sammy

Any one hate school orchestra?

Recommended Posts

Brad: I think that you are right. I know that in my daughter's experience with school orchestra, the conductor does talk to the students about balancing the section, spreading the good players out so that they can assist others, etc. It is valid and makes sense to adults. But the kids complain that it's always the same ones who are put back and asked to help out, and that some students are never asked to do this. This bothered my daughter a great deal until she started to make real progress in the youth orchestras, started to win auditions and get places in orchestras that are competitive. I won't say that this has totally alleviated her problems with school orchestra, but she looks for reinforcement of her musical self-esteem elsewhere, and she gets it. This has taken a lot of work on her part, however, and some maturity, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I listen to orchestras without sight, I can't tell who's sitting in the back and who's in the front.

But I can tell who's sitting in the orchestra and who's sitting in the audience.

I happily sawed my way at 2nd violin rhythm and blues parts throughout elementary, middle, and high school. It was the same story in Juilliard, and it's the same story now as a hired professional.

Playing with good or great players is easy: they do all the work for you.

However, you have to be a REAL violinist to play 2nd violin effectively or to have a real impact on a school orchestra concert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by HuangKaiVun:

.

However, you have to be a REAL violinist to play 2nd violin effectively or to have a real impact on a school orchestra concert.

HKV is right on the mark with his statement. Most orchestras I played in in middle and high school had all the strength in the first violin section, and all the weakness in the second violin section. What I do with my high school class is seat four stronger players in the front two stands. I do rotate the seating a bit, so someone different has the opportunity to be up front. But *every time* I move someone from first to second, I have to deal with the "first is everything, second sucks" attitude. It gets tiring after a while!

I auditioned to play principal second in my symphony. The first time in my life I ever played second violin was my first year in college, and that was the most wonderful eye opener I received. I had always focused on my part, and never listened to other parts of the orchestra. Being an effective second violinist means listening to all parts of the symphony to find the part your playing doubled with another instrument. Having played second violin in all the Brahms symphonies, some Tchaikovsky, Hanson, Mahler, etc., I feel I have a much better understanding of harmony and how parts inter-relate. When I auditioned, two positions were available: Assistant concertmaster and principal second. It wasn't a matter of title, it was a matter of what I was truly interested in playing.

After reading Sammy's more detailed post about school orchestra...all I can say is my condolences on a crabby teacher. Sounds like she's been teaching a long time, and is burnt out. I have to admit I get crabby too around festival time and near concerts, but I try not to let that get to me. Sammy's on the right track doing an out of class quartet...maybe find a way to practice at someone's home, and do a performance in someone's class, or perform at the library during lunch. There could be lots of performance opportunities, but they probably have to be created!

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bravo, HKV.

One might also note that I believe that the constant obsession with seating is pretty much a youth orchestra effect. Perhaps this is because young students need the competitiveness of this kind of "ranking" as a motivator, or use it as a measure of their progress on their instrument. I dunno. I've seen a fair number of conductors of school orchestras who seem to have a passion for putting players who _are_ obsessed with "ranking" further back than they "deserve", possibly to teach the exact lesson that ultimately, your concern should not be where you sit.

While I have a marked preference for playing 1st rather than 2nd violin, simply because the firsts usually have the melody: From a purely pyrotechnic standpoint, yes, 1st is usually more challenging, but 2nd requires you to pay attention to everything else going on around you and COUNT PRECISELY, skills that everyone should develop.

I find that when I am listening to a piece with the full score in front of me, having played 2nd violin on it makes me acutely aware of a lot of the inner lines. Something extremely harmonically intricate, like a Mahler symphony, illustrates this most clearly.

I also think first stand, 2nd violin, is the best seat in the house. smile.gif You're right in front of the conductor, hearing almost exactly what he's hearing, surrounded by this wall of sound. Fabulous.

