We’d like to say a big thank you to Rachel from Dawson Music & The Twyford Tootlers for their amazing open air concert at enjoymuzic! They even brought the good weather with them.
The Twyford Tootlers Open Air Concert at enjoymuzic
Don’t miss Rachel and Simon from Dawson Music performing as the Astor Duo at Church of England, Cramlington on Saturday 14th July. They’ll be performing entirely original arrangements of modern popular music from 1970s until the present day. Music by Bruno Mars, Adele, Stevie Wonder and many more.
More info here…
The flute is one of the oldest musical instruments of all and is generally regarded as the first ever wind instrument. It has been in use at least since the Stone Age. According to studies, 40,000 years ago early modern humans could have spent their evenings sitting around the fire, playing bone flutes and singing songs. The early bone flutes push back the date researchers think human creativity evolved.
Today the flute is still a very popular instrument with youngsters who generally begin to learn from around 8 or 9 years old. There are many opportunities to learn both at school and through private lessons, not to mention loads of ways to get involved with local orchestras. In North Tyneside it’s worth checking out the free opportunities for children to get involved in performing through NTMEH.
If you’re interested in private flute lessons in North Tyneside, Newcastle or Northumberland we don’t think you can’t do much better than learning from Rachel Dawson.
Rachel has been teaching for over ten years and has built a busy and varied teaching practice. She provides tuition from her own studio as well as in several local schools and at the Northern Music Centre in Heaton. She directs The Twyford Tootlers, an adult flute choir consisting of both concert and harmony flutes.
As well as performing as a soloist, Rachel also performs as part of The Astor Flute and Guitar Duo with husband Simon, and is a founding member of The Astor Chamber Ensemble.
If however, you’re in South Tyneside, Durham or Sunderland we’d absolutely recommend the fab Sweet Symphony School of Music run by the lovely Louise. They are based in the Washington area and have their own dedicated studios, enthusiastic teachers and a great reputation. Sweet Symphony offer professional and friendly music lessons to students of all ages and abilities, from preschool children to retired adults.
Are flutes expensive? They can be but don’t have to be; according to reports online the world’s most expensive flute is a Verne Q Powell platinum flute thought to be worth a whopping £134,000! Back in the real world, our student flute range starts with the John Packer JP011 at just £119. 🙂
If your child already plays but is finding it increasingly hard to stay interested, read our top tips for getting them to practice here.
If you’re still hoping to get a teenager to take up the opportunity to learn an instrument before adult life takes over, some serious inspiration is required! Young people aged 11-16 have many more pre-conceived ideas about music than younger children. Any barriers they create are normally driven by peer pressure and the need to fit in. Playing an instrument is often labelled uncool or swotty and it can be hard to keep up when what’s ‘in’ or ‘out’ changes daily.
Live music is probably the biggest inspiration so tickets to a favourite band are a good place to start. This can be very expensive however so if you can’t stretch to it, remember that local bands usually play covers and find someone who is playing music that your teen will enjoy. This often works out well as most musicians you will see playing in coffee houses, shopping areas and pubs/clubs are really approachable and would be very happy to have a chat about what started them off in music and offer some tips. If you’re in the North-East of England, check out On The Case Music’s Gig Guide.
Often, teenagers who take up an instrument are motivated by a desire to learn to play a particular song that they love. You can definitely implant this as a goal if you suggest it casually and/or respond positively if they mention it. Find an online video tutorial if you can which covers the song or artist they’re interested in and offer to rent an instrument or buy a cheap one so they can have a go. Or speak to a teacher about booking a starter block of lessons as a birthday or Christmas gift. If a teenager is going to start taking lessons, it’s really important to find a teacher who is sensitive to their student’s goals and knows how to keep them interested. Your local music shop will be able to help you with this.
If you already have instruments at home, it can seem most economical to try to push your child into learning one of those (especially if you’ve always had a vision of them doing so!). However, teenagers who don’t feel really connected to the instrument they play hardly ever continue long term. If they have a real interest in a particular instrument, try to accommodate it by borrowing or renting initially.
Remember that children aged 6-10 tend to have a very narrow view of what ‘music’ is. So far, they have really only experienced classroom singing and whatever artists you enjoy listening to at home. If you would like your child to take more interest in music, take time to explore different styles and different instruments with them and look out for what gets a strong reaction. As well as listening to classical, rock, pop, jazz, film and choral music, watch videos online of people playing instruments and name them together so your child starts to build a picture of how an orchestra, rock band and choir are built and which instruments make the sounds they are most attracted to.
Your primary school child is the perfect age to begin taking weekly lessons on an instrument so once you’ve identified the main candidates, see what opportunities are available through their school. There might be group lessons or a guitar/keyboard club, for example. Schools also increasingly offer ukulele lessons, steel pans and world drumming so listen out for what’s inspiring your kids at school and see if there is a ready made opportunity you can help them to make the most of.
All good music shops will be able to point you in the right direction for private teachers of many different instruments and be able to help you choose someone who is good with children. Often, teachers can offer taster lessons or a meet-up where you and your child can get to know more about them and the instrument they teach to make sure it’s the right one. Also, consider rental schemes through school or your local music shop if you are concerned about buying an instrument straight away. Many children dabble with several instruments before settling on the right one(s) for them.
Playing an instrument isn’t the only route into music. Your child might prefer to sing in a choir or join a stage school to explore their musical potential. Dance is another great creative outlet, and often leads to taking up an instrument later on.
If your children are interested in taking up an instrument and you have any questions or concerns, here at enjoymuzic – your North East Music Shop we’re open 7 days a week and we’re always very happy to have a chat with you.
Many parents ask us how to bring music into their children’s lives from an early age so they are used to seeing and playing instruments and will be able to progress naturally to learning to play. Here are a few of our top tips for making music with very young children:
1) Buy small percussion instruments. Try to explore different methods of making sound such as shaking and banging. Also, vary the texture of the sounds so you have a mixture of instruments suitable for different types of music making.
2) Play along to a favourite TV theme tune together and choose children’s TV programmes which regularly contain a song and/or dance number to play and sing along to. Instead of just banging away, encourage your child to match the rhythm and dynamics (loud/quiet) of each song and to choose an instrument that fits it best. Or read a story together and use your instruments to make sound effects. Try to be imaginative and explore the different sounds you can get from each instrument!
3) Draw on any experience you have yourself, even if it’s a little while ago! If you can sing or play, make time to do this so your child gets used to seeing it. Your first instinct will probably be to keep small children away from an expensive instrument but instead, teach your child to handle your instruments gently, even if they’re too young to play it.
4) Many people are surprised to find that you can introduce children as young as 2-3 to a simple instrument like the ukulele. Ukes are cheap, very easy to learn and great starter instruments for all the family to learn together :-). For more info on starting to play the uke read our blog here.
5) Most areas have music groups and classes aimed at very young children and their parents. If you’re in the North East, Sweet Symphony School of Music and Piccolo Music are great places to start making music with your children.
Why not pop into enjoymuzic – your North East Music Shop and see our great selection of percussion and ukuleles?