Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

  1. #1

    Default I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    So... I listen to the supposed "Scandinavian" channel on Pandora. It's got about 1 Hardanger fiddle song per hour, and the rest of Irish and Celtic. I'm 50% Norwegian, 0% Irish but my inlaws are Irish. Between the Pandora, my husband's Clancy Brother's YouTube playlist, and the musicians to which I am exposed via various social-media algorithms, I'm hooked on this stuff.

    So I registered for: https://irishartscenter.org/event/ma...rs-winter-2020

    It'll be a bit of a headache to get there - the weather will be awful and I'll have to take the bus from work, then after taking the bus back to work, I'll have to drive another 2 hours before I can go to bed, on a worknight... but it just happened so fast so no backsies.

    But I have some cold feet. I couldn't possibly get there in time for Mandolin-I (it'll take over an hour to get there after work), but I hope I don't become the fly-in-the-ointment.

    I've been playing about 15 months, but I came from another instrument so I could fast forward over "this is a whole note... this is a staff..." parts of learning music. So I don't think beginner 1 would have been right anyway - but I'm from a classical background and hope familiarity with the genre isn't expected.

    I'm on this forum and a few facebook groups and mandolin players are usually pretty nice - so wish me luck. And also pray for me, my surname (didn't change when I got married) is pretty blatantly English

    This is my first time playing with other people - I'm excited but scared.

  2. #2

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    Good luck! Better to be nervous and in a group than content at home alone. I'm betting this will be a rewarding experience. Funny, I'm about 50 percent Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish, but you'd never know by reading my name.

  3. The following members say thank you to Dave Kirkpatrick for this post:

    Heady 

  4. #3

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    Go, have fun, dont worry about it. Id only been playing mando about a year when I realized I needed to put myself in classes at least one level above my current skill...I too did not need to hear about which picks and strings to use. I sat in the back and made sure that rather than dragging the class down to my level I watched, listened, and joined in when I could just mainly trying to absorb what was being presented. If its too easy/hard you can probably change classes.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  5. The following members say thank you to bigskygirl for this post:

    Heady 

  6. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,943

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    Go have fun! Just remember to LISTEN to the music and fit in where you can. Even if you hardly play at all you’ll come away with a new set of tunes to learn, and you’ll eventually be able to contribute consistently regardless with whom you’re playing.
    Chuck

  7. The following members say thank you to CES for this post:

    Heady 

  8. #5
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    668

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    I admire the steps you're subjecting yourself to in order to learn. I've felt nervous in group lessons too. The stage between beginner and intermediate is a difficult one. You either take a class where you learn "Twinkle, Twinkle" or one where you'll have difficulty. I'd say, at your stage, you're better to go with the intermediate class. If you can't keep up, you'll learn something anyway, and become aware of what you need to work on. It's unlikely that anyone will give you a hard time about your playing, but there are jerks in the world. Don't worry about your ethnicity; this is a music class, not the IRA. I have a Scottish first name and English last name, and I'm about 3/4 Scottish in ancestry. At musical events -- whether Irish, Cape Breton (where I have roots but wasn't raised), French-Canadian, eastern European or whatever -- no one has ever questioned my ancestry. In my experience if you love the music and are respectful of others, they will be open to you and support your efforts. These folks are musicians, and will appreciate your love of their music. You don't sound like the type who's going to present yourself as an expert, so don't worry, go and have fun. Meanwhile, you could listen to Irish music on your long drives, so that you become more familiar with what you want to play. By the way, Benjamin Engel, the instructor's name is not Irish, so he won't be concerned about your English heritage.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  9. The following members say thank you to Ranald for this post:

    Heady 

  10. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    27,544

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    I took lessons at the Irish Arts Center in NYC when it first opened in the late 1970s. My suggestion is to contact the instructor and talk to him about your concerns and make him aware of what you are worried about. You have a few weeks and perhaps he can possibly tell you how to prepare and perhaps even tell you what tunes you will be working on. In that case, I would find recordings or Youtube videos of those tunes and listen to them. Most music workshops have a wide range of abilities and teachers are usually prepared to deal with that.

