Niamh Ni Drisceoil (age 11) has been learning saxophone for the last two years as part of the Music Generation Cork City programme and is very much looking forward to Jazz Weekend!
We have a good choice when it comes to learning music here at Gaelscoil Mhachan as there are quite a number of different instruments taught at school. You can learn flute, piano, keyboard, accordion, drums and guitar. When the saxophone was introduced a couple of years ago, I decided I would really like to take that up. I had already been playing the button accordion for about a year, so wanted to start learning something new and an instrument that was very different to what I was used to.
Every Wednesday, we have a teacher from Music Generation come in and teach saxophone to me and my two friends Jessica and Eimear. All three of us started at the same time two years ago.
Everybody thinks the saxophone is a very difficult instrument to play because it looks difficult with all the buttons, but even though I’ve only been playing it for two years, I don’t use that many buttons, I only need to use the basic notes and then sometimes, add another one or two. We learn different scales as well as tunes and last year we prepared for the bronze medal, where we had to pass a performance exam. This year we’re working towards getting our silver medal.
As well as our saxophone lessons, we also have band practice on Wednesdays. It’s a very large brass band made up of pupils from other schools in the area who play various brass instruments including flute, bass, horns as well as saxophone. Oisin is our conductor and he goes through a number of different tunes for us to work on. We then go through our saxophone parts and practice them in our smaller classes. We’re very lucky that we have loan of the instruments for as long as we’re learning them, which means we can practice at home. This time of year we start preparing for the Christmas concert where we’ll do a mixture of pop songs and Christmas songs.
I’m really looking forward to the jazz weekend. I already asked my dad if he would take me, so he said he’d try and bring me around so I can see what’s going on. I love the saxophone and hope to carry on playing it when I’m older.