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MUDCAT WOMEN

GUEST,honest annie 10 Mar 02 - 02:08 PM
Terry K 10 Mar 02 - 02:25 PM
Linda Kelly 10 Mar 02 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 10 Mar 02 - 02:32 PM
Terry K 10 Mar 02 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 10 Mar 02 - 03:30 PM
KT 10 Mar 02 - 03:36 PM
RichM 10 Mar 02 - 03:41 PM
wysiwyg 10 Mar 02 - 03:53 PM
leprechaun 10 Mar 02 - 04:12 PM
katlaughing 10 Mar 02 - 04:17 PM
Alice 10 Mar 02 - 04:22 PM
Alice 10 Mar 02 - 04:32 PM
Linda Kelly 10 Mar 02 - 04:35 PM
Big Mick 10 Mar 02 - 05:05 PM
Ebbie 10 Mar 02 - 05:19 PM
KT 10 Mar 02 - 05:39 PM
catspaw49 10 Mar 02 - 05:44 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Mar 02 - 05:54 PM
Blackcatter 10 Mar 02 - 06:00 PM
RichM 10 Mar 02 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,annie again 10 Mar 02 - 06:42 PM
Amos 10 Mar 02 - 07:04 PM
harpgirl 10 Mar 02 - 07:49 PM
harvey andrews 10 Mar 02 - 07:57 PM
Gary T 10 Mar 02 - 07:58 PM
harvey andrews 10 Mar 02 - 08:06 PM
Gypsy 10 Mar 02 - 08:48 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Mar 02 - 09:11 PM
DonMeixner 10 Mar 02 - 09:49 PM
Murrey 10 Mar 02 - 11:48 PM
CarolC 11 Mar 02 - 01:06 AM
GUEST,KB@work 11 Mar 02 - 07:55 AM
kendall 11 Mar 02 - 08:39 AM
Duckboots 11 Mar 02 - 09:58 AM
pattyClink 11 Mar 02 - 10:33 AM
Kim C 11 Mar 02 - 10:54 AM
DougR 11 Mar 02 - 11:54 PM
GUEST,KB@work 12 Mar 02 - 06:25 AM
Dave Bryant 13 Mar 02 - 06:14 AM
Barbara Shaw 13 Mar 02 - 10:23 AM
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Subject: ?s for MUDCAT WOMEN
From: GUEST,honest annie
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 02:08 PM

What instruments do you play?

How long have you been playing?

Do you play more for family, friends, or for yourself?

Do you feel supported in your musical choices?

What is your advice to a middle-aged woman just starting out in music?

Is there anything you can share, good or bad, about how music shaped who you are today?


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Terry K
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 02:25 PM

My question would be - how can you approach the Mudcat from such a sexist angle? Are men not allowed to have an input to your musical aspirations?

Can anybody guess what response there would be to a similar thread started by a man, which sought to exclude women?

Forgive me, but what the ***** is going on here?

My advice to a middle-aged woman just starting out in music would be - get off your feminist/sexist shit and get real.

Wishing you all the best, Terry


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 02:27 PM

Terry -take more water with it mate.


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 02:32 PM

Well, for someone who is wishing you all the best, sounds a bit hostile. Anyway, my best advice is play for your own enjoyment. it does not matter if anyone supports your choices or not, unless you play them way loud in the middle of the night...or disrupt the quiet hours of your home or whatever....then some compromises on both sides might be necessary. Then find people who like the same kinds of music...shouldn't be too hard on the internet. In real life, it could be if you like obscure music...get a teacher if you can, who plays the kind of music you like. Go to weekend or weeklong camps if they are local and you can afford them (often there are work scholarships.) mg


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Terry K
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 02:58 PM

I think it's just that we men have spent eons being accused of being sexist, but when women discriminate on the grounds of sex ("The Feminist Movement") it seems to be OK - we are supposed not to mind.

The question may have been well meant - it's just one of those ingrained prejudices that pass unnoticed - well, nearly. So now I suppose you want me to let you get on with your girlie talk.

OK, I admit, this is a hot button for me.

Cheers, Terry

.......and Linda, you can do better than that!!


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 03:30 PM

History will not be kind to women who have been abusive to men, any more than it will be kind to men who have been abusive to women.

But this was just a simple request for some musical information.


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: KT
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 03:36 PM

Hey, Honest Annie, pay no attention to the hostility up there. Your questions did not come across to everyone as discriminatory or sexist. There's nothing wrong with asking for a woman's perspective.