    I don't know where you live but there is a fair amount of Irish music across the greater NY area even in NY and CT. If you are in the north there is this wonderful irish festival with workshops: Catskills Irish Arts Week.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  11. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:

    Heady 

  12. #7

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I took lessons at the Irish Arts Center in NYC when it first opened in the late 1970s. My suggestion is to contact the instructor and talk to him about your concerns and make him aware of what you are worried about. You have a few weeks and perhaps he can possibly tell you how to prepare and perhaps even tell you what tunes you will be working on. In that case, I would find recordings or Youtube videos of those tunes and listen to them. Most music workshops have a wide range of abilities and teachers are usually prepared to deal with that.

    I don't know where you live but there is a fair amount of Irish music across the greater NY area even in NY and CT. If you are in the north there is this wonderful irish festival with workshops: Catskills Irish Arts Week.
    Good idea, Jim. Just sent an e-mail describing my background and fears and feeling for ways to prepare. Couldn't find the actual instructor, but 2 people listed as working in "education". Gave them both a try.

  13. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    27,544

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    Seek/search snd ye shall find. Here is Ben Engel's web site with contact info. I will bet you the folks you contacted will fwd your query to him anyway but you can try. Actually his email is on his contact page.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  14. #9

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Seek/search snd ye shall find. Here is Ben Engel's web site with contact info. I will bet you the folks you contacted will fwd your query to him anyway but you can try. Actually his email is on his contact page.
    Wow - you're a big help I did it. I'll let you know what happens - thank you sooooo much.

  15. #10

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    Thanks, Jim, you were right. The teacher e-mailed me back and said not to worry and he'll have sheet music to hand out I can handle anythi... scratch that. I can handle a lot, if you give me the crutch of standard notation

  16. #11

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    In my neck of the woods It's pretty common that people of irish ancestry are a minority at session's, I'm one of the only one's, and judging by the website you posted even your teacher isn't a paddy! Don't be worried about things you can't control, show up and put in the work, you'll no doubt mess a bunch of stuff up along the way but it'll all work out in the end

  17. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    You are learning mandolin, not how to be Irish!
    Bren

  18. #13

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    It was fun! And I was middle of the pack so it was fine.
    At one point he let us decide for ourselves if we'd play melody (which I can do because of classical training in my first life) or strum the chords (where I struggle because #uptightorchestranerd) and I forced myself to try and do chords - it was a stretch but I started to get the hang of it. I can't wait for next week

    That plus E-bay told me the tin whistle I ordered a couple of weeks ago on a PandorkeepsfeedingmeITM high just shipped, so I'm a bit on the giddy side now

    Thanks for the moral support, MandoCafeForumites - you're hte best.

  19. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Heady For This Useful Post:


  20. #14
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    668

    Default Re: I registered for a group class and am getting nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Heady View Post
    It was fun! And I was middle of the pack so it was fine.
    At one point he let us decide for ourselves if we'd play melody (which I can do because of classical training in my first life) or strum the chords (where I struggle because #uptightorchestranerd) and I forced myself to try and do chords - it was a stretch but I started to get the hang of it. I can't wait for next week

    That plus E-bay told me the tin whistle I ordered a couple of weeks ago on a PandorkeepsfeedingmeITM high just shipped, so I'm a bit on the giddy side now

    Thanks for the moral support, MandoCafeForumites - you're hte best.
    I'm glad it worked out, Heady. I came to mandolin from fiddle, so I understand what you're saying about chording. Unlike a great many mandolin players, I find if easier to pick tunes than to chord (especially with a steel plate in my left wrist that limits my flexibility).
    When I'm nervous about a new situation I think about the worst that can happen, e.g., all my class mates will get angry with me and chase me out. I then figure that's ridiculous, and I can handle what is more likely to be the worst that will happen, e.g., I feel discomfort and am unable to keep up with others.
    Enjoy the journey, and consult your fellows at the Cafe when you have more questions. There's are experts on nearly every subject here.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •