Random thoughts or comments...

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dave brum
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 02 Feb 2017, 14:51

I love having conversations with pianists and piano teachers on social media and email. Brexitannia is full of very good piano teachers who are really switched on with a positive philosophy and great expectations and hopes for their students regardless of age.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 02 Feb 2017, 17:16

Absolutely. Teachers seem to build up a terrific fund of knowledge that they're only too pleased to share with you. Met one such today; three seconds to fix piano's problem and an hour to have a cuppa and put the world to rights...
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 02 Feb 2017, 17:45

Indeed. Trouble is, none of them seem to be in the West Midlands.....
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 03 Feb 2017, 12:28

Just looked at at least 2 British piano teachers' websites that both say the same thing, piano lessons are good for one's mental health and well-being.

Codswallop! After ten years and I don't know how many lessons in that time it has had the complete opposite effect on me.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 03 Feb 2017, 19:35

Depends on your disposition. I have lots of customers who say it relaxes them as they can't think about anything else whilst practising.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 03 Feb 2017, 19:44

All I could think about whilst practising was getting all of the notes in the right order so that it all makes sense, plus getting the dynamics right, so I'd play it again and again and get more frustrated and cross. That in an extreme scenario. Relaxed is something I have never ever felt whilst practising, in ten years of trying and failing.

When I hear of stories from learners who say that piano playing relaxes them, or it takes them to another place, or helps their health/cognition it only seems to highlight the divide between utopian idealism and grim reality. To actually experience pleasure when playing would be for me the sort of thing that is produced by ones friendly neighbourhood sandman.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 04 Feb 2017, 19:12

Personally I find practising the guitar reduces me to gibbering rage rather than taking me to nirvana...but I'm hanging on in there.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 04 Feb 2017, 20:47

BREAKING NEWS, you heard it here first, if Breitbart report it, they're theiving little so and so's.

Mabel Mucklethwaite has taken down her piano teaching website. Guessing she has retired.

AAh, but you already have that coveted piano playing skill. Question: "Do you play the piano, Gill?". Answer: Yes, with confidence. What would you like me to play?? You are learning the guitar and finding it a wee bit difficult. Well, that's me with trying to learn the piano. If I'd had learned at the age when you had learned the joanna, well, I wouldn't be sat here in such a state of indecision about learning the piano when as I speak, Donald Trump may be plotting the opening moves in the third world war. As far as musical instruments go, it's Gill 1, David 0. 1 would have been nice....thank you Mother.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 07 Feb 2017, 20:19

If I've done it once, I've done it a thousand times. I'm absolutely uncle dick of banging my toe accidentally on the side of the piano.

This house is full to the rafters with farage and the piano is one piece of farage too many.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 09 Feb 2017, 17:29

My wife told me yesterday she no longer opposes me getting rid of my piano. I knew she's come round to my way of thinking.

I shall now email Fanny Fosdyke and ask her if any of her students are looking for one.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 09 Feb 2017, 18:41

You'll be sorry... :cry:
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 09 Feb 2017, 19:05

I won't, I've spent 10 years trying to learn it and only taken minimal steps, yet alone being unable to play confidently. I think 10 years is long enough.

Despite me disagreeing with her, she was absolutely and 100% right all along, and to acknowledge her wisdom I shall even post a link to her page:

www.piano4solihull.co.uk
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 12 Feb 2017, 17:24

Why couldn't my piano have brought me joy instead of anxiety and bad luck? I'll never know.

Bloody buggering pianos...
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 15 Feb 2017, 21:26

Piano has gone to a family whose young daughter is taking her grade 2 this spring. Hopefully she will succeed where I have done nothing but fail and she will use it to become a virtuoso. But more importantly, the piano has made her happy and I am pleased with that.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 16 Feb 2017, 21:04

You'll be after another before the year's out!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 16 Feb 2017, 22:01

I don't think so given the fact the thing has made me so unhappy over the past 10 years. I'm going to put the money I got from its sale towards something that will actually do us both good and make me happy....a holiday.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by gizzy » 26 Feb 2017, 15:29

Peekaboo!

