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At What Point Could You 'Play' Your Instrument


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#16 SingingPython

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 22:40

When my younger sister and I were primary school age, we used to say that we learned violin (and later piano) and played recorder.  I think we started saying that even when we still had recorder lessons (as part of a Kodaly group class).

 

I actually can't remember when I would have started thinking of / calling myself a violinist.  I stopped lessons in my last year at school age 16, but then spent many more years in weekly youth orchestra rehearsals so it remained a constant in my life.  Younger sister pursued violin professionally and had been demonstrably much better than me since about the age of 10, so that meant I always had a very realistic view of what I was not!

 

Now I'm teaching I'm looking back on my teenage self with new eyes and a different understanding of what I had actually achieved at that point!

 

Do I call myself a pianist?  Well, I certainly would say I can play the piano, but haven't practised much beyond a bit of straightforward accompanying here and there, and definitely can't play as I once could (grade 8 + on a good day with a following wind ...).  And now I have a son whose abilities help circumscribe what I am not!


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#17 anacrusis

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 14:11

I've struggled more with the concept of being a "musician" than with the idea that I'm a recorder player - or more accurately, player of recorders: this year though I was travelling back from London with a music stand and six recorders in my handluggage, including a great bass, bass, two tenors and two trebles, and predictably enough airport security freaked out at the sight of all the tubes and keywork on their monitors... it seemed the most efficient simply to say, "I'm a musician" by way of explanation. I was rather glad they didn't demand I prove it! 

Really though, everything is relative - I'm a better player/musician than some, and decidedly poorer than others. The only time a label for this one matters is if being asked to play - am I up to scratch for what is needed, and will I be able to communicate what I feel about the music to others? 


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#18 Aquarelle

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 11:00

Well, I haven't got to that point - yet! I might consider I was on the way if I could equal Martha Agerich but as that will never happen I'll just go on plodding along.


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