In preparation for our 2018 Musical Chairs fundraising event, where brave members of the public will learn a new instrument or dust off an old instrument and join a scratch orchestra for a day in aid of our work with young people with complex lives, we're talking to some of our intrepid musicians about their experiences.
Barbara Eifler is Chief Executive of Making Music, who provide advice, support and resources for leisure-time musicians and music groups across the UK.
What instrument are you playing at Musical Chairs and have you ever played this instrument before?
I’ll be playing the trumpet for Musical Chairs and I’ve never played one before…
Why did you choose this instrument? What is it that you like about the instrument?
I’ve always loved the sound of a trumpet and wanted to play in a brass band. But immediate reason for choosing was that I was concerned the flute (lying about abandoned by daughter) might cause me problems with my shoulder, and so the now redundant trumpet (teenager switched to saxophone two years ago) seemed the obvious choice.
Why have you decided to take part in Musical Chairs?
I thought it was a great idea for a fundraiser plus it is offering me the opportunity to get to know Orchestras For All and its participants which I really look forward to. And of course it means I’m allowed to take part in an orchestra which as a pianist and singer you just can’t! If I manage it, some poor community band might find I turn up to join them soon…
How did you hear about Orchestras for All and what interests you about their work?
I heard about Orchestras for All through several channels; at Making Music, the organisation I run, we’re interested in seeing everybody have accessible opportunities to make music, so I think the work that you do is fantastic.
How have you approached your practice? What have you enjoyed? What have been your main challenges?
I started with tuition from teenage son. Then got some books from singing teacher’s grade one challenge. Then a friend (principal cornet in local training band) popped round for a lesson. And I’ve tried to practice every day.
I’ve enjoyed it when I get a nice sound out of it! But I don’t think I’ve got the right technique yet and I’m panicking just a bit, now there are only 34 days to go and I’m still struggling to make the right sounds… aarrgghh… who knew trumpets were so difficult??
How has your fundraising for Musical Chairs been going so far?
66% funded! Mmm, some more ideas needed here to raise the last third of my target…
What are you most looking forward to at Musical Chairs? What are you most nervous about (if anything)?
I really look forward to meeting the participants and being part of an orchestra for the first time. But will I be able to play the notes???
What would you say to someone who maybe needs some convincing to sign up?
It’s January and you need a challenge to keep you energised and looking forward – never mind dry January, go for Musical Chairs! (Just don’t choose the trumpet if you’ve never played it before is my tip of the day)
There's still plenty of time for you to join Barbara at Musical Chairs 2018 - find out more about the event and sign up for the event here.