AND, know that you would receive tons of valuable input from the menfolk around here, too.

My answer to #5.... Keep playing, keep finding joy in it! And find others who are also beginners! KT


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: RichM
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 03:41 PM

Good for you, Annie. Since your question is addressed to the women here, I won't presume to give an opinion--except to say--Music is joyful, so spread it around!

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 03:53 PM

Annie,

My advice is, get to know some of the women around here, and see for yourself what we are doing. Not because there is something wrong with your question or your approach-- but just that the abundance of experience will be more effectively grasped and tapped into thataway.

Try PalTalk, for example.

Or read old posts by some of us once you spot someone here you think might have something to share with you.... click on any user's name in their post and up pops their posting history.

Finally-- join Mudcat, so people can exchange PM's with you. *G*

~Susan


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: leprechaun
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 04:12 PM

Cripes Terry, lighten up! Cherish the women.


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 04:17 PM

Jaysus, Terry! Good thing most of the men around here like boobs. Otherwise we'd have been crucified for THAT thread. How the hell was some guy supposed to tell a woman what to do with her *large endowment* while playing her guitar? Lighten up, willya? I suppose you didn't like it when Sheye sorry, meant "Shula", had the "women's song circle" threads, either? Sheesh! If you'll look around there have also been Mudcat Men threads!

Welcome to the Mudcat, Honest Annie. Take a look around. Go into the Mudcat FAQs permathread and take a look at some of the favourite threads in there. When I have more time, I'll tell you what this centre-aged woman does for music!**BG**

kat


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Alice
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 04:22 PM

Hi, Annie, I didn't think your questions aimed at women were sexist. The clue to me was in "Do you feel supported in your musical choices?" and "What is your advice to a middle-aged woman just starting out in music?". From those questions I am guessing that you may remember when women were not supported in their choices. The barriers have been overcome in playing any instrument you want, in doing any style of music you want to do. Unless you have particular people around you that are putting you down for wanting to become a musician, don't expect the general public to ridicule your choice of being a drummer or something like that. I recall when I was in college in the early 70's, that being one of the first women DJs at the FM station was a real joke to many of the guys on campus. On radio and tv, only men were announcers. Women playing certain instruments was a curiosity. Times have changed alot - it isn't like it was when we were young. Start learning any type of music you want, and keep at it. You're never too old to enjoy learning music. I started voice lessons in my mid 40's. It gave me alot of confidence to learn the techniques, not to mention enriching my life tremendously. People younger than us grew up after the barriers were broken, so they don't realize that older women experienced more limitations in the past. Just choose what you want to do and get started.

Alice


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Alice
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 04:32 PM

Annie, PM's are Personal Messages that you can get if you register here with a Mudcat membership and post with a Mudcat name instead of as a Guest. You can send and receive personal messages on this web site, off the forum, with other Mudcat members. As one middle aged woman to another, here is my mp3 page Click Here and here is my web site Alice Flynn

The music business in pop music and opera still looks to youth and beauty for women to be profitable performers, but that doesn't mean we can't create music for ourselves, and in the folk genre, people tend to be more interested in the integrity of the music itself than in a pretty face on a video.

Alice


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 04:35 PM

Don't really want to do better than that Terry old bean- seemed a harmless thread -women asking other woman about their music -don't see it as any different from a banjo player wanting the opinions of other banjo players -or am I missing the point or something?


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Big Mick
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 05:05 PM

Terry...........I am a man. A very large man. A purely heterosexual male. I didn't feel threatened by a very well phrased post that simply asked questions. I find it interesting, but not something I would post to...............until that crap you posted. You must learn to discern between attacks, and honest inquiry. If it weren't for attitudes like yours, questions like these wouln not have to be asked. Take a pill or something, will ya? And if you feel the need to continue this discussion, would you be so kind as to start a separate thread, so Annie can get her questions asked without it getting lost in some silly debate? Thanks.

Annie, sorry you had to have this. Ignore it and go on, I will be following, not posting any further, with interest. My experience with Mudcat Women is that they are a phenomenal bunch that I am proud to be associated with. You will get plenty of very good advice here.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 05:19 PM

Terry, twice in recent years I've been told by 'admiring' men that they think it's 'so neat that a woman my age is still playing'. I decided that the next man who 'compliments' me like that is going to get the question: You mean, when you reach 60 you're going to stop playing?

