I guess you could say that this blog wrote itself because, if I’m honest, I had absolutely no intentions of going this direction at all. I had planned out the first three paragraphs and then wanted to take it somewhere else but that just didn’t happen. Regardless, I hope you enjoy!
On the backside of yesterday’s blog, my alarm actually woke me up this morning. I think it’s fair to say that things like this are allowed once in awhile, especially after only two and a half hours of sleep.
I went out for a “girl’s night” last night, something that I don’t really do all that often. I’m just not the type of person who likes to hang out. I have to say though; I had an incredibly great time. We went to a dueling piano bar which I’ve been dying to go to for years but just never have gotten around to it. I must say, I’m very upset with myself for not going sooner, this had to be one of the funnest (I know, I know, it’s not a word) places I’ve ever been to.
There was one point where I found myself getting jealous or almost feeling guilty. I’m somewhat musically inclined and the piano actually is the instrument I have to thank for that.
When I was about 7 or 8, my mom asked me if I wanted to learn to play the piano. I guess she had seen an ad in the paper and thought it would be a great way for me to start learning responsibility. She signed me up for lessons with an elderly woman, Ms. Grace (I can’t remember if that was her first or last name) and that’s where it all got started.
Learning to read music and play an instrument isn’t always fun work. You have to be somewhat disciplined and make yourself practice, on top of that, you have actual homework. I remember spending hours with my head stuffed in music theory books. I barely knew how to add and subtract at that age but my new hobby required me to understand fractions that related to quarter and half notes. It was a challenge but I had a good teacher and I did learn a lot however, being young and slightly uninspired, I gave up rather quickly.
I could kick myself for that especially after watching these extremely talented individuals last night.
About a year after giving up on the piano, (not completely, I still played around with the one in our house) I decided that I wanted to try my hand at music again. My weapon, and I do mean weapon, of choice was the violin. I won’t talk about this one however because it only lasted a school year, and I’m pretty sure my entire family would have burned the thing had it not cost so much money.
I actually didn’t voluntarily give up on the violin; I just found something that sparked my interest even further.
I started playing flute during my first year of Jr. High and even though my band director tried relentlessly to make me move to something else like a clarinet, I wanted nothing to do with it. I never could get the correct embouchure (that’s way you shape your mouth for you non-musical folk) for the flute and everyone that ever saw me play said it was impossible to play that way. I wasn’t having it though, there was something so inspiring about this little instrument, and I just had to give it a shot.
Over the years I actually became a quite accomplished and rather skilled flutist. I would usually gain the highest honors at the annual solo competitions and twice was invited to join the regional band, made up of the best musicians in the entire county. I carried my flute with me into high school marching band pairing that with oboe (another woodwind instrument) during the concert season and eventually into college.
The first few years after college were tough for me financially and, without going into details, I rented a storage unit to store some furniture and other things, ultimately losing that unit due to not being able to afford the rent on it anymore. Among the things in the unit was my flute.
I don’t know why I never went to get the thing before they locked the unit but then again, I don’t know why I did a lot of the things that I did in my early 20s. I always missed the thing and a couple of times I made a trip to the pawn shop to see if they had any used ones I could buy, just for the fun of it. I never got around to buying a new one.
Awhile back I was looking on Amazon.com and came across the musical instruments. I randomly came across a few that I liked and ultimately landed on this:
I’ve never seen colored instruments before, never really even thought of making them in different colors other than the traditional brass and sliver finishes but this flute had me mesmerized. My favorite color has been green for as long as I can remember and it just seemed like this guy was calling my name. I jokingly posted a picture of it on my Facebook page and really thought nothing else of it.
Until this past Christmas during present opening at my boyfriends house… I’m really lucky when it comes to the gifty holidays because he always gets me the best gifts. He really has a great talent for knowing the things I like and incorporating them into cool gifts; it really makes me feel special.
Anyways, as I came to my final present, I opened it, and it was in an Amazon.com box, which wasn’t the least bit surprising because the boy is addicted to that site. I still didn’t get suspicious of anything until I flipped it over and saw the word “flute”
Did this boy really just buy me a flute?
You have no idea how excited I was at this point, I finally ripped the darn box open and low and behold:
I think this is the best gift anyone has ever given me, just because it means so much more than the actual material instrument itself. It makes me think of my childhood and all the wonderful friends I made along the way. It made me think about the high school trips we used to take, the skiing trip, the trip to Disney, the Friday night football games.
It brought me back to my freshman year in college. I literally knew no one at my school. I grew up in a college town and then moved after graduating high school. The majority of my friends stayed and went to the local school. Once again, my flute brought me friends the first day I walked into that college band hall.
I didn’t really lose much of my musical knowledge while I was flute-less and in fact, I have a keyboard that I play around with from time to time, which kept me pretty well versed in theory and sight reading. I’ve been able to jump right back in to playing; it’s something to do around the house instead of watching TV. I still play with my impossible embouchure and still play almost just as well as I could back in my prime.
It’s good sometimes to let the things in your childhood come back into your adult life…anything to keep you young!