Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:
In this episode, you will learn about the importance of practicing your holiday music, and all of the benefits that come along with it! I know you’re going to enjoy this one.
Learn Flute Podcast 125
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Ahh, it’s September. Do you know what this means? Yeah, it’s finally sweatshirt weather, it’s returning..
And also to musicians, it’s the beginning of the holiday music for flute season! It’s true. We’re thinking ahead folks! Let me show you.
Alrighty, we’re into our fall schedule here and really humming along, and here inside the walls of the members area of Learn Flute Online we have some real fun going on.
Besides the learning modules that are all set and waiting for you to participate, we also have a live aspect to this program should you choose to use it.
Over the years we’ve held many themed classes, ensembles, Q&A’s, and other related instruction that have helped keep us motivated and moving along on our instrument.
It’s important to look at playing an instrument as a lifelong activity because it’s one of those things that we can continue to work on and enjoy at any age and stage of life.
We’ve discovered quite a few reasons music makes us happy, and today we’re going to put a little twist on this and talk about the upcoming weeks and months as being the holiday time of year and why holiday music makes us happy- what to do with it.
I like to be happy. Do you?
Great! We’re on the same page then.
So why does holiday music especially make you happy and what does this have to do with playing the flute?.. Which is really what we’re all about here.
During the months of- I’d say- October through the beginning of January-ish, we have more of the traditional big holidays that are brought to attention, kind of in a major way.
We can’t help it. Mainstream media, stores, churches, and radio stations etc. are making sure that we know