The NKO Christmas Show

NKO – the Norfolk Keyboard Orchestra – is a group of Norfolk schoolchildren playing keyboards together, as an orchestra.  We make a fantastic and unique sound – it has to be heard to be believed!

Our Christmas Show is on Sunday 14th December.  The venue is St Francis of Assisi School, Jessopp Road, Norwich NR2 3QB.  The Show starts at 7.00pm, with doors opening at 6.45pm.

There is no admission fee to the Show, but during the Interval you will be able to buy refreshments and there will also be a raffle.  You can buy your raffle tickets on the door. 

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Hemblington Church

Hemblington Church in rural Norfolk – a beautiful place to sit and think, to enjoy the countryside, to walk or cycle to, and of course to worship.

I am proud to be the organist at this little church in the middle of a field.  But there’s a lane leading to the church, and room to park your car if you choose to drive there.  And there’s a very warm welcome from the congregation, should you turn up in time for the 9.30am Sunday service.  The church is open every day, and has a fantastic mediaeval wall painting.  To find out more about Hemblington Church, please have a look here.

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Here is an amazing video by the Dutch film-maker Thomas Roebers. I fully endorse the sentiment that EVERYTHING IS RHYTHM. Watch this video, and you’ll believe it too.

By the brothers Thomas Roebers and Floris Leeuwenberg

Film Crew during one month in Baro, Guinee Afrika

Beautiful sound design and sound recording by Bjorn Warning
Translator and rhythm specialist Thomas Bonekamp

With special thanks to the chief:


Walk-Sing-Eat with Hemblington Harmony

Hemblington Harmony, an adult choir, will be singing in three local churches today:  Strumpshaw Church at 6.00pm, Braydeston Church at 7.30pm and Blofield Church at 9.00pm.  They will be walking over the fields from church to church (and from concert to concert), and they invite you to join them in the walk, and in listening to their music.  At each of the three churches you can listen to a different concert of choral music, each one lasting roughly 30 minutes.

At Strumpshaw Church there will be savoury food to eat, at Braydeston there will be a variety of drinks, and at Blofield you can indulge in some luscious puddings and desserts.

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Who needs Grade Exams?

Short answer:  No-one!

Longer answer:  You do!

Well, you do if you want to:
a) have a focus for your practice,
b) have a ready-made, universally-understood way of measuring your progress,
c) be able to compare your standard of playing with other people’s – and for GCSE and A-level music performances,
d) acquire a row of highly-impressive, gold-blocked certificates to put on your bedroom wall.

In my view, all these reasons are good ones.  Do you know the main reason that some people give up learning to play their instrument?  It’s lack of motivation.  And yet nobody goes along to their very first lesson with no motivation to learn.  Do you remember your first lesson on your instrument?  You were probably excited, enthusiastic, keen as mustard.  Then, when it was over, you couldn’t wait to get home and practise everything you’d learnt.  This state of affairs usually lasts several weeks or months, but there comes a time when the novelty has worn off, you’ve progressed to a point where the work has become ‘difficult’, and – common to teenagers, this one – other aspects of your life are competing for your time.

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You want to succeed with your music?  Of course you do!

So – how do you measure success in music?

Do you measure it by how many grades you’ve passed?  Or by the mark you got for the last grade you took?

Do you measure it by the comments your teacher makes, or by what your friends think of your playing?

Do you measure success by how much you enjoy playing your instrument, or by how many pieces you can play?

How do you know if you are being successful with your playing – and what does this mean anyway?

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