:D

Sorry about your relinquishing Fiona, Dave. It'll be interesting to see if you get itchy fingers next time you pass a piano. Did you take it up for the sake of learning a skill, or for the sake of making music? I do seem to think it was the latter, so you might still find an outlet which provides you with less anxiety.

Join a choir (oh, that's if T will let you)

Or even - learn to follow an orchestral score, there will almost certainly be loads of miniature scores in your library, and get to know some stunning masterpieces.

Buy a cheap trumpet. She'll love that...

Sorry I've been away so long; I was really quite ill in October - I had a throat so bad I couldn't swallow without it going down the wrong hole, all my taste-buds had gone haywire, lesions on the back of my tongue and my soft palate, and the doctor diagnosed herpes. He didn't take a swab or a blood test or anything but he was confident that was what it was. I hadn't known you could get it in the throat, and it turns out it's very rare unless your immune system is buggered, so that's told me something. Anyway, he gave me these pills, the tablet form of the Zovirax you take for cold sores, and said "you're going to feel very ill, you're going to feel sick" and sure enough, I was. After about the fourth day of it I thought I'd never felt so ill in my life and the medicine wasn't working, then I realised that the doctor wasn't telling me what the illness would do to me, he was telling me what the pills would do!

It took a few weeks to get absolutely right again, and actually I'm not really right because I still have a cough that's lasted over four months now, feels like I'm inhaling food, drink or just spit, and it hits me all of a sudden and feels like choking. I make a noise like whooping cough (but lower) when I breathe in during one of these events. I only cancelled one week of lessons, back in October, so most of my kids are used to me suddenly saying "play that again, I need to go and get some water" in a strangled voice. Happens about half a dozen times a day. I've had blood tests, I've had a chest x-ray, I've had an ECG, apparently everything is clear, and now I'm waiting for an appointment with ENT. My suspicion is that my epiglottis is burgered.

Meanwhile... I've just been asked at very short notice if I could accompany someone for grade 8 trumpet a week tomorrow, as their arrangement with another player had fallen through. I am meeting up with him this afternoon, and will need one more rehearsal as I haven't had much time to practise yet, and my printer is producing very smudgy dirty copies which I can only just read. One piece is the Concerto in Eb by Neruda - pretty straightforward, mostly chunk chunk chunk chunk and the occasional semiquaver scale. The other -

:o OMG

- is Piece en Forme de Habanera by Ravel. It's not that long, fortunately, and it's slow, but the rhythm will be so tricky coordinating with the soloist, and the chords have unexpected sharps and flats all over them. But it's soooooo sensuous! Very exotic. One chord also has 11 notes in it. I've tried counting my fingers, but I still can't get them to go up to 11 like the amplifiers in Spinal Tap. Fortunately it's also a rolled chord, so I guess by the time I reach the last note, I will have a spare finger on my left hand to take that one.

No idea at all what I ought to charge for doing this. It's at 9:30 on a Monday morning.

Everything else is "as normal" (for us) The dog is getting bigger but once she's out of the house she starts to look small again - and SO well-behaved. Husband's memory problems are getting more and more severe by the day, but his memory clinic doctor insists he wouldn't classify it as dementia since he's still very intelligent, can drive well (gets lost, but as handling the car is dealing with the hear & now, not much short-term memory involved)

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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by gizzy » 26 Feb 2017, 15:53

dave brum wrote:That's the one. The web planet where you are immediately excommunicated for dissidence. Stalin and Khruschev had absolutely nothing on the ABRSM moderation team (maybe Mr. Donald Trump has some sort of 'Power Game-esque influence on them too as they don't like criticism of him on there).

Thank goodness we aren't like that at all.
Are you saying you dissed Donald Drumpf on the AB forum??? I must have missed that one. When was that, and who were you this time?

I've got quite a lot of really good friends on that forum including at least one (male) who I know you didn't like, though most of the others in that category are much the same as usual. There are just a couple of them who seem to report me every time I open my mouth, even though they don't see any harm in hasving a go at me themselves, so I've had several warnings. Maybe they have too, I don't know. Almost all those you knew personally (or at least had been a "friend" of) seem to have disappeared, though Dawn (Sunrise) is a fb friend of mine and now living in Birkenhead.

No, we/they aren't all "like that".