(Indeed, in general, from the standpoint of how well you hear everyone else, and how balanced the sound is, IMHO anywhere in the seconds beats anything behind the first two or three stands of the firsts, for the "traditional" orchestral stage set-up.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know what you mean. We literally, and I mean literally, have four violinists and ONE viola!!! But there's about 10 flutes, 12 clarinets, 6 trumpets, and 3 SAXOPHONES?!?!?!?! I play in the low brass section on 1st and only trombone. We play really simple songs, all of which group random instruments together as parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. So trumpets always play the same as the "1st" violin and "1st flutes". It's ridiculous! And because our school can't afford a contrabass, there's just this kid playing an electric bass guitar! It sounds terrible. Also, we play this extremely simplified version of Star Wars which is so easy. I mostly play breves and longs in it and it is so boring, apart from "March of the Resistance" ; that's quite fun. As soon as we get to the climax of the main theme, it instantly switches to Rey's Theme, which I like, but this version ruined it for me. Our "Star Wars" is terribly cringy to listen to because it is sooooo slow and very unlike the original. C'mon, the flute players in our band can't even play runs and they join in on the melody with the trumpets, violins, clarinets, and every other bloody treble instrument. It takes away the complexity and interest of the piece and sounds like some drivel coming out of a 2 year old's ass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Jeff Jetson said:

Usually I like to welcome our new members but when I read "drivel coming out of a two year old's ass"...

How's that worse than the Pegbox ??? At least "Lydia Leong" got some support 17 years later. I hope she's still alive....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, YakKing said:

like some drivel coming out of a 2 year old's ass.

Is this what Maestronet is evolving into? I can read these type comments on Facebook any day, I was hoping for better here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, YakKing said:

It takes away the complexity and interest of the piece and sounds like some drivel coming out of a 2 year old's ass.

Pay no attention to the pearl-clutchers, YakKing.  Mozart would approve of any music/poop comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't hate school orchestra class.  I reserved that for some of the creatures I was forced to share it with.  But that's just jr. high and high school in general, isn't it now?  Thank God, one goes on to college, and never sees any of the offensive little monsters ever again.  I still get "high school reunion" invitations periodically, and ignore them.  That would be like revisiting a mental institution one had been freed from. :lol:

This resuscitating of ancient threads like they were active seems to be a trend lately.  Wonder why?  :rolleyes:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

Wonder why?  :rolleyes:

Google's newest algorithm favors Maestronet as a source?

Discussion boards are popular with a new generation?

I've finally won my decades-old campaign on Maestronet to search for relevant threads instead of creating new ones?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Stephen Fine said:

Google's newest algorithm favors Maestronet as a source?

Discussion boards are popular with a new generation?

I've finally won my decades-old campaign on Maestronet to search for relevant threads instead of creating new ones?

I figured it was people data-mining old threads (good!) mixed with using cell phones with itty-bitty screens and not noticing the dates on which something they respond to was posted (not so good).  I don't mind seeing old threads pop up, it's the confident way that some posters try to answer (or question) people who haven't been seen here in years that irritates me.  I figure that some of the particularly inattentive will be trying to respond to some of my posts long after I've gone on to argue politics with Aristotle and Plato.  :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

 I figure that some of the particularly inattentive will be trying to respond to some of my posts long after I've gone on to argue politics with Aristotle and Plato.  :lol:

Always keep your hands up - you're opening up too much. I like a bit of a challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, carl stross said:

Always keep your hands up - you're opening up too much. I like a bit of a challenge.

If my hands come up, it'll be into jodan or tonbo, and you'll never see 'em come down............ :P;)

[Goes back to practicing Swallow's Dance with a bokken, and hoping someone she knew from high school makes the mistake of joining the dojo]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

If my hands come up, it'll be into jodan or tonbo, and you'll never see 'em come down............ :P;)

I believe you. How many proper fights in a proper ring with a 200lbs, 6' proper boxer did you win ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, carl stross said:

I believe you. How many proper fights in a proper ring with a 200lbs, 6' proper boxer did you win ?

See PM. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good golly, that's an old thread. :-)

I still read Maestronet occasionally. I posted some pictures of the Reed-Yeboah NYC exhibit violins recently.

(Interesting that I still have the same Maestronet ID as I did in the past, yet the old posts show up with my full name but the new ones don't.)

--Lydia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.