13 things you’ll know if you grew up with a musician

18 September 2017, 13:18

Sibling things

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Remember that time your parents didn’t turn up to your hockey match so they could watch your sister’s billionth flute recital? Yeah – us too. These are the worst things about growing up with a musician in the house…

1. The practising is relentless

Trying to finish your homework or kick back with a film? You can guarantee that this is the ideal time for them to perfect their vibrato.


Why now?


2. If they’re in a band, evenings are unbearable

But don’t try and complain to your parents, because “you should be playing a musical instrument too and not just watching repeats of The Simpsons”.



3. Headphones and an electric keyboard > an upright piano

Feeling like your homework time is constantly being interrupted? Replace the upright piano with an electric keyboard and a pair of headphones, and BAM: problem solved.*


*Don’t expect this to go down well with your sibling


4. Free time is a very loose concept

Make all the evening and weekend plans you want, but know that your sibling will always cancel on you for a ‘last-minute run-through of the Dvorák’.


You will always come second to Dvorák.


5. Incessant scales and arpeggios

As long as the music exams continue, the scales will never end. Siblings of violinists: beware of the Grade 8 introduction of double-stop scales.


There will be much scratching.


6. You try to sing along to the tune they’re playing, but they keep stopping to go over it again

‘Greeeeensleeeves was all my joy and…’ ‘Greeeeeensleeeeves was all my joy and Greeeensleeeves was…’




7. The sound of Sibelius

Beware of the ‘voice’ setting...

Sibelius 7 screen 

It might be the end of your special sibling bond.

8. You’re forced to give up your Friday night plans to go to their concert

Not a Steve Reich fan? Well it’s too late for that now. 


9. They always have to play for visitors

Whether it’s your mum’s work colleagues or your dad’s distant cousins, your parents will always insist on getting your sibling to play for them (they will pretend to be embarrassed, and secretly love the attention).


10. Your hobby will always be inferior

‘I walk rescue dogs at weekends and play GB Lacrosse on weeknights… and my sis plays the flute.’ 

‘A MUSICIAN?! Can she play at my wedding?’ 



11. There are so many acronyms

“So I’m off to JB at 10, then CC at 12 and I’ve got a concert with WB tonight.”



12. They leave their music EVERYWHERE

Expect their full wrath if you accidentally use their copy of Fauré’s Pavane as a shopping list, even though they left it face down in the kitchen.



13. All their friends are musicians 

And they’ll constantly make references to ‘that time in chamber rehearsal’ that you just won’t get.


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