Learning the flute is going really well, and best of all, I'm loving this new instrument. I'm also really enjoying playing in the community band. I've made new friends, have some time away from home, and really delve into the world of music I love so much. A band playing together really is like a little family, where everyone is working really hard toward the goal of unity.
Last week we had a small flute sectional - an extra practice outside of the band rehearsal with the conductor to work on trouble spots specific to the flutes. So eight of us drove out to our conductor's (John) house. It was fun to have a relaxed setting to get to know everyone a little better, and to see the obvious passion John has for what he does. He really enjoyed having us all out there.
After the work was done, we sat and chatted over some delectable treats. As got to know each other, someone raised the subject of the "Tuesday Beginner's Band". A beginner band? I recalled back when I started in January how frustrated and worried I had been about not being able to keep up with the music and skill level of those around me. When I spoke on the phone with John before my first rehearsal, he had never even hinted at another option when I expressed my concern about playing a brand new instrument. I certainly would have signed up for the beginner band instead of struggling through in the community group. My head whipped around to John, a smile on my lips:
"You never told me there was a beginner band when I called!"
"That's because I knew you could do it."
I was really touched by this compliment. John had spent about 10 minutes on the phone with me, listening as I spoke about my music background, my fervent desire to learn the flute, and my search for a good opportunity to help me pick up this new instrument. Somehow he had an instinct that although I might struggle at the outset, I was up to the challenge of the repertoire of the full band. And you know what? He was right. I can play at least 80% of the music now; I only struggle with sections requiring speed. I have made good friends and feel right at home. I am not the best in my section - in fact I'm probably very near the bottom (which I'm not used to). But I have seen the value of learning from others, and taking the opportunity to learn from those around me who are proficient. I'm right where I'm supposed to be - and I am grateful that John could see that even before I could.