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Finding Other Musicians To Play With - Does Anyone Else Find It Diffic


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#31 anacrusis

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 15:36

Ah, now that gives me one last idea.
Try phoning John Everingham of Saunders Recorders in Bristol, and asking him if he might have any suitable contacts. Website here. Yes, I know it's miles away from where you are....but he sells recorder music by internet right across the country, and is ideally placed to know who is buying what and where they live. Amazingly enough, he found my recorder pupil a teacher (me, but she thinks I'll do!), by giving her contact details for one or two people who bought advanced music from him and lived in her area - and we live in Edinburgh, rather further from Bristol than Exeter is.
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#32 Halka

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 17:39

I came to play in a group when someone new arrived at SRP one day and was looking for people to play with. An acquaintance of mine was keen, but lived in a flat, so volunteered me to provide a venue! I was absolutely terrified as I thought they were both much better players than me. Several years on we're still going, and they're still better than me! We're not cliquey at all. Other players have come (and a couple gone) over the years, and we're always happy to let anyone join in, so long as they will tolerate our mistakes and we can all fit in my sitting room!

Now, I know this doesn't help you, but I remember being surprised by your original post and the reaction to it when I read it back in 2007. Perhaps we are fortunate here, as we are in a city and our SRP branch is one of the bigger ones, but my impression is that in our area there are quite a number of quite flexible groups meeting, of all sorts of standards, and that anyone who asked our SRP secretary could be pointed in the direction of one. In fact she'd probably invite them to come and play with her! At our monthly SRP meetings we have announcements just before tea and it would be quite in order to ask the secretary to announce then that you were looking for people to play with. Have you tried that approach?

I am quite shy, so had it not been for my acquaintance commandeering my back room, I'd probably be in the same boat as you. On the other hand, I like to think that having had the good experience that I have had, I'd be a bit more forward in looking for fellow players if I ever moved to another part of the country.

So, in conclusion, I just wanted to say that in my experience recorder players are a rather friendly and welcoming lot, and to encourage you to be bold and keep asking at SRP, ERO etc.


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#33 Aeolienne

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:40

Someone has suggested that I make a recording of my playing and tout it around as a way of being accepted by a ensemble. Has anyone else tried this?
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#34 corenfa

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:50

QUOTE(Aeolienne @ Dec 28 2012, 11:40 AM) View Post

Someone has suggested that I make a recording of my playing and tout it around as a way of being accepted by a ensemble. Has anyone else tried this?


Sort of... I had a recording of my piano playing that I once submitted in lieu of an audition for a masterclass.
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#35 lingle

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:13

hello there,

Like many of the people with aspergers whom I have come to know, you are a very clear communicator in writing. I assume that you are not as effective face to face and on the telephone, and so find casual networking hard?

May I ask - what grade exams have you taken?




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#36 barry-clari

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:40

QUOTE(lingle @ Dec 28 2012, 12:13 PM) View Post

hello there,

Like many of the people with aspergers whom I have come to know, you are a very clear communicator in writing. I assume that you are not as effective face to face and on the telephone, and so find casual networking hard?

May I ask - what grade exams have you taken?


Aeolienne is a fine recorder player smile.gif

Have you been to SRP North London yet, Aeolienne? I think, in the first instance, regular attendance at SRP meets would be a good thing for you smile.gif
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#37 Aeolienne

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:58

QUOTE(lingle @ Dec 28 2012, 01:13 PM) View Post

May I ask - what grade exams have you taken?

Up to Grade VIII.
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#38 lingle

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 15:30

May I ask - what grade exams have you taken?
[/quote]
Up to Grade VIII.
[/quote]

great. And (putting myself in the position of fellow Devon recorder players) perhaps even more importantly, may I ask the questions that they will probably be too polite to ask, namely:

What standard you would expect of your fellow ensemble members? Grade V plus? Grade VII plus? Is there a level of player that you would feel uncomfortable playing alongside because their standard was too much higher?

and

Can you describe an evening with your ideal ensemble? Would you want everyone to have a common understanding of what the core repertoire is? What would you find irritating or difficult - someone who didn't practice? How would you feel if someone proposed an arrangement for recorder of very different repertoire or (as has happened in my string quartet) Bohemian Rhapsody or some early 20th century novelty piece? Is your ideal to play the first note at 8pm, the last at 10pm and bid each other farewell, or would you prefer increasing proportions of the evening to be musical chat? Are you comfortable meeting in someone else's house? Would public performance be something to aim for or something to shy away from? How would you feel if you initially found only one fellow-player and the two of you had to play only two parts for a while while you sought out other members?

I ask these questions because my various ensembles are very different from each other and people who've already been in an ensemble will be aware of these potential differences and may be put off by too much having to "read between the lines" of an invitation to participate. Whereas if you can put the answers to these questions (and other more recorder-specific ones that I haven't thought of) in your initial spoken or written approach - rather like you might prepare a presentation at work - then I think that would increase your chances.





I'm no huge fan of the British exam system but one advantage of it is that a card saying "Grade 8 recorder player seeks players of similar standard" sends an extremely clear message.

