Meri’s Musical Musings

Musical life after high school, even if you’re not a music major (and may not ever be)

Posted on: June 14, 2013

What is musical life or can be after high school? Don’t quit playing! And more good news: you don’t have to!

First there are community bands and orchestras, which are open to people of a wide variety of ages, some have members ranging from 11 or 12 years old to seniors in their 80s or 90s. And, contrary to what you may think, not all large community ensembles are for beginning players; while there are some that are, there are others that are geared for players who have advanced skills on instruments. Just google “community band (orchestra) and your city, town, or state/province.

Second, if you’ve taken private lessons, ask your private teacher about ensembles they may know of that would be of the right level of playing.

Third, some elite youth groups accept members as old as 25, sometimes up to 30, especially bands and those on less common instruments.

If you attend, or are going to attend university or college, many educational institutions accept members into the bands and orchestras of the music faculty if they pass the audition (particularly for very strong players or less-commonly played instruments)

Certain large departments in university and college programs (eg: enginneering) have their own bands and orchestras, some if not many satellite campuses usually have at least a choir and band, many have a string orchestra and multiple choirs, a few have a symphony orchestra. (The satellite campus I attended had three choirs and a band when I studied there, and because of the near-tripling of their student numbers in the last 10 years, now have four choirs, two bands, and a string orchestra.)

Finally, you can form your own ensembles, such as rock bands, string quartets, woodwind quintets, trios of various combinations of instruments, ethnic music ensembles (eg: Klezmer bands), especially if you have friends attending the same college/university campus as you are. You can also get together with a friend who is an advanced pianist with strong sight reading skills to play repertoire for solo instrument and piano.

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  • V V: Wish I had read this before I fell for their scheme ! Oh well - have posted my experience on Yelp and N49 and hoping others can avoid the pain of fal
  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
  • No Thanks: Former Teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music I took lessons at the Ontario Conservatory and when I left for private lessons from another tea
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