Younger band members

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by MissMusic, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. MissMusic

    MissMusic New Member

    There are only 3 (what i would call) young people in my band. (aged 15-16). Sometimes the older members of the band are really patronising, but just because we are younger does not mean we don't know what we're doing. I really enjoy being part of the band and its 2 nights a week where i don't have to sit for 4 hours straight catching up on coursework lol.
    The conductor recently said that if we notice that someone or a section is playing something wrong then speak up...everyone has a right to. One of the (older) players said that a certain note was out of tune so i said i would listen to it. Later on in the rehearsal i realised she wasn't playing a rhythm right so i told her but she totally blanked me and made me feel really small. Everyone in the band room has a right to tell someone if they're playing something wrong...especially if its the test piece for the areas!

    Does anyone else feel like this?
  2. Cornet_player

    Cornet_player Member

    This is definightly not the case for all bands. In my band there are only about 4 of us who are under 18 in the band but I really feel that we have just as much say about the band as the 'older' players. Very often other players will ask our opinion on the meanings of things or how we would play pieces. :lol:

    I cant speak for contests because Ive never experienced one but I know that my band strive to get the best sound that is possible from the players that they have irrespective of age. :)
  3. blue_smarties

    blue_smarties Member

    I'm the youngest in my band by quite a few years, I'm 14 and the next youngest is 21ish (so i think, tell me if I'm wrong Becky!) and it's not like that at all for me, I'm glad to say! I'm not patronised at all, everyone's really nice and I'm not treated any different from anyone else because of my age :)
  4. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    I've seen both sides of this one - I started with the band when I was 13 and am now one of the old guys. We have a number of younger players, and, in general, there are few problems. There's nothing wrong with a young player as long as that player keeps a good musical standard, keeps in the spirit of the group, doesn't act out during rehearsals or (especially) performances, and keeps a decent attendance record. We wouldn't be able to operate without our younger players.
  5. blue_smarties

    blue_smarties Member

    Which is really the case for everyone in the band
  6. VenusTromster

    VenusTromster Member

    Lol, only out by a year Kate, I'm 20!! You only get treated differently in the bar, but thats only cos you don't have to buy a round!! :D :wink:
  7. Crazysop

    Crazysop Member

    Quite a lot of my band is made up of young people, mostly they are now in their 20's, but when I joined I, like them, was in my teens and age was never an issue, we were treated just like everyone else, even the fogeys! Without the younger end i'm sure my band would fold. Our youngest member now is 11. He is treated just like everyone else. Not sure how that will work in the bar at blackool though!!!!
  8. Di B

    Di B Member

    We have three under 16's in our senior band, all in the 12-14 catagory.

    I personally say that they should ask if something is being played properly if they think it isn't, or if they can't play a part to ask for help and I believe they do.

    An older player might feel threatened by a younger and better player. Or maybe feel worthless or incompetent because they can't do as good a job as a 'mere whippersnapper.' They might think that you don't respect them because you are trying to tell them what to do.

    Odd really, adults tell children what to do and its called 'helping them' but if a child tells an adult they are simply rude!!! :wink:

    Also, a lot of people cannot accept criticism, constructive or otherwise. I have found this seems to become more the case as I get older too, so maybe thats where the problem lies?

    If they give you any more suggestions, keep being polite as you are.
    If something in an important piece is wrong and they don't respond to your comment - have a quiet word with your MD about the part not sounding right and wondering if they could go over that bit.

    Finally, as long as you are playing your part well, enjoying banding and doing your best to be friendly and respectful of other peoples feelings in your band, don't worry! I would give that advice whatever your age too :)
  9. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    We had a case a couple of years ago where we had a young (early 20s) player join the band, he was a terrific player (a professional, in a top military band). However, he seemed to be always critical of everything we did - how the rehearsals were run, the choice of music, the conductor's style, our resident composer's writing style, etc. He lasted less than two seasons before he gave up in frustration and left the group. Those of us on the band committee attempted to make sure he knew we were willing to accept constructive criticism, but not destructive comments.