Mind you, neither of those men knew they were being sexist; both thought they were complimenting me. Everyone is capable of being unwittingly sexist. In this case, I think it's clear that Honest Annie, as a woman, is asking for the woman's point of view and is not being sexist.

Honest Annie, I started playing guitar at 17 and have only in recent years begun taking it more seriously. My favorite format for making music nowadays is a jam or song circle in my home, although I've been in a long-time band that plays for dances. In my family several siblings lead everybody in singing.

On occasion, it doesn't really matter to me if I myself play if there is good live music to listen to. There's nothing like music that you resonate to, imo. Music, along with creative writing, has at times been the only thing that made it possible for me to continue living. Nowadays I don't need them in that role- but oh, how they enrich my life. Age has nothing to do with it. Go for it.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: KT
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 05:39 PM

I love ya, Mick! You too, Ebbie!

KT


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 05:44 PM

Those of you wanting to think through the role of women in folk music, take it over to this thread.

Try to relax Terry.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 05:54 PM

Dudes and chicks...

sometimes we gotta be together...

sometimes we gotta be apart...

;-)


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Blackcatter
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 06:00 PM

Clinton -

That's the secret to good sex - together ... apart ... together ... apart ... together ... apart ... together ... apart ...

pax yall


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: RichM
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 06:28 PM

...and the secret to good relationships ;)


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: GUEST,annie again
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 06:42 PM

Perhaps I should have been more specific. I can tell by Terry's hissy-fit that it struck more than a nerve or two and I apologize. I did NOT approach the question from a sexits angle, but it was nice of you to give it one, Terry, that gives us something solid to hang on to.

I have read some of the previous threads, a woman friend of mine told me about the Mudcat and I've been trying to play catch up, I just really don't feel like I have much to offer in the way of information. I am still learning.

I suppose men have some of the same sorts of difficulties, but I was looking for more of a female perspective after a recent altercation I had in a music shop. It was your typical used car salesman disaster, and I felt like I was being talked down to rather than being dealt with as a person who had done her research and had a pretty good idea of what she wanted. Instead I was offered a guitar that was 'shiney'. Because, as you know, all women like shiney things. I know the poor kid was looking at me and wondering how he might 'sell' a guitar to his mother, but still.

For Mudcat men, if you feel the need to write something, and can manage not to be a total pain in the ass, it might be useful to know your perspectives as well. If you want to be an ass, fine, I just won't read it. I assume many of you have wives, girlfriends, or daughters, or even women in your groups. What gets them started and keeps them motivated?

Thank you, especially Alice and Ebbie, your writing was very helpful.


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Amos
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 07:04 PM

He tried to sell you a guitar because it was SHINY???? Jesus wodda a dumbass! Callow and calloused at the same time!! Weird. He really SAID that??? Because "women like shiny things"??? Cor!!! Wodda DIP!!

Besides, everyone knows shiny things are harder to keep clean!!

**bg**

A


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: harpgirl
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 07:49 PM

...gee Annie, are you sure it wasn't a steel guitar?


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: harvey andrews
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 07:57 PM

For Mudcat men, if you feel the need to write something, and can manage not to be a total pain in the ass, it might be useful to know your perspectives as well.

Well for what it's worth I've never really noticed the sex of a musician until they've drawn my attention to it by the material they're singing. If they're playing an instrument only it's irrelevant anyway.
I think the original posting on this thread drew my attention to the fact that the poster wished to be addressed as a woman first and a musician second and that she wished to categorise the men as men first and musicians second. I think we should all be musicians first and I'm sure my answers to her questions could be just as valid as any female musicians.We are all patronised occassionally,all judged by our appearance, all pigeon holed by critics,all hated by some and loved by others.It would have been less contentious to have asked the musical community for its ideas rather than segregating us by our sex.."Imagine...ALL the people.."


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Gary T
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 07:58 PM

annie, the opening post in this thread addresses some of what you asked about.

Your description of the music shop experience sounds like you stumbled onto an idiot. My thought would be to to try find someone else to help you, at a different shop if need be.

I will answer your questions from my personal perspective. I'm a middle-aged male. Whether my experience would be materially different were I a woman, I can't say.

What instruments do you play?
Guitar. By "play," I mean I strum chords to accompany my singing. I decided to put my efforts into learning lots of chords (= more songs) rather than into learning picking (= better guitarist).

How long have you been playing?
I started about 22 years ago. As most folks will relate, the first few months can be quite trying. I was highly motivated (internal desire) and plugged along, but it was at least two months into regular practice before I could "do a song," by which I mean use three simple chords in a reasonably smooth fashion.

