In fully embracing my desire to learn the flute...I have joined our community band. I figured this was a great (free) way to push myself to really learn and practice this new instrument. I've now attended four practices. I'd like to say that I played in four practices, but at least half the time I just sat there.
I've barely been playing the flute two months. I've never had lessons. I do play the piano and the clarinet, I have sung and lead choirs, and I have played in instrumental bands before. But man, are these pieces challenging! I thought I had a good handle on things when I signed up. I learned all the fingering, how to play two full octaves of notes, and was able to go through a sight read many of our church hymns.
What seemed to have slipped my mind was the type of music flutes generally play in band pieces: lots of notes played very fast! There are runs of sixteenth notes that I just laugh to myself at. But my rhythm is good and I just keep counting along to come back in where I can.
I nearly didn't go back after the first rehearsal. I was overwhelmed by the 15 pieces we were starting with. Much of it was jazz in style, which has never been my favourite to play. I sat more than I played. I came home feeling lost and dejected. I wasn't giving up on the flute, but I wasn't sure this band was the place to be.
I returned the second week, if nothing else but to return my music. I decided to give it one more go, and see what a week of (infrequent) practice might have done. Apparently, quite a bit! I didn't feel quite so lost, and considered maybe hanging in there. But it was a lady whom I sat beside that gave me the confidence booster I needed. She is probably in her sixties, and has only had one year of flute lessons. Like me, however, she wanted to learn and thought she'd give the band a go. Talking with her I realized that I was not the only one floundering in this setting, but more important, that this didn't have to prevent me from trying. We buoyed each other up and now I've decided to at least get myself through to our spring concerts.
I'm still nervous playing solo in front of people - in fact, barely a noise can be coaxed from my flute. But as one among many in the band, my inner confidence takes over and I'm actually starting to make some music!