Story submitted, August 2012.
Some background information
- So that I can compare responses between countries and across generations, please give me the following background information on when and where you went to school.
- British -
The country in which you went to school:
- England -
- 35 -
The year in which you left school:
- 1995 -
- I also need some information on your formal music education (if you had one), so please give details below of any lessons or qualifications in music that you have taken. You will have chance to expand on these answers later, so brief details are fine at this stage.
Years of classroom music in school (e.g. aged 5-14):
- Aged 11-16; particularly keen recorder tradition at primary school; also early music groups via owner of local music shop. -
School exams in music (e.g. O Level, GCSE):
- GSCE music; started A level but dropped it as teaching quality was so appalling. -
Instrumental / vocal lessons (e.g. piano from aged 9 to 15):
- Violin 7-8; flute 11-12; Piano 9-17; recorder 8-9, 16-18; viola lessons 24-31; fiddle group lessons 31-34. -
Instrumental / vocal exams (e.g. Grade 5 trumpet aged 14):
- Piano grade 7 aged 16; recorder grade 8 aged 30; viola grade 7 aged 31. -
Other musical study (give details):
- Also played timpani in local youth orchestra with very occasional lessons from percussion peri teacher from neighbouring LEA. -
- Please give a brief description of your current involvement in music:
- Play viola in local orchestra; occasional recorder in early music groups (Early Music Forums) and through contacts in orchestra; occasional attendance of local one off workshps eg Society of Recorder Players; occasional attendance of folk festivals and sessions eg Scots Fiddle Festival; local folk festivals. -
- Please tell me where you heard about this research project:
- Via Alison Diamond, a former colleague from Edinburgh. -
Thank you for those details. The rest of the questionnaire is more open-ended: there are five prompts about home background, school experiences, influential people, highlights and regrets, and you can use those to tell your story in whatever way makes sense to you.
Please answer in as much detail as you feel able to, focusing on those questions which are most relevant to you, and giving specific memories and examples whenever you can.
Life history prompts
- What kind of music was going on in your home as a child? How influential do you think this was in your development?
- Father v keen on classical music which was played often. Also folk and rock. Mother a former classical pianist who had got post grade 8 but sold piano following marriage and many house moves. Attended classical concerts with family from young ago including family concerts and Attarah's Band etc. Very influential on development. But brother never played anything and became heavily into Goth and Indie music instead!. -
- What are your memories of school music? (These might include people, activities, opportunities…)
- Key people were very influential. Very strong recorder and choir tradition in one junior school, little going on in next primary school, but owner of two local music shops (also directed Forbury Consort, made instruments, did recording, organised concerts etc) very inspiring, directed local recorder consort and was also a private teacher. -
- Otherwise school music was very patchy. No provision in secondary school for piano or percussion lessons, no proper school orchestra, but a strong county music tradition in Herefordshire with lots of levels of groups and occasional weekend courses. Local youth orhcestra very much dominated by pupils from local cathedral school. -
- Who has been influential on your musical behaviour at various stages of your life?
- Local recorder teacher, as above. -
- What have been the highlights of your musical life history so far?
- Playing in large scale orchestral concerts, particularly in large venues such as Exeter Cathedral. -
- Do you have any regrets about missed opportunities in music?
- Regret having given up A level music and therefore university degree in music due to poor teaching at sixth form college. Instead switched to another subject. Would like to have studied music at university and therefore to be better proficiency now. Only started a string instrument quite late in mid 20s and have lots of catching up to do! -