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Nail Soup

Did music lessons at school help with your musical life?

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We had compulsory music lessons only in years 1-3 at secondary school, and they were largely a waste of time - definitely for me and most probably for the rest of the class.

Firstly, as my mother was a piano teacher I'd had lessons from about age 7 or 8 and had done grade 5 practical/theory at about 13 so the music teacher gave me different end of year exams from everybody else (!). Not only that, but he was very poor at imposing any sort of discipline so everybody just messed about, taking absolutely no notice of the rudimentary theory and multiple record playing of Peter and the Wolf and Jesus Christ Superstar... 

It was only in 6th form when we got a one-off band together to play very average versions of our RE teacher's favourite Crosby Stills and Nash/Dylan songs that I realised, thanks to @lurksalot's brother, that playing keyboard was for losers and that Bass was actually The Place. 😃

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11 hours ago, AlexDelores said:

Found an old school report a few weeks back and my music teachers comments were ... 

“Alex needs to stop focusing all of his time on the bass guitar and make sure he’s spending time learning a variety of instruments”

... Pretty sure this is the exact opposite of how you learn to play an instrument.

Fortunately, at the time I was too busy playing my bass to be arsed to read my school report.

On my school report:

"His design of guitars is stunning. I wish I could say the same for his history."

This was based on the fact that I spent most of my history lessons doodling guitars rather than taking notes. I managed to scrape a C at 'O' Level. I hoping that I'll be able to afford to get Simon at Gus Guitars to build my version of the Bass VI before the teacher in question dies. I know that he is still around because he runs one of the U3A history groups that my mum attends.

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From Horace Hawkins, Choirmaster at Chichester Cathedral........

’His mind is not on this earth, let alone his music’.   It improved but I still have the attention span of a gnat. Probably why I don’t practise.

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That reminds me, at ‘O’ level we could either take music or art, but not both. I was top of the school at art and music lessons involved no music whatsoever, so obviously I took art. What sort of syllabus has music OR art? I had to take  German instead of music, which was my worst subject (not helped by the fact that for two years our German teacher sat and read the paper in class). 

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My school music lessons involved a fight to get a shoddy electric keyboard out of a cupboard then we had to magic up the ability to read sheet music and play piano. You shared a keyboard between two and just had to sit there and work it out. Hardly education. One week they asked us to do a rap. That was excruciating. 

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I learned recorder at primary school, learned to read music (very soon forgotten...) and actually got reasonably good at it, even wrote a few little tunes of my own 🙂  Moved to grammar school in 1977, music teacher in the first year was old enough to have been around when Mozart and co were writing and was more concerned with making sure we listed all the parts in Peter And The Wolf in two columns in our exercise books instead of in a line etc, taught us nothing useful; second year we had a much younger teacher who would explain things to us using "examples" like Gordon Is A Moron* and Friggin' In The Rigging...! Also recall him doing things like spending lunchtimes showing some of the older kids how to play Are 'Friends' Electric on whatever the organ-type thing in the music room was. Unfortunately I was far more academic than artistic and didn't carry on with it after the second year.

*yes I know it isn't actually called that!

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3 hours ago, 4000 said:

That reminds me, at ‘O’ level we could either take music or art, but not both. I was top of the school at art and music lessons involved no music whatsoever, so obviously I took art. What sort of syllabus has music OR art? I had to take  German instead of music, which was my worst subject (not helped by the fact that for two years our German teacher sat and read the paper in class). 

I had to fight to do chemistry, physics and biology at A-level! As 2 or 3 of us wanted it they let us do it. This was in a huge school!

 

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1 hour ago, davepb24 said:

 

*yes I know it isn't actually called that!

Jilted John was John Shuttleworth = Graham Fellowes.

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On 05/09/2020 at 08:40, scalpy said:

As the head of music at a secondary school I'm following this thread with curiosity and a sense of dread!

I think most folk have posted their comments now. So @scalpy what is your your verdict/thoughts?

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14 hours ago, Nail Soup said:

I think most folk have posted their comments now. So @scalpy what is your your verdict/thoughts?

Retirement!??🤣🤣🤣

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On 20/09/2020 at 21:08, Nail Soup said:

I think most folk have posted their comments now. So @scalpy what is your your verdict/thoughts?

To be honest I stopped following, the majority of posts refer to a lesson style that was deservedly swept out decades ago. From a quick skim read I didn't spot much about what poster's children get at school now, which would have been interesting, and I am acutely aware I am that guy who forces people to read the dots and play the keyboard. This thread reinforces the perils most modern music teachers are aware of but I'd like to think us as a breed are better at putting the bigger picture across. It's a fine, fine line and we cannot get it right everytime, but the bad old days of thrown chalk dusters and an hour following the score of a symphony are long gone.

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Are there any good resources available showing what happens in the classroom now?

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5 hours ago, scalpy said:

, but the bad old days of thrown chalk ....

The only teacher that ever threw stuff at me was the music teacher , It didn’t endear me to him as I would throw it Straight back .

but nowadays the availability of the music software and recording kit some schools have is awesome , and some even let the kids use it after hours in clubs . I also know that some of the productions they put on are incredible , but I suspect that is down to the teachers and staff who are prepared to put the effort in. 

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5 hours ago, scalpy said:

To be honest I stopped following, the majority of posts refer to a lesson style that was deservedly swept out decades ago. From a quick skim read I didn't spot much about what poster's children get at school now, which would have been interesting, and I am acutely aware I am that guy who forces people to read the dots and play the keyboard. This thread reinforces the perils most modern music teachers are aware of but I'd like to think us as a breed are better at putting the bigger picture across. It's a fine, fine line and we cannot get it right everytime, but the bad old days of thrown chalk dusters and an hour following the score of a symphony are long gone.

To be fair, the question was about our experiences, not our kids although my daughter's school experiences weren't hugely better than mine, I suspect.

Since school she has had drumming and singing lessons which helped her confidence a lot, and she can play some basic guitar, which is good.

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