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This article is a follow-up to "Memories from childhood" which explains why I wanted to make music. The events that triggered this desire. You can take the time to read it first before going any further, but it's not required.
I joined my city's municipal music school in the late 70s. Probably in 1976, I don't remember exactly (How old are you in CE2?! Maybe it was even CE1). The first two years were dedicated to the learning of Solfeggio which is the basis of the language of music. Music theory: time, rhythm, harmony, scales, etc.. With exercises to work on at home with rhythmic reading and singing with a score, all accompanied by the beating of the bar with the right hand and with the help of a metronome with a previously fixed speed. There was also an introduction to the flute. This allowed to tame this instrument while waiting for better. After these two years of "hard" learning, we could finally choose an instrument and start learning to play it. The serious stuff could begin.
Once back in class for a few hours, once a week, we could be quizzed at any time on these exercises to work on at home. It was very serious. Our teacher, Mr. Bernard Noyer, was a very good teacher, but was also very strict about homework and classroom discipline. Looking back, every time I think of him, I thank him a thousand times over for sharing his passion for music with us. He was really passionate about it. For the anecdote, it is a person who for a psychological cause found himself from one day to the next completely paralyzed of the legs. In the hospital during his rehabilitation, he learned to play the solfeggio and the accordion. In autodicdate! One day he finally recovered the use of his legs and decided to become a music teacher: theory and accordion. I guess music played a major role in his total recovery. :0)
Miles Davis & John Coltrane - So What - Live in Stockholm in 1960. One of my favorite piece of jazz live.
I would have liked to play the piano as I explained here, but I had to decide to choose another instrument. Knowing that I had to choose an instrument that the music school had a teacher. I think it was my father who suggested I choose the saxophone. "It's an instrument with a beautiful sound", he said. For the piano it was complicated. A piano at home, the space, the price, etc.. He finally convinced me, not without some reluctance. So I chose the saxophone. The alto saxophone! My parents sacrificed to buy me a brand new Selmer Mark VII alto saxophone at the local music store. I think they had to spread the payments over a whole year. They had faith in me. Thank you so much! :0)
Learning the saxophone was not that easy. It is a demanding instrument, both in terms of breath and technically in terms of fingers depending on the scales used. But I quickly started to get the hang of it. At the same time I continued my solfeggio lessons in order to progress even further in the theory, until I reached a conservatory level later on. I also have good memories of camaraderie with other musicians from the music school. We would also get together to play, start improvising. At the end of the first year, we were asked to join a band that played mostly standards by Glen Miller, George Gershwin, etc., called "Le petit orchestre".
On Friday evenings, 25 or 30 musicians would get together to work on a repertoire, always under the direction of Mr. Noyer. It started to become really interesting to play music. Several concerts were planned during the year. Meals in the restaurant included, the trips in the bus where we made the clowns to the end. What a bunch of kids! I also quickly joined the municipal band, where we played marches and hymns during local or regional commemorations. All this was a great learning experience too. We had a nice dark blue uniform with a cap and sometimes we had to play while walking. A lot of fun here again with the musician friends! :0)
One evening during a concert with "the small orchestra" the regional television FR3 came to film us during the interpretation of Rhapsody In Blue of George Gershwin. A beautiful event where it was necessary to remain serious and to give the best of oneself. Maybe even this film archive still exists on the INA website. It is very likely. I'll have to look for it. :0)
George Gershwin - Rhapsody In Blue by the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra.
In the meantime, we played a lot of duets with Jean Baptiste, who played the trumpet. We started to improvise, to create. We listened to a lot of jazz: Glen Miller Orchestra, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, etc. We participated in parties with local organizations where we played jazz standards rearranged in our own way. And we were successful! It was fascinating to be able to get off the beaten track of sheet music and play freely. It was a very important turning point! This freedom. All these moments were a very good school.
And then.. one day there was the time of the mopeds at 14, the girls too. And the saxophone started to stay well stored in its case. Until..
To continue.. How I start to play guitar at the end of 80s!
Much #Love to everyone! Thanks for your support! :0)