Q. How do you define a "beginner"?
A. Our “Beginners" should have played their instrument for at least 5 or 6 months at camp time, or be adept on another instrument, but just starting this one. Not sure? Email Diane.
Q. I've only played for 4 months, but it will be 6 months by camp time!
Q2. I've only played for 2 months, but I'm almost done with book one in the lesson series. I think I can do it. May I come?
A. YES! You absolutely should come! Guidelines are flexible because everyone learns at a different rate.
Q. How do you define a "early novice"?
A. That is harder to define, but if you have played for a while, but find that the Concert Band music is just too challenging, or you’d rather not be stressed out by its challenges, you are welcome to take part in our Not-Quite-Ready-Players’ (NQRP) Band.
Q. I'm playing in Symphonic Band, but I have this new instrument I've been messing around with. May I come to NQRP?
A. YES! You are one of the types of people for whom this group was organized! And given that you have some musical background, you might also be able to help out some of the total beginners, or bring up things that confused you when you were a beginner!
Q. Will we be performing?
A. I don't know! WE will decide that as we get into the week. No pressure; we can just work for the experience, or we can share what we've done with the others. In past years we played on the final concert and got LOTS of kudos!
Q. The tempos on the sound files seem way too fast for me! I guess I probably shouldn't play this year; I'm not ready.
A. Sound file tempos and interpretations are that particular conductor's ideas and are not THE way to play the piece, it is only ONE way to play the piece! We will take the tempos best for our group.
Q. What if I get there and I still can't play the music?
Q2. What if there are parts of the music I can't play?
A. Uh... that's my job ... to HELP you learn! I hope that you WILL come with part of the music still puzzling you. For one thing, I want to be able to show you effective ways to practice. As long as you can play a few measures of each piece, you will be fine! Another really important skill we will be working on is how to simplify your parts and how to know what you can leave out, and how to come back in correctly if you do leave part of the piece out!
Q. I don't think I'm ready.
A. That's OK, Come anyway! This is a safe place - take the plunge and give it a try, cuz you will NEVER be ready if you only practice in your own space at home. You have to be brave. NO ONE WILL LAUGH at you. We're all here to learn. When you leave at the end of the week, I can guarantee you will be more confident in your playing. (see the section on "I'm not ready")
Q. But won't my horrible playing bring the group down???
A. No, not particularly, but the better players in the group will bring your playing UP!! You will have other musicians to emulate and others of whom to ask questions and who can help you keep your place. In my home New Horizons groups, we have only one band (~70) and one string ensemble (~20), and we mix the beginners in with all of the novice, intermediate and more advanced players right from about lesson five. The beginners don't play with the whole group all the time, but right away they have the more experienced players around to follow and to inspire them. One of the most rewarding things for me working with the beginner/novice players at camp is that the NQ players had different skills and helped each other as much (or more!) than I helped them!
Q. I have just started playing a few weeks ago? May I still come?
A. You probably won't be able to actually play with NQRP Band, but you certainly are welcome to come and sit in, play anything you can, and learn about how it all works! And there are other seminars during the week that will be helpful, even for a beginner-beginner.
Q. I looked at the Concert Band music and I can play some of it, but I want to be in the NQ Band, too.
A. Great! You aren't alone. We have several people playing some of the Concert Band music but coming to NQ to get more experience and more help.