Do you play more for family, friends, or for yourself?
Basically for myself, though I certainly appreciate the ego strokes when anyone seems to enjoy what I can share--or compliments me on it! I started learning guitar after being on a camping trip where we were singing 'round the fire, and the guitarist didn't know how to do certain songs I requested. I realized that if I wanted to be SURE there was accompaniment for the songs I wanted to sing, I would have to provide it.

Do you feel supported in your musical choices?
My wife certainly accepts and supports what I do (bless her). I don't recall anyone else in my family ever asking me to get out the guitar. Friends' support levels run the gamut.

My "musical mission" is singing songs that don't get heard enough. Sometimes this translates into "songs that no one has heard of." There are some very popular songs by very popular artists that everyone seems to know, but that I don't really like (or got sick of after the 784th hearing). Occasionally someone listening seems to get stuck on the idea that I SHOULD know a certain song. I find that somewhat disconcerting when it's a song I don't even want to hear, much less learn to sing and play. Moral--not everyone will appreciate what you do, it might as well at least make YOU happy.

What is your advice to a middle-aged woman just starting out in music?
Be prepared for it to be a bit discouraging to learn the guitar (those fingers never had to do THAT before!). Make sure the guitar you use is "set up" reasonably well--if it's improperly adjusted for your needs it might be nearly unplayable. If at all possible, get a knowledgeable friend to help with guitar purchase. By that I mean, each guitar has to be judged by itself, you can't necessarily rely on make and model to assure there are no problems. With a decent (does not have to be expensive) instrument, it can be relatively pleasant to learn.

Seek out others you can play with and learn from. A musical community can be a great resource, as well as a joy in itself. Comrades with positive attitudes are a wonderful blessing.

Think about what YOU want to do. It doesn't hurt to have some exposure to musical genres or instrument techniques that aren't exactly up your alley, but satisfy your personal musical desires that brought you to this point.

Is there anything you can share, good or bad, about how music shaped who you are today?
That seems like a terribly profound question at this moment, so I'll give it some thought. It's hard for me to imagine anything bad in that area, though.


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: harvey andrews
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 08:06 PM

footnote as to midle aged women
In the 60's I sat at the feet of a Grandmother who started performing as I understand it, after raising her family and at an age when most would be thinking of an easy life or retirement. Her name was Malvina Reynolds. Pretty good role model vis a vis age of beginning to put yourself out there I'd say.


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Gypsy
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 08:48 PM

Harvey, i enjoyed your first post, and TREASURE your second one! Wow, whatta role model. Speaking as a middle aged woman, who started IN her middle age....it's like anything else. Obsess over it, and give yourself time. As for the youngster who wanted to sell you a shiny guitar....realize that individual needs to grow as well. Cut a little slack, and then educate them.


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 09:11 PM

As a man who still remembers middle age, I can only encourage you to have a great time playing music. The women can offer you some individual perspectives that us men folk can't. I found your original posting, honest, charming and trusting. Hey! It doesn't get any better than that....

Enjoy!!!!!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: DonMeixner
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 09:49 PM

harvey,

I was going to bring in Malvina Reynolds but since you did I'll just agree with you.

Annie,

Inspiration doesn't need to wait for an age or a time of life to be expressed. Many people become painters or authors in later life. Why not a musical performer after forty? Or fifty. Maybe you just needed to wait till now for your muse to strike you.

Good luck

Don


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Murrey
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 11:48 PM

Hi Annie , If you truly want to get into music at whatever age you are now -go for it !! If you truly want to ,nothing should get in your way .I started in music very young but it's only in the last 10 years or so that I've settled into doing what I really love -what comes from inside -so find your passion ,reach inside and enjoy . And why do some guys get so bent about women talking to women --gees give us a break will you - it is about differences really ! Murrey


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: CarolC
Date: 11 Mar 02 - 01:06 AM

I have played, at various times in my life, the piano, the recorder, and the piano accordion.

The accordion is the only instrument I play now, and I've been playing it for almost two years. (I'm 46 now.) I have discovered that it is "my instrument".

I started playing the piano when I was a tiny child (maybe two or three years old), but it didn't suit me, and I never got very good at it.

I started playing recorder at the age of 15, and have played it on an off since then. I put the recorders down when I discovered my love for playing the accordion.

Mostly I play for myself, but I'm beginning to play well enough to be able to enjoy playing for others from time to time.

