Thursday, May 3, 2007

Why and how we play (music, that is)

The short and easy answer is: for fun. If you've ever played music in a group, like a school band, you know it's more fun than playing on your own. A small group is even more fun, in many ways, than a large one.

We can chat and joke between pieces, up to a point, without getting the evil eye from the bandmaster and without cutting into the playing time too much. (It's part of my leader job to keep the balance between social chat and playing well over towards the playing side, though).

If someone makes a big mess of their part from time to time, it's more funny than anything else, because we've all done it, even our most experienced members.

We bring beginners into the group and get them started on simple parts in our easier pieces, and help them learn to play more difficult parts as we go along. That does require some work on the part of the new player, of course: if they don't practice in between group rehearsals, they'll be starting from scratch again each time, and that doesn't work. We also lend some instruments for new players to try out.

Mostly, we play for ourselves - for the joy of making music, and making music with our friends. It also helps that we get lots of appreciative feedback from our listeners: we don't pretend to be anywhere near professional standard, but we do reach a good enough level that we're enjoyable to listen to (most of the time) and we get invited back.

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