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Wendy M. Grossman

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Everything posted by Wendy M. Grossman

  1. As a contrary view... I think the presumption behind schools and violins began with the idea that you teach kids classical music rather than pop or folk (the same way they read Shakespeare and Dickens and not Rowling in school - you want to expose them to the more difficult stuff, not the stuff they'll discover readily on their own), and with violins you don't need any set number and everyone can play together. I agree the technical barrier to making a good sound on a violin is high. As against that, it's easy to tune (no thirds), and you can play every kind of music on it. It's probably the most versatile small instrument. I don't see this as necessarily a bad thing, however painful it may be for the parents. And at this stage, there is a very large stock of relatively inexpensive school violins kids can use. Recorder is a little less understandlbe but it *is* extremely portable and again, unlike, say, a pennywhistle, it's pretty versatile in terms of the keys you can play it in. (Flute has a much higher technical barrier.) Arguably by now schools should be moving on to, say, guitar, but there isn't a large body of public domain work scored for 30 guitars. There *is* a large body of public domain work scored for school orchestras. wg
  2. So would I Wendy, especially if she was wearing a suitably modest & discreet Blue dress to match! Can I take it then Wendy, that would not be a typical Concertina floor spot, at your local Folk Club? Cheers Dick I can barely get Twickenham to be polite about a very modest banjo. wg
  3. Grew up playing piano (12 years of classical training, including music theory) Also grew up singing in every school chorus/madrigal group, through university (chapel choir, Gilbert & Sullivan society) Picked up guitar at 11 Banjo at 21 Autoharp (first at 20 or so, then again more seriously a few years ago) I can also dabble in, but don't really play dulcimer (though I still have one Tam Kearney made for me). At one time or another I've also tried mandolin, fiddle, bouzouki, flute, but I really don't have the "feel" for these instruments, and given that I have much better feel for others I have no motivation to try to take them up seriously. If I'm not going to be able to perform in public with it my energies are better spent on instruments I *can* perform with. The claim that hard work is all you need is ridiculous. No amount of hard work would have made my father anything but tone-deaf. No amount of hard work will make some of my friends even competent. Yes, I absolutely believe that hard work makes a huge difference to anything and everything - there's research I've read that suggests that a talent for practicing is the key to succeeding at the top levels of sport, music, whatever. But if you haven't got some natural talent to begin with all the practicing in the world won't make up for it. And, if you haven't got some basic talent even if you do try to put in the hard work you won't get the rewards (improvement) needed to bolster the motivation to keep going with the practicing. That said, it is certainly true that one of my friends, a professional musician, has practiced hard every day for 30 years. This is someone who can't automatically sing back a tune after she hears it once or figure out chords on the fly. But by working seriously at her craft she's made herself into a pretty damn good exponent of the instrument or two she plays most. If I worked that hard I'd be phenomenal. Unfortunately, I have just enough talent to make me lazy. wg
  4. I would love to see someone walk into a folk club with *that*. wg
  5. You could keep it as an investment until you really need the money - a form of insurance, really. The extra cash at the right moment for emergency purposes or just to give yourself something you really want or need. I would guess that it is appreciating in value more than a savings account. Mike He can loan it to ME. I promise to take good care of it until he needs the money. wg
  6. Thanks, all. Then today I see that a baritone-treble Aeola is listed on eBay. Argh. An unknown (at least to me) seller, though. I'm glad I bought from Chris, whom one knows about and feels confident about trusting. When I go back and listen to that particular track, I'm surprised how much better the playing sounds than I remember it. wg
  7. Chris: how neat to find someone else who remembers Dave F and his shop. Lovely guy. Dick: it's very good. The bellows are very tight, and the sound and playing action are excellent. A little trouble with the bottom C, which whuffles on pull - I must get inside it and find out what's doing that. I suspect the new pad. It'll be a little while before I post any - more likely MP3s on my Web site than YouTube clips. I haven't played since my old one was stolen, so there's some relearning. Probably after Christmas - I'll have more time over the holidays to pull something together. wg (In the meantime, try Sir Patrick Spens at www.pelicancrossing.net/mp3s.htm to hear the one that was stolen.) EDIT: whoops, it was Bob who knew Dave Ferretta. Chris is apparently a Constant Reader, for which I thank him.
  8. And you'd have won. I was shocked to win it, because the bid I put in wasn't much over the final price. Of course, it's still only partway to the concertina I had that got stolen in the 1980s - a pristine Wheatstone 64-key baritone treble that I'd picked up for a ridiculously small amount of money when a guy found it in his attic and brought it into Dave Ferretta's music shop in Denver when I happened to be there. But I digress. Thanks. wg
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