Do you feel supported in your musical choices?

Yes, I think so. For the most part. I've taken a lot of flack for my choice of instrument, but I've recieved quite a lot of help and support as well.

My advice to a middle-aged woman just starting out in music is to try to enjoy yourself. Find out what you love to do, musically speaking, and do as much of it as possible. And have a good time.

Is there anything you can share, good or bad, about how music shaped who you are today?

I know that music has played an integral role in shaping who I am today, but I'll be darned if I could tell you how in a short post. Maybe it's like the difference between having flowers growing in the garden as opposed to having just the soil.


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: GUEST,KB@work
Date: 11 Mar 02 - 07:55 AM

Hi all
I started singing at 34, am now taking lessons and am delighted to find out that the female voice reaches its peak in the mid-forties - so middle-aged women are certainly not past it! Since starting out I've gone from adequate to good - occasionally very good. There's still plenty of potential for growth.
I play guitar in a very basic way (improving only slowly) in order to accompany my singing. I used to play guitar as a kid & so had a tiny head-start when I picked it up again a couple of years ago.
I started by singing at gettogethers in festival campsites, at singarounds, folk clubs, and folkie gatherings. It took longer to feel comfortable singing & playing in front of friends and family. Though my husband's family surprised me in the support they gave - I was shocked to find they actually wanted to hear me!!
Supported in my choices? Well - friends that I play & sing with are always encouraging, and people in pubs compliment me (blimey!!). My husband, Mark, has always been my strongest critic and is disconcertingly honest about my flaws - but that has paid off (along with lessons) and he is now 90% complimentary. That is clearly support that I've earned, rather than a default partisan support.
My other big support is my daughter, Amoret, who has played and sung with me and is now branching out to sing and play solo (finally taking Bill Sables' advice :))
Support is very important, especially when you are starting out and don't have an accumulation of self-confidence yet! Fortunately folkies are a very supporting breed - its like a huge pool of instant friends.
Music shapes my life in terms of singing being the thing I love to do, and improving that is an interesting journey. It shapes my life in terms of the sessions and festivals that we go to as a family, and the passing on of the passion to my daughter. It shapes my life in terms of the friends that we make through music. It shapes my life in terms of self-respect : I may be a fat old hippy woman - but I can sing. So, music is vastly important to me now, and all this has emerged over the course of 4 years or so.
So my advice to a middle-aged woman starting out in music is to really go for it, enjoy it, be generous with your music, don't let anyone put you off - but do listen to valid criticism, - and don't forget that its only you that knows you haven't been doing it for years. One of my biggest hurdles was that I felt that everyone else was somehow a more "proper" musician - on closer aquaintance it turns out that an aweful lot of people feel this way. I've also learnt that making a mistake or mangling a song is not the end of the world. Make light of your mistakes and everyone else will do the same - and never over-apologise.
Enough rambling

Kris


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: kendall
Date: 11 Mar 02 - 08:39 AM

I'm with big Mick on this. I'm not nearly as big as he is,(I dont have my own zip code), but I dont feel threatened by this sort of post.


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Duckboots
Date: 11 Mar 02 - 09:58 AM

Hello Honest Annie. Although I don't play, sing, or folk-dance, I've literally been surrounded, and at times overwhelmed by folk music for the last fourteen years. If you've guessed that my partner is not only involved in music, but sometimes seems positively obsessed by it, you're right. Although he sometimes has difficulty knowing what day (or even year) it is, he has uncanny recall for the tiniest details of artists' styles, songs and instruments.

We've often discussed how difficult it can be for a woman to get taken seriously as a professional musician, but it seems that currently, women singer-songwriters are getting their due. Naturally the sylph-like 'babes' with breathy voices will be the first hired, but artists like Penny Lang, Arlene Mantle, Sylvia Tyson, Suzie Vinnick, Katherine Wheatley, and the list goes on, have made their mark on the Canadian folk music scene.

It was Harvey's mention of Malvina Reynolds that prompted me to contribute to this thread. I think my partner may also have met her, but I know how highly he valued her example to other women. She was a tough, long time activist, and communist, who fought for every inch. She produced satires, parodies, love songs, and when she felt the need to hit with a sledgehammer, she did.

I'd provide a link, but there's a lot of information on the net about her, so she's easy to find. Great thread, and I think most Mudcatters 'get it'.