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#39 Aeolienne

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 19:08

QUOTE(lingle @ Jan 1 2013, 04:30 PM) View Post
great. And (putting myself in the position of fellow Devon recorder players)...

For the record, I haven't lived in Devon since 2010, although I still own a flat in Exeter.

QUOTE(lingle @ Jan 1 2013, 04:30 PM) View Post

...perhaps even more importantly, may I ask the questions that they will probably be too polite to ask, namely:

What standard you would expect of your fellow ensemble members? Grade V plus? Grade VII plus? Is there a level of player that you would feel uncomfortable playing alongside because their standard was too much higher?

In terms of being "too much higher", I can't really describe such a standard objectively. I could only hope that they would give me a chance to attend one session and that I wasn't good enough they would have the decency to tell me kindly (as opposed to not returning my emails etc).

It's a valid question to ask - how higher above my current level (however you measure that) would I be comfortable with? I've had it suggested that I should approach conservatoires to find fellow musicians, but I'm concerned that's way out of my league. I wouldn't want to come across as attempting to scrounge free tuition or wasting trainee professionals' valuable practice time. FWIW, I did look into the RCM when I was in the area, but their main notice board was just beyond a swipe-card gate next to reception, so not accessible by the general public.

QUOTE(lingle @ Jan 1 2013, 04:30 PM) View Post
What would you find irritating or difficult - someone who didn't practise?

People who don't take it seriously, or refuse to play anything with semiquavers, comes to mind.

QUOTE(lingle @ Jan 1 2013, 04:30 PM) View Post
Is your ideal to play the first note at 8pm, the last at 10pm and bid each other farewell, or would you prefer increasing proportions of the evening to be musical chat?

I'd like there to be some chat, if only to be able to bounce ideas off each other such as the relative merits of Dartington vs the Ambridge Summer School.

QUOTE(lingle @ Jan 1 2013, 04:30 PM) View Post
Are you comfortable meeting in someone else's house?

Yes, so long as I'd met some of the people beforehand.

QUOTE(lingle @ Jan 1 2013, 04:30 PM) View Post
Would public performance be something to aim for or something to shy away from?

Ideally I would like to aim for that, but I appreciate I have to start somewhere.

QUOTE(lingle @ Jan 1 2013, 04:30 PM) View Post
How would you feel if you initially found only one fellow-player and the two of you had to play only two parts for a while while you sought out other members?

Rather disappointed as I have very little two-part music!

QUOTE(lingle @ Jan 1 2013, 04:30 PM) View Post
I'm no huge fan of the British exam system but one advantage of it is that a card saying "Grade 8 recorder player seeks players of similar standard" sends an extremely clear message.

Where to put the card, there's the rub? The London Recorder Centre (i.e. the Early Music Shop's southern outpost) doesn't have a noticeboard.

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#40 Aeolienne

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 21:48

I see the SRP website now has a "players wanted" section - although the last advert for London was placed over a year ago. Link
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#41 Aeolienne

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 20:56

QUOTE(Aeolienne @ May 3 2013, 09:48 PM) View Post

I see the SRP website now has a "players wanted" section - although the last advert for London was placed over a year ago. Link

And the person who placed that advert has replied to my email to say that (a) he's leaving the country in August and (b) he plays at A415. Back to the drawing-board!
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#42 Aeolienne

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 11:02

In my present location I've been to several sessions of Warwickshire SRP, but it's a fag to get to (in a village with no direct public transport link to Leamington Spa) and frankly I've been unimpressed. On more than one occasion I had to play descant for the entire session as no-one else was willing or able to play that part. Also I overheard someone declaring that she couldn't do 2:2 time, as if that were something to be proud of.

 

More recently I met someone involved with an English Civil War re-enactment group who said I'd be more than welcome to join them as a fife player. She apparently thought fifes and recorders were interchangeable, but in any case it wouldn't matter as no-one was expected to read music. I pointed out that fifes were (AFAIK) transverse, but I'm not sure she knew what I was talking about. :rolleyes:


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#43 cestrian

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 18:34

More recently I met someone involved with an English Civil War re-enactment group who said I'd be more than welcome to join them as a fife player. She apparently thought fifes and recorders were interchangeable, but in any case it wouldn't matter as no-one was expected to read music. I pointed out that fifes were (AFAIK) transverse, but I'm not sure she knew what I was talking about. rolleyes.gif

 

Typical Cavalier attitude


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#44 Aeolienne

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 11:48

Last weekend I went to a recorder workshop arranged by the Midlands Early Music Forum (Memf), the first event of theirs I've attended in ten months. As soon as I donned my name badge a lot of people recognised me as the one who had contacted them shortly after my move to Leamington Spa (over two years ago!) to enquire about playing opportunities.


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#45 Aeolienne

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 16:24

In December I went to another Memf workshop, this one aimed at all A440 musicians. I had various people suggest I talk to so-and-so about opportunities for recorder playing, but these "opportunities" all boiled down to just two options: Warwickshire SRP and the Heart of England Recorder Orchestra. Am I an out-and-out snob for being disappointed with the standard of Warwickshire SRP?


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