Do you live in a barn?

We are in a warm-up room outside the annual progress auditions for our local, excellent, youth music service. It is a cold, echoey building with great acoustics. The open door makes the room draughty on this dismal, cloudy afternoon. These are brass auditions, so I am in the room with several horn players and trumpeters while my son, The Boywonder, gives his own trumpet audition. I know he has not warmed up sufficiently and therefore will not be able to play with the appropriate sound quality. So does he, but he’d never dream of admitting that to me. He is 15 years old.

I can hear him playing his pieces through this open door. Every slightly woolly note; every infinitesimally rough semiquaver. After all, he has only been preparing this piece for a couple of weeks. This time last year I could hear all the duff notes when he took his sight reading piece at twice the correct speed. It’s a Grade 8 level audition and we both know he’s not done anywhere near enough practice. He is, of course, naturally a great musician but at this level it’s the amount of work one puts in that counts. This is The Boywonder’s weak point. We have argued about this, yet again, in the car on the way here.

If I can hear him, he and the audition panel can hear his band comrades in this room warming up properly with the Haydn concerto. The piece he’s supposed to be learning, despite his excuses. I feel more dismal.

Just shut the damn door, will you?



5 thoughts on “Do you live in a barn?

  1. Well as a Mother you might well be pleased to know that the inventor of Super Glue died recently aged about 93.

    I reckon Mother’s the world over will be celebrating – that their Kids continue to glue themsleves to absolutely everything will of course remain – but I just thought you might like to know that he’s kicked the bucket – or possibly that barn door you were hoping for – arf arf !!

      1. It certainly is when I let my barn door open and let one fly.

        Love your comment on the “trumpet and son” – they made me play a Cello when I was at school (the skool, not the parents) – luckily for my parents and their G&T budget I wasnt interested – I did make one contribution to it though, I carved my name on the shoulder of the Cello and managed to slope shoulder that act of vandalism onto a faceless nameless other – another beating avoided there.

        Buy some earplugs?

      2. I love the sound of the trumpets. This post is really about the quest for perfection and the amount of work a dedicated musician has to do. And I don’t believe in “making” a child play an instrument. Both of mine begged us to start theirs at 6. We were against it, but they have proved us spectacularly wrong.

  2. Well that’s lovely and long may it continue – but I can assure you, you wouldnt have thought the same regards my Cello playing – but the overall approach benefitted the school – they found talent that way and had one of the finest School Chamber Orchestras in the country – I offered to play the triangle – got walloped for that and sent for extra Maths – happy days and best wishes to you and your family.

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