I write this around April 2010 and is number 4 in the unpublished series.
About 2 years ago in an attempt to assist my eldest who was struggling with her flute I began to play the instrument myself. Her instrument, despite reassurance from the “so called music teacher” at her school turned out to be faulty. The ramifications of this are still evident in her approach to music and playing. I began with simple notes and after some study and work the music reading I’d done as a child came back to me. I slowly grasped the concept of the instrument and through an odd twist ended up having lessons with a tutor.
Having started in April 2008 I took my grade 1 ABRSM exam in December that year. I was above this standard by now but having never sat a music exam I thought it would be a good experience. I passed. In March this year I sat grade 5 having skipped 2,3 & 4. I passed again.
During this time I have joined a flute choir. We rehearse once a month. I’ve performed in two concerts and also taken part in a small private recital. I now play in church with the music group too. If you told me this is where I would be 3 years ago and I would have laughed.
It is still very much a learning process but I thoroughly enjoy the instrument. I guess its not really seen as a butch instrument but you only have to YouTube Denis Bouriakov to realise if you can play it… gender is irrelevant. But what a great time I’m having. I’ve met some fabulous people that otherwise I would have never met. Friendships are strong and the supportive environment in the choirs is excellent. I play duets with other flautists, play in the choir, play along with my daughter ( when I can get her to practice ) and just recently have been duetting with a friend on the clarinet.
In the case off the latter there is an interesting childhood parallel. I played the cello at primary school ….. badly. But I can remember the excitement when I scrawped out Twinkle Twinkle for the first time. I played some duets this weekend with my clarinet friend. She’s out of practice and puff! I’m learning, but we managed our way through two pieces and the jubilation on finishing was just the same as when I was 9. It actually sounded really good. I’m looking forward to doing some more soon.
As adults we tend to easily dismiss our capabilities. We are too old or it will be too difficult to learn now or I don’t have the time. Its never too late to give it a go. Who knows where this will take me. I used to sit and wonder ( still do ) what I will do when I retire in 10 years…. so long as the Govt don’t ruin my pension. It’s still open at the minute but who’s to say that I won’t be at a suitable teaching standard by then?
My faith is very similar. Always been there but never practiced properly. Just left in a box. I’d go through the motions of church but only in the last 18 months or so have I really started to explore it. Just like the flute the more I do the more I want to know.
The enjoyment I get from playing is huge. I cannot believe it took me so long to get back to music. It took marriage and children. I guess our children are often the catalyst for many of the things we do in later life. Long may I continue to be inspired by them!