Growing up with Music

I first got into music when I learned to play the recorder whilst I was in junior school.  I used to practice for ages at a time mostly on my own but sometimes with my brother. The neighbours often commented on how lovely the sound was. I got far ahead of where I should have been in the ‘Learn to Play’ book.  The music Mistress was a bit of a stickler and wasn’t too impressed with this. She said I should have been practicing the same page over and over again!  In future I kept my progress to myself and when she asked I said I was always on the page she had told me to practice.  She invariably thought the pieces I had been told to practice were good enough so the fact I had  moved ahead obviously wasn’t adversely affecting my playing.

After I moved to senior school I took up the Clarinet and played in the school orchestra.  I also joined the choir.  For a time I played in the junior band, helping out on the kettle drums and percussion instruments.  As well as playing the clarinet, I made my own bamboo pipes which have a much more mellow sound than the recorder.  It was fun and challenging to make and tune them, getting one note at a time as the instrument progressed.  I enjoyed playing the base pipe in a small bamboo pipe quartet.  My base bamboo pipe was actually made of aluminium, because it was difficult get bamboo large enough.

I had endless fun going all around the county and sometimes further afield to perform in concerts, old people’s homes, hospitals and many other places.

One memorable occasion was singing at the Llangollen Eisteddfod in the Saturday evening concert.  We were the last choir on stage and the schedule had slipped so we performed a lot later than planned.  We sang several encores and eventually got home at 5am in the morning after watching the sunrise on the way home.

 At the Christmas concerts we were always joined by former pupils and they were a lot of fun.  On one occasion when it was time for the orchestra to play I had 10 trombone players standing right behind me.  It was so loud I could hardly hear myself think, let alone play!

The event I loved the most was Christmas Eve, singing carols by the Ironbridge. Over the years more and more local people turned up and joined in. The singing only lasted for 30 minutes, but by the end of it you knew that it really was Christmas…

I have kept all the programmes from the concerts we performed in and I still enjoy getting them out from time to time and remembering the pieces we used to perform.

On and off over the years I have carried on with my music. Although I am currently in a lull,  I do feel it calling me again…

1 thought on “Growing up with Music

  1. Great picture. I started reading and counting at once. Wonderful story and so recognisable, what is it that those teachers think when a child is zooming through their music books…. To you it was a challenge and you love music, the teacher should have been glad.
    I am impressed with the fact that you were able to make your own instrument.
    My dad was a great trumpet player, he played in a ballroom dance orchestra. My mom played the banjo and mandolin. In her youth she played in a mandolin orchestra, that much have sound wonderful.
    So my brother and I grew up with music, we played several instruments, later in life, my son and I played the clarinet together for a few years.
    When music is in the blood, it will always keep calling.
    I love the fact that you have so many happy memories with music.
    March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

    Man alive, Cherry! Am I ever impressed! Astrid and I are both sitting here at our laptops, grinning from ear to ear, trying to picture you doing all of this, especially having met you a few months ago. Who would have known! You are just a bundle of surprises, time after time. I love it. 🙂

    Astrid is right: when you’re around music growing up, let alone having the obvious gene from your parents, it’s in your blood and keeps calling. I wonder how many of us played recorders and/or clarinets growing up. HA! I would have LOVED playing the kettle drums. WOW! And the choirs, trios, duets, even solos. Those were the days. My vocal-chord muscles have grown too flabby by now, I’m afraid, but the memories sure are alive and well. Thank you for this trip down Memory Lane.
    March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGinnie

    As I’m reading this – I’m thinking of all those years of piano lessons (12 – exactly) and music theory study and my high school love affair with my clarinet – and how long its been since I’ve sat down and played and made music.
    I’m inspired….
    Thank-you for the memory and the reminder!
    March 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterMarcie

    I so appreciate people who play and sing. My husband sings in church choir and plays trombone. My mother sang in choral groups; my father couldn’t carry much of a tune (I got his genes!). I never stuck with piano and I regret it to this day. I do have my mother’s piano, but not for music. Growing up, whenever there was something important for us to see (including mail when we were home from college), my mother said “it’s on the piano.” She recently gave me the piano and I hope I will go back to it to play it. Regardless, it carries many memories for me! I love your story, Cherry. Your love of music shines through!
    March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren Blackwell (redleash)

    This post brought a smile to this retired music teacher’s face! It’s wonderful to read of how much music can influence one’s life and create positive memories.
    March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSue

    Great post and image! I’m really bad when it comes to learning music – I have tried in my youth but never succeeded. I liked to play the guitar, though, by ear; even had great fun with an electric one! Lol! I do envy a bit people who can read and write music 🙂
    March 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersil

    This is lovely… There was a period about 10 years ago, when I decided I wanted to learn the violin, having never played any instrument in my life. Suffice it to say that my career was short-lived…
    I so admire people who can play a musical instrument, it is a divine talent!
    March 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelly

    Cherry, this is pretty impressive. As a child I wanted to learn the piano, but there was no money for that. So my daughter learned the piano for several years until she said that she doesn’t enjoy it anymore. By then she really enjoyed singing, and I gave in. I used to sing in the choir for many years and really enjoyed that, and I think she might have gotten those genes. I so wish I could play more instruments than just the recorder and guitar…
    March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarola

    Love your picture, I like the composition with the DOF. I had to google ‘recorder’, I never knew the english word for, what I call a blokfluit, is a recorder. I started playing the recorder in junior school. i had to show my parents perseverance with it before getting an instrument i liked. well… i never made it to an other instrument. LOL. but i love listening (and watching) musicians at work.
    March 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterPetra

    Music is an elixir for me. I only wish I had the talent and discipline to do what you do;)
    March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPuna

    Music is such an amazing thing! It heals, it energizes (Pat Benatar and Heart get me through my housecleaning), it sooths, and makes me shiver. I started with a teeny, tiny toy piano before taking possession of my brother’s accordian, which he never wanted to play anyway. I wanted piano lessons but my Dad liked organ so I played organ. Then I took up flute, later saxophone (same key pattern for notes), bass guitar, and finally got up the money to buy my own piano. My choice of church is generally driven by what they have as far as a music program as I still love to perform. I am currently churchless and thus haven’t played or sang much. Yet, I can’t leave it for long and have started playing the piano again. It’s a good way to exercise my hands and my brain. Thanks for starting up this wonderful discussion!
    March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaery Rose

    The gift of music is such a wonder. I used to play the piano many years ago …. perhaps it’s time to resurrect that skill.
    Thanks for a lovely post.
    March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

    i have been off line for a while, so i am late to your “concert,” but i loved it. thank you for tuning me up and singing me into a glorious evening.
    March 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhoney

    What a gift it is to be able to play a musical instrument! Growing up one sister played the clarinet and the other one played the bells. They both drove me crazy. 🙂
    March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGotham Girl aka Robin

    wonderful to read this. something similar happened about 2 years ago. i had always played the piano, since childhood, but then stopped around 18 and hadn’t played until recently…. i bought a beautiful upright piano 2 years ago and am so happy to have it back in my life!! even after all these years, i could still play…more and more naturally my fingers round the notes. it’s a wonderful addition back into my life.
    March 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterEliza

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