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FCE: Reading, part 1

UPPER-INTERMEDIATE Vydáno dne 04.11.2006

Cvičný test cambridgeské zkoušky FCE zaměřený na čtení s porozuměním, část 1.

FCE: Reading, part 1

You are going to read a magazine article about an orchestra. Choose the most suitable heading from the list (A-I) for each part (1-7) of the article. There is one extra heading which you do not need to use. There is an example at the beginning.

A - Not as silly as it sounds
B - Not the original intention
C - Responding to a demand
D - A great discovery for many
E - Leading to new ambitions
F - Modest origins
G - Great dedication
H - Nobody is excluded
I - The orchestra you can join straight away

Absolute Beginners

You don't need to be able to read a note of music to play in this orchestra - all it takes is a little effort and a lot of enthusiasm.

0: I - The orchestra you can join straight away
The East London Late Starters Orchestra (ELLSO) is the most professional orchestra in Britain, but it is seriously fun. What is more, all are welcome to join in. After each of its concerts, anyone from the audience can choose an instrument and have a go. Then the whole orchestra launch into another piece of music and the new recruits are free to play along.


The orchestra, now in its sixteenth year, grew out of a small scheme run by one of the local councils in east London to give children in the area the opportunity to make music. ‘I shall never forget the day my daughter Kate came home from school with a cello,’ ELLSO's founder Chris Shurety told me. ‘They’d had a couple of teachers come in and play instruments. Then they said, “Who wants one?” Everyone put up their hands, and they were each given one to take home. Music-making was seen as central to the children's edu­cation, and as a parent, I found it joyful to see it happening.'


Since that time, dozens, if not hundreds, of adults have felt the same thrill at handling these beautiful instruments, a lot of them for the first time in their lives. And for most, it comes as a revelation that they too can learn to play. It's never too late, and there is nothing, apart from their own inhibitions, to prevent them.


The idea of starting the ELLSO came about when the council invited parents to drop in for a one-hour sample lesson. ‘This was not with a view to getting something going among adults,’ says Chris. ‘It was just to give us a better understanding of what the children were doing. But we went there, and for me that was it. I had a preliminary lesson on the cello, and I thought, “I could learn to play these instruments!”’


ELLSO is all about removing barriers and providing access to music in a friendly, non-competitive environment, for people of mixed abilities and of all ages and social backgrounds. Fees are based on income. The absolute beginner, on turning up, will be handed an instrument and given a brief tutorial, before being invited to play with the orchestra.


‘Everyone,’ says Chris, ‘has the ability to make music.’ But, of course, they have to practise, and the 60-plus members do so every Saturday morning without fail, some travelling a long way. Many of them are so eager that they also get together in the week for group practice, or have private tuition. It's something they do for personal satisfaction and for the confidence that flows from it. It is a very important part of their lives.


Helen Couch is 76 and hadn't played an instrument until she joined the ELLSO at the age of 67. ‘I thought it must be a joke, the idea that you could play with an orchestra after a couple of hours – I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever heard,' she admits. ‘I always assumed I was musically illiterate. Well, I still am, but I love it, although it’s hard work. I'm ashamed that I'm not better, but you can hide in the orchestra, and knowing that gives you confidence. We're improving as a group. Nine times out of ten we finish together now, which we didn't use to.


‘It’s changed my life,' says Chris Shurety. ‘And that’s what ELLSO has done for lots of other people. Not all will want to carry on learning an instrument, but if they've had a positive experience and are beginning to find out what they really want to learn in life, it gives them confidence to move on to other things. There are a lot of people who started with ELLSO who've gone on to study for degrees and emerged in new careers.'

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