser experience players in the band.

    Bass players will become a problem oviously due to you cannot really give a bass to a young 10 year old. But at present we have a strong bass section who are experience asnd played together for a while.

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