Music and Art

The First Week Of Practice (Or Why My Flute Is My New Favorite Accessory)

The flute is my new favorite accessory.

It’s shiny and silver so it clashes beautifully with my skin tone. It also has practical uses, like poking things. In particular, it’s great for pointing out hairball vomit on the carpet to Adam when you don’t want to get near it because it’s gross and he needs to clean it up. It’s also great for shooing away cats who are clawing at furniture while you’re practicing. (For the record, there does seem to be a correlation between my practice sessions and when the cats get all rambunctious and weird. I try not to dwell on it too much.)

Anyway, it’s been a week since I picked up the flute again and I’ve managed to practice every. single. day. Go me! (My inner 9 year old is horrified at my commitment.) Teaching yourself in the beginning isn’t too difficult. For the most part, I’m still learning key configurations for notes (I know 3 notes so far! B, A, and G) and working on differentiating my quarter notes from my half notes. (Beat counts are one of the few aspects of music theory I already have a handle on, but it’s harder as an instrumentalist to hide that you don’t know what you’re doing than it is as a singer. I actually have to try now. Blergch.)

There are a few things you miss without a teacher though. Things like correct posture, finger form, and figuring out why I keep making accidental squeaking noises would all be a lot easier with an expert observing my playing. I actually was getting to the point where my left hand was in pain at the end of my first few practices so I had to go watch a few YouTube videos to make sure I was holding the flute correctly. (I was holding it correctly. Turns out, I’m just that weak. I wasn’t kidding when I said I had no upper body strength.)

There are things I’m struggling with (sustaining notes/breathing correctly), but that really isn’t the point. I’ve decided to focus less on how good I am as a musician and focus more on how good I am as a practicer. So far, I’ve stuck with my commitment to practice daily and given it my best shot and for that I feel like I’ve earned the right to label this a success (so far). That being said, if you measure success by consistency and commitment, rather than competency, you can only label something a success as long as you keep at it. The minute I stop playing/practicing, I will have failed. And I’m way too competitive too let myself lose, even if it’s just in my head. Yay motivation!

Below is a video of one of my practices. I’m sorry.

3 thoughts on “The First Week Of Practice (Or Why My Flute Is My New Favorite Accessory)

  1. I played the flute for 10 years (began in 4th grade and through high school). I picked it back up about 5 years after I graduated and felt like I hadn’t held a flute ever! Good for you for doing it by yourself. That’s quite an accomplishment!

    Liked by 1 person

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