Name: Maizie. Obviously.
Marital status: Married for 4 years, we got married on the day we'd been together 10 years...
Owned by: One cat (Tigger - currently very ill
) and five rats (Hope, Ziegler, Segretti, Nixon and Kissinger [all girls]. They've had 13 predecessors since 1993).
Occupation: "Senior Programmer/Analyst" (in clinical data management)
Qualifications: MA(Oxon) Biological Sciences, CertAPS [Astronomy and Planetary Sciences - Open University].
Qualifications in progress: BA(Hons) Humanities with Classical Studies (Open Uni); BSc (Open Uni - no specific subject, but it's going to mainly be physics, astronomy + history of science). On current plans, these should be achieved in 2011 and 2013 respectively.
Ramble: Played the recorder for as long as I can remember. I had group lessons at primary school. I was probably about 9 years old when I got a tenor recorder to go with my descant. Went to secondary school and got individual teaching - first discovery was that there was this thing called tounging you were supposed to do! Joined the Monday lunchtime recorder consort - usually the only tenor player!
Also when I started secondary school, I had cello lessons - I'd never played a stringed instrument before. The first teacher lasted two terms, as did the second, and then there was no cello peri at my school. So that was the end of my cello tuition.
Carried on with the recorder, aquired a treble ('Make it an Aulos to match everyone else, not like your strange tenor' [which was a Dolmetsch Classic, I now know]). Took some exams between 1987 and 1991 - I think it was G1, 2 and 4 descant, with G2 and 3 treble. I did music GCSEin 1992, and played Treble I in Pachelbel's Canon in D as my performance piece. My composition was a canon for string quartet, built entirely by theory with occasional 'this is what it'll sound like' using my recorder
For the recording, a friend of mine played the cello part (a six-note repeating pattern played nearly 70 times), and my music teacher played the three upper parts and did the magic to get them all playing together on a tape. Hmm, maybe I'll go home tonight and hunt out that tape and have a listen...
A-levels were science, and I didn't resume music lessons (I'd had them free with my GCSE in music). That was pretty much it for music.
I started university in 1994 and didn't really look at any of the music societies. I actually went and looked quite recently, and I've very glad to see there isn't a recorder group there as I'd now be gutted to know I'd missed out on that! My mum moved house while I was at uni in 1996, and as part of the clearing out I chucked out my music exam certificates/mark sheets - after all, I was never going to need them again.
When I left uni (1998) I got a job, and blew my first bonus in 2000 on an electric cello (to allow quiet practice). Almost no practice followed...
I started studying with the OU in 2000, and was immediately attracted to A214, a music course. I decided I would do it, but also decided to get myself to G5 theory first. To that end, I took G3 theory as a starter in 2003 (and got 98%). After much thinking, and discussion with my husband on our financial situation, I decided I couldn't afford to do A214 (as it has a summer school, it's expensive for an OU course). So I took no more theory exams. Music was gone again.
In 2006 life changed; my husband and I had lived in a flat since 1998. The flat was owned by my mum and step-dad. At the start of 2006, they split up, and my mum needed the flat to live in. So we were 'evicted', and at long last bought a house (with a garden! And an upstairs! And everything!)
While my mother was moving, she found lots of my junk in the loft. She listed things for me and I told her what to keep and what to give away. My train set had to be kept (I'd got it for my second birthday, it was what I'd asked for and I always adored it); my recorders could go.
24 hours later I phoned her back up - KEEP the treble and tenor, chuck the descant(s).
Between April and August 2006, I didn't manage anything other than looking at them. I found my local SRP, and contacted them over the summer hols. I didn't manage to make it to any in the first term, but I did manage it in January. I went to my first meeting with just the tenor, as I couldn't cope with treble fingering. By the time I was at my second meeting, well...I owned a wooden descant and I'd sorted out the treble fingering, so I had three recorders to play. In the six months since then - I've got a bass, upgraded from my old Aulos treble to a new Kung treble, swapped my tenor (which was being out of tune with itself) for a half-price new Dolmetsch Nova, and at long last arranged some lesson (which should start next month). I also have a positively obscene amount of recorder music that's going to be simply embarrassing
when I meet my teacher (who will be coming to my house so there's no hiding it [except, maybe, in the loft!])
I got in touch with Trinity about those exams I took years ago - turns out that the microfiches that haven't been lost have faded in to unreadability. Nevermind - I found the 1990 G4 descant music on eBay and when it arrived I identified my pieces almost immediately! One, I was pleased to realise, was the unknown piece of music found so frequently in my head these last 17 years
I gave in and sold the cello, realising that having a house and thus space didn't miraculously make me start playing it more, which in part has enabled me to have recorder lessons. I've been very self-conscious about practicing with my husband home, but I am getting better and better at it - the more I do, the less scary it is. I can go home and pick up the recorder and play, something I never did with the cello and couldn't see myself developing either! Once I 'have' to practice it'll be great (the threat of my teacher telling me off will be more scary than the thought of my husband overhearing, especially when he's always telling me he doesn't mind and in fact barely pays it any attention!). So that's where I am now, looking forward to lessons, pondering G5 theory, and generally being, as my signature says, a happy recorder addict.