I sometimes think my daughter is so lucky with the music opportunities available to her. When I was young, we had some opportunities in school, like class music lessons.  In primary school it mostly consisted of us sitting in a big circle taking turns to whack out a tune on the xylophone or ping the triangle or, the best instrument of the time – the beating of the tambourine.  We thought it was great!

High school music was a little different.  Finding myself in a large class of boys with only 8 girls, which went down to 3 by the time I was nearing the end of my school days, music was not really something we got to do.  Our music lessons consisted mostly of the girls chatting in a huddle at the back of class and the boys making paste out of the music sheets, not unalike the class at the start of the movie sister act 2 (yes, I am sorry to say I watched the whole movie, both movies in fact :P).  We went through about five music teachers – horrible boys! It was a bit of a waste because I do think I could have easily learned an instrument.  I enjoyed singing, was in the choir in primary and many school plays (no major roles, I wasn’t that brave).

Don’t ask me to sing now though.  I only do that in church, where it doesn’t really matter if you sing off-key because everyone else does too – after all, how many people can really hit those high notes in some of those hymns!

Now my daughter has an ear for music and, shy as she is, when it comes to singing, she will do it because she can’t help herself.  They do music in school too and its pretty much the same thing we did – only better.  They actually get to learn what the different notes are and learn how to read music and when they whacked out their tunes on the xylophone for sharing assembly, it actually sounded like a tune – well it was Robbie Williams‘ Candy, so not exactly a hard one but still, I thought they all did really well.  Or maybe I’m just being a parent ٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶

They’re still lucky though.  My daughter has a lot more opportunities to learn an instrument than I ever did.  She has a chance to learn the recorder from next year, so I will definitely try to get her into that 🙂 And then there’s choir and later on, band. So plenty out there for her, should she choose to do it!

She was given a child-size guitar for Christmas but of course has no idea how to play it.  So I had this great idea of teaching myself to play (after all, how hard could it be ha ha ha) and then teaching her.  But after some very good advice, I decided it would be better to send her to a few lessons, just to get her started then I could help her after that. So I looked around and, on discovering that the cheapest music lessons were an eye watering £20 PER BLOODY HOUR, I reverted to my original idea.  Still, the guitar sat gathering dust for some time before I was able to get my hands on a series of teach yourself guitar books and CD’s.  It’s a really good series and I actually picked it up quite quickly, as I knew I would of course haha, but I found it a bit difficult to get some finger placements right and decided that it was because I was using my daughters’ small guitar and not because my fingers resemble chunky chips.  So I bought a cheap second-hand guitar, which has seen better days (I hope) but it works and it’s a Yamaha, which I heard is a good make of guitars (what do I know, right).  One of the strings had gone so I bought a whole new set, only because old the ones were steel strings and seem to have a very different sound to the nylon ones (BTW stringing a guitar is bloody hard!).  And seeing as the CD’s I am using make use of guitars with nylon strings, I thought it best to stick with those.  It’s tricky enough tuning the thing by ear without it having something that sounds completely different.  I’m sure all the fundi’s (it’s a South African word – look it up!) will be gasping in horror at me right now but I don’t really care 😛

Anyway, I think I am doing okay.  I can play a short tune using D and E (And I think I’m quite smart) and I do E minor, D minor and A minor (I know I’m so cool) and I might even do a video one day…and then I might actually get to teach my daughter after all, although by that time she probably would have taught herself anyway.


Seeing as I am on the topic of music, I thought I would share one of my favourite local bands with you.  Virgin Soldiers.  They are a band of 6 members and two of them play guitars – sorry one guitar one bass (AHA, you see there is a link after all!).  They are a mix of rock and classical instruments which they call strock (Strings and rock I think) and the combination makes for some great melodies.  Talk about musicality – they have it in spades!  And I am lucky enough to be seeing them at a show at the end of the month.  I have added a video you can check out below (yes I have permission from the band) and you can also find out what they’re up to on Twitter: and Facebook:  Okay, that’s enough plugging for one day 😛

Enjoy the video x

PS. Did you see the finger movements on that guitar!!  No, I can’t do that…

Copyright © 150413 by Karen Payze (obviously excluding the Virgin soldiers stuff – that belongs to them :P)

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