    I have no problem accepting criticism from a younger player, as long as that player has given me some indication of being qualified to criticise. In the case above, some of his points were very good, and hsi musical ability was evident, but the way in which he went about it and his refusal to accept when his ideas weren't carried out drove him away from the group.
  10. Di B

    Di B Member

    Can I ask how you determine when someone is 'qualified' to criticise? Just curious I guess :)

    In my opinion, I would think no one is qualified to criticise any form of voluntary organisaion, but anyone can make suggestions and ideas on how to improve things - how they are received is another matter of course, and that is where, for some (not yourself!) personal insecurities and stubborness can be to the detriment of a band.
  11. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    if you are sure you are right then have a quiet word with the MD and make sure embarrass the pesky hypocrite in front of the whole band!!!
  12. blue_smarties

    blue_smarties Member

    Lol, I did offer! :) Not that i'm complaining, of course.....! :)
  13. Dawnys_flug

    Dawnys_flug Member

    Being one of the youngest in my band seems to make no difference as to how i'm treated whatsoever.
    Infact, i think that my band are very concerned with what the young people in the band think. We have a young commitee member (me!) and we are not excluded from anything. If you act responsibly and like an adult when it is needed, then you are treated like one. But even the younger players than me (i think the youngest is 12) are still not excluded and their concerns etc. if brought to light are not ignored. They are encouraged to participate in everything.
    It is vital for bands to have young players that feel their participation in the band is worthwhile otherwise, like many people i know at school, they will give up on their bands.
    Feeling that you can make comments which you feel are valid without anyone being patronising towards you etc. is extremely important to everyone, not just young players.
  14. Best thing to do is grin and bear it for the rehearsal and then tell the conductor WHEN NO-ONE ELSE IS ABOUT!!!!! People generally don't like being told they are wrong. You really do need to be so diplomatic in brass bands, it's like being a politician. Chances are, most people won't pay any attention to what you're saying anyway, so there's no point, and then they become stubborn about it so when the conductor does bring it up they get on the defensive etc... if a lowly player has dared to point out the error of their ways! It's much easier just 2 let the conductor sort it once you've made them aware of the problem! After all-that's what they're paid for!
  15. Trigger

    Trigger Member

    I know exactly how you feel. I did a thread on this a couple of weeks ago. Although I must say that it doesn't only happen to people aged 15-16. I am twenty and (not with my current band), when I was eighteen someone told me that I should keep my mouth shut, because I am too young to know what I'm talking about. This was directed at me from both a musical sense and referring to "band politics" (yuk!). He told me that people don't want to hear what I have to say. This is disgusting behaviour, no-ones sensible opinion should be ignored.

    Most people that do that, do it because they are afraid of the younger generation replacing the older. The fact is, it's tough, it's gonna happen so they may as well deal with it. All you should do is ignore them and think to yourself that whenever an "older" person snubs you like, it's because they know your probably right and feel threatened by you.

    Although I would like to add that there are obviously some young people that are also are co*key and should be brought down a peg or two. But this is true of the human race whatever age. If an opinion is valid and sensible then it should be listened to and not ignored, regardless of age.
  16. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I can solve all your problems with one statement -

    move to Australia

    Gladstone currently only has 13 players over 17, but only 8 of those are active playuers at the moment. This as a result, creates a band environment that is really hard to negotiate at times. Kids don't know their own timetables. Can't dress themselves (true story). Need bus transport to contests only an hour away, when the comittee is trying to say "Let's make it a 'FAMILY' event." To top it all off, I have to have regular police checks in order to work with every one of those kids due to new child safety laws.

    Cap Silver was a more adult band, with a few uni students and the odd high shcool in the mix. Such a better band to organise!!
  17. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    well I know how you feel because when I was younger some of the older ones were a bit patronising to say the least. Anyway now I'm not so young (even tho I still act it) and in our band, the youngest who plays in the senior band is 7!! and boy can he voice his opinions :))
    Also we have 2 people under 12 on our main committee who help fundraise and do a good job generally! :wink:

    come and join Long Eaton!! 8)
  18. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    I found this with a lot of young pro players I've had the fortune to play with (esp ones that are used to playing with other players of the same standard) and I'm only 23!!!!!
  19. dashman

    dashman New Member

    I was contesting from the age of 10 and was generally very well looked after and supported throughout. I had assumed that was the norm - sorry to hear it's not always so.
    Don't know if it's proactive or reactive, but Suffolk band association (I think) are setting up a 'S.A.F.E.' scheme for bands, whereby members are given guidelines on how they should and shouldn't treat under 19s, and asked to sign up to a code of conduct.
    It's mostly common sense, a bit over the top, and perhaps a damage limitation excercise, but if it draws attention to the potential problems, it's got to be a good thing...

  20. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    From my experience people that are rude/tutting etc at other players in rehearsals don't just restrict themselves to younger people. Flixton Band doesn't have very many youngsters. We have had 2 aged about 13ish join the band recently and bar that 3/4 that are 17/18. There are alot of people in their 20's and 30's which makes for a good social life!! I think it is great to encourage young people in the band. The only difficulty I can see is trying to be inclusive when organising socials. It is so easy to organise pub crawls etc.

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