Music Choice

I often wonder how other people find music for their floor routines. As a child, I would spend hours upon hours, sitting on the floor by the tape player (Cd player in the latter years!) surrounded by tapes I had pulled from my parents huge collection, to try and find that one piece of music that I would use for only one and a half minutes. These days, gymnasts are lucky that they have a lot of choice and resources when it comes to choosing their floor music. They can get music from their parents old tapes and cds, the Internet especially has opened a huge door for them, especially since there so many websites that now suply music. Typing “gymnastics music” into Google provides you with numerous results.

I find that there is a risk that comes with this option of using the Internet to find music. In the last few years, I have noticed at competitions, that many gymnasts are using the same music. These tend to be mostly free downloads (as I have come across them myself). Songs easily available such as the music from Monsters Inc, Pink Panther, Ice Age, Mission Impossible, Beverly Hills Cop, Riverdance, James Bond and Aladdin (to name a few) have been doing the rounds for the last few years. I’ve noticed that clubs tend to “recycle” music,  and pass music down to other gymnasts through the years, often keeping the very same routine. What then happens is, that other clubs will use this music too and we can be watching 15 – 20 girls, if not more, performing a very similar routine to the same music, depdnding in the level of difficulty of the competition.  Unlike other countries, in the UK and Ireland, we don’t have set music per our levels, so maybe we are lucky in that sense!

As a coach, I sometimes find it difficult to pick music to suit each of my gymnasts. My girls are aged 7 – 9, so they aren’t quite ready to begin to choose music for themselves. If I can, I try to give them all different music, even though it is rather difficult to teach completely different routines (the reasoning behind  clubs having numerous gymnasts using the same music), although I must admit that only last yearI was guilty of using the same music for all 4 of my girls.  In saying that, it was a very cute routine and very well performed by them all.   The reason I often find it difficult to choose music for others, is that I liked to perform to powerful tracks. I mostly used music by the fantastic violinist Vanessa Mae, using her tracks Storm and I Can Can You. I have 2 powerful tumblers in my group who would not be the best dancers but I also have another who is the opposite, not so powerful but dainty, graceful and a wonderful dancer. Luckily the music I chose for them was a mixture of both, and no, I will not disclose the name of it because it’s a great little treasure I found and I love it so much! Our older gymnasts in the club pick their own music, sometimes we need to advise them that it isn’t suited for them, they can be disappointed but all the same, delighted when we spend time and find something more suited to them that they enjoy performing to.

In a previous post, I chose 3 floor routines from the Atlanta 1996 Olympics that I enjoyed the most. The gymnasts choice of music was something that really made me enjoy these routines. The song “Devil went down to Georgia” is a song I have always loved (I’m seeing a theme here with violins) and I feel it added to Moceanus great routine routine. I feel the same in regards to Podkapaeyva and Amanars routines.  Sometimes I feel that gymnastics now a days lacks interesting music choices it once had. Perhaps this is more to with the code changing throughout the years, that gymnasts simple don’t have time to dance around and entertain the crowd in this way.

As of yet, I have not purchased  music from the Internet for floor routines. I have seen cds on eBay of gymnastics music, I am quite wary of purchasing these as I have not even heard samples. I would love to know of other peoples (coaches, parents, gymnasts) experiences with buying music online. I still have a huge amount of floor music  floating around my collection that I have gathered over the years and have not been used due to finding something better or never got the chance to use it. I have been lucky that my parents have always had a diverse range of music in our house, I know that there is still time for me to uncover some perfect little gems from the collection.

I believe floor music to be a very personal choice. The other coaches and I have recently discussed the feeling we get if we hear “our” music. The girls will be listening to our old music trying to find soemthing they like, almost instantly when the song begins, I get this feeling of nostalgia. If it was a routine that was very dear to me (i.e. that I won with!) my throat can feel tight, my eyes can well up a bit and can send shivers down my spine. Ah memories of my golden days, maybe I’m just a bit over sensetive!

 

3 Comments

  1. Gym coach says:

    Wow, that’s interesting that you guys don’t have set music, that’s pretty cool! it can be a pain having to listen to the same music over and over again

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