Duckboots


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: pattyClink
Date: 11 Mar 02 - 10:33 AM

I don't have a model for 'success' to offer you. I play for myself (guitar,elementary) and sing. When I was 'serious' about music, I lived in places which only wanted the commercial stuff and I gave up on the idea of public performance. Now my ego is so underdeveloped, I don't have any desire to show up in smoky loud pubs trying to sing. I do sing harmony with other women but not in the folk genre.

Folk people may all be wonderful kind folks but there is plenty of snobbery to go around. Please get out there anyway, and try to ignore it. You may find psychological 'shelter' in a group, so play if you are asked at a session or whatever. You can't plan what group you might get involved in, you can't 'audition', you just have to meet people and see where things lead. If you'd rather be a solo balladeer, master 3 songs 'cold' and offer to do them at a festival or ceili or just go to an 'open mike' nite and get started. If you're such a beginner that this is a long way off, ask around about folk music teachers and get some coaching.

And, you know, it's okay to be a household musician too. Once upon a time it was the norm to visit friends and play for one another in homes. Now it's seen as the aberration, it's all about the pub or the hall and somebody up on stage and the rest not. Maybe you are meant to get a folk circle together in your home...

Play what you love, share it with pearls, don't share it with swine.


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Kim C
Date: 11 Mar 02 - 10:54 AM

Terry, sometimes women who want to learn something, like to ask other women who already know how to do it. It doesn't mean we don't care about what the men think, it just means we wanna talk to our girlfriends. That's all.

I sing, play the fiddle, guitar, piano. I play at the pennywhistle. Trying to master the bodhran. Own an accordion but don't know how to play it - it needs work.

I have played music nearly my whole life but didn't play the guitar till I was in my 20s (husband taught me), and didn't come to the fiddle till I was 31. I studied classical piano, which was a big help when I wanted to learn other instruments.

Whether or not I feel supported in my musical choices just depends on who I'm talking to. Some people think it's strange that I play historical music, and my husband doesn't like some of the popular recordings I bring home. (So I keep those at work.)

If you want to learn a new instrument as an adult, be patient, practice, and above all, love what you're doing.

Cheers----

Kim


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: DougR
Date: 11 Mar 02 - 11:54 PM

LEPRECHAN!! Ravage the women??? Oops, sorry. That's cherish the women. Damned old Wal-Mart reading glasses.

DougR


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: GUEST,KB@work
Date: 12 Mar 02 - 06:25 AM

Ravish surely?!!
Not that I don't feel pretty ravaged sometimes. - or is that raddled?
Words, words, words.

Kris


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 06:14 AM

I don't know how old Vera Johnson was when she first started writing and singing. She was definitely no spring chicken when I last heard her.

I can understand why Terry made the posting that he did. There must be many men who would be interested in the same (or very similiar questions) and the title of the thread might tend to make them feel that they should keep out.

Both my partner Linda (ESSEX GIRL) and myself are in our later 50s and have each been singing for over 35 years. I don't think that the issues which we've faced have been particularly different. Linda and I are both primarily singers although I play guitar, concertina, and melodeon.

The main REASON for performing has always got to be because YOU want to, but you have to perform FOR your AUDIENCE. In other words the main pleasure that you can get out of performing comes via the audience feedback.

Who that audience is will vary, sometimes (especially in sessions) it will be friends (I hope I never have to perform to an audience of enemies). If you're doing a gig the audience is likely to be mainly strangers - but if you get it right many of them should be friends by the end of the performance. Neither Linda or myself really perform for family - the kids want their own music - folk is bad for street cred !

As Linda and I usually perform as a duo these days, we do have to agree on pieces which we sing together - although we each have solo numbers of our own choice. Do I detect from your question about support that you don't feel you get it ? The best way of showing that your choice is valid is to be successfully performing it in front of an audience.


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Subject: RE: MUDCAT WOMEN
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 10:23 AM

Dear honest annie,

I took up the guitar about 10 years ago (in my "middle age") and it literally changed my life. I now also play fiddle and bass sometimes, but mostly rhythm guitar, and my husband and I are in a bluegrass band (ShoreGrass) and recorded our first CD. I'm pretty involved now in managing the band (rehearsals, gigs, play lists, publicity, etc) and having a great time making music whenever possible.

If you have any interest in playing, DO IT!! Play with other people whenever you can, because you'll improve greatly from the experience. If the guitar doesn't work out, try another instrument until you get the one that fires you up. You just have to get good enough to enjoy yourself. Good luck, and let us know how you make out.


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