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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 26 Feb 2017, 21:36

'Ello Gizz...Hope you are wellings.

One of the reasons why I received a lifetime ban from the 'other side' so to speak, was (as well as daring to scrutinise Donald Trump BEFORE his election as US President) may have also been to post this link in particular which is jazz poem 'B-Movie'(Live) by Gil Scott-Heron, which is a damning indictment of the administration of Ronald Raygun, comparing his Administration to a film set:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFUPaT-h91M

That time, I posted as 'expianist' (which I indeed am). Many users, well in fact most users were very very helpful indeed (sbhoa for example) and gave much food for thought and conversation to a piano learner on the verge of giving up for good after suffering persistent bad luck. It is such a shame that the ethics of the page's Moderation seemed to be in total polarisation to most of the musicians and learner musicians using that forum.

There also seems to be a fundamental distrust of anybody or anything that is outside of their own comfort zone. Yes, conservatives. Like Donald J.Trump......

But do I care...Do I *****. All that went with my piano which I am so glad I got rid of, after giving it a darn good try.

OOh, and I've also been given a lifetime ban from the Facebook 'Piano Network UK'. Maybe I am actually too working class to learn the piano ('we don't want those blooming plebs associated with OUR instrument!!')
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by gizzy » 26 Feb 2017, 23:06

That whole expianist thread suddenly disappeared - did the moderators rumble you? Or did you ask to take it down? Everyone was saying they were sorry you'd disappeared!

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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 27 Feb 2017, 07:35

Yes. The moderation removed all of my comments, which were mainly helpful ones and highly relevant - and also used my ISP address to bar all of my devices from accessing the ABRSM forum so I couldn't even see what they had chose not to remove.

I think the worst particular point to of this whole thing is that they did not provide me with a reason for their highly drastic actions despite me emailing their office and asking them (of course, like all fascist dictatorships, their first alibi would be to say that they didn't receive my email, and then allege that they did but it got lost or accidentally deleted). And then there is the mistake on my part of not keeping a copy of the email.

I should also add that when I contacted another forum user to express my appreciation, explain what had happened and post a sincere thank you from myself, this poster immediately got a telling off from Moderation for "posting on behalf of a banned member".

I often use the example of the ABRSM moderation to imagine what it would be like if Nigel Farridge had won the 2015 general election and he immediately appointed himself King Nigel I, but fascist resistance aside, it really feels like the world never wanted me to learn the piano anyway....there is a God and He is trying to tell me something because of all this misfortune that has come my way over the past 10 years.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 27 Feb 2017, 17:16

If you really wanted to upset T, there's the bagpipes of course...

The moderation seems v. draconian on their forum. I think perhaps they take themselves far too seriously sometimes - levity and debate not encouraged!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 28 Feb 2017, 10:18

Elitism springs to my mind. The sort of thing most people, particularly liberal music teachers want out of the classical and serious music genre but that conservatives want to keep in. The question that ABRSM must ask themselves is this, do we want to make our exam services available to all people or just Home Counties and Cheshire millionaires? Their forum is a sales platform for their services. Just simply banning users because they may sound a trifle different to the status quo, or even that they have legitimate concerns about their various musical journeys is in my opinion unacceptable. It is easy to dismiss people such as myself with such concerns (which I wanted to get better hence my persistent diligence against a tide of adversity) as 'old moaners', 'awkward', 'unteachable' etc. but it is a proven fact that for every crop of successes, there are a handful of failures. It is much, much easier for the musical elite to just silence these failures than to try to turn them into successes.

It is also easier to look down on positivity (positivity that was shown by many members of the ABRSM forum) but on their actions, what the moderation have done here is generate something that they CANNOT possibly put a positive 'spin' upon!

I am a great admirer of an organisation called Searchlight, which exposes fascist organisations (such as the National Front, British National Party, Racial Volunteer Force etc.) by infiltration of their ranks. Searchlight have been a great inspiration to me as I have repeatedly duped their Moderation and managed to register and post on the ABRSM forum. I shall continue to do so, so they had better watch out. Victory for me, however, would be to enter myself and pass my ABRSM Grade 1 Piano with a Distinction, get on there and blog about it and imagine the ire of their Moderation!

Alas, I have no piano....which is another matter entirely.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 28 Feb 2017, 17:49

dave brum wrote: Alas, I have no piano.....

Told you so....
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 28 Feb 2017, 19:29

I don't really want another one. In any case, a wardrobe has gone in its place, meaning that I can at long last begin renovating my front bedroom.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 01 Mar 2017, 17:27

Don't REALLY want one...? :mrgreen:
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 01 Mar 2017, 18:05

Had one for long enough. More use for some nice new furniture or some nice plants that will make my garden look nice than any more heaps of junk in my house that will just make me unhappy. I've had my chances with trying to learn the piano and now it's a new year and time for something else that will give me some enjoyment. My wife agrees.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 01 Mar 2017, 18:24

Barring some sort of million to one miracle....
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 02 Mar 2017, 20:08

In the definite unlikely reality of my fairy godpianoteacher walking through the door, I have just succeeded again to get onto the ABRSM forum and read the comments. Someone please inform the ABRSM politburo that expianist is able to read the forum without any difficulty whatsoever and as they know my ISP address, could they ensure that their excommunication of this subversive little anarchist remains in place as this is an abuse of their power to give me the freedom to read their forum without the 'you are not allowed to visit this page' page coming up.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 03 Mar 2017, 20:35

Don't tell us; tell them!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by gizzy » 03 Mar 2017, 22:37

dave brum wrote:In the definite unlikely reality of my fairy godpianoteacher walking through the door, I have just succeeded again to get onto the ABRSM forum and read the comments. Someone please inform the ABRSM politburo that expianist is able to read the forum without any difficulty whatsoever and as they know my ISP address, could they ensure that their excommunication of this subversive little anarchist remains in place as this is an abuse of their power to give me the freedom to read their forum without the 'you are not allowed to visit this page' page coming up.
Ah, I'm assuming you don't mean you've appeared again in another incarnation? I can't see how they could possibly be capable of stopping you from even seeing the page. So did you just see my Peter Sellers reference?

Are you on fb these days?

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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by gizzy » 03 Mar 2017, 22:49

We got a free valuation on our house today (but actually, aren't they always free?) as two different people had told us we really ought to do so, having had some work done on it - like the lean-to converted into a sort of utility room/conservatory place; a bit rough and ready, since it has no light, heat or power as yet, nor a proper floor, just the concrete that was already under it.

It turned out to be a tiny bit more than I'd expected, though of course not nearly as much as in my wildest dreams I had hoped. But it did bring home the real possibility of deciding to move. Both of us think we'd like to downsize and live in a single storey house. But as I am teaching and rather tied to the immediate vicinity of two schools in particular, I can't manage to move more than a couple of hundred yards or so! There are some LOVELY bungalows just up the road from us of course, but by the time we had got our act together, they would already have been snapped up, this estate agent said, as bingalows in Cherry Hinton are very desirable indeed.

He said don't worry about trying to improve the bathroom or the kitchen, or redecorating, as the house was best suited to be bought by a developer. But we would also need to sell the house before we could afford to buy one, so as to be able to jump in feet first and get first dibs for cash. This would mean trying to find somehere to rent, and also being able to teach from somewhere. It goes round and round at the moment. I've even contemplated renting somewhere cheaply a bit fursther away and somehow just renting one room in someone else's house where I could have the piano and teach, just till we got our dream bungalow - OK if it's only for a month or so, but the nightmare scenario would be this going on for a couple of years.

Pne big advantage, though. is that it would absolutely force the decluttering we don't seem to be able to get round to in this house.

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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 04 Mar 2017, 15:41

Gill the Piano wrote:Don't tell us; tell them!
Have done, and I can be sure that my email has fallen on blind eyes and weak minds. When their junta have glanced at each other in total agreement. 'His 'bad luck' is of his own doing' sort of assumptions.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 04 Mar 2017, 16:40

I've also been banned fromy the Facebook 'Piano Network UK ' group and not informed of why the decision was taken.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 04 Mar 2017, 18:54

Bought an old piano/music dealer receipt for my collection today - a woman, unusually, Ann Sabin whose shop was 25 Bull Street. Is Bull Street still in Brum or is it underneath the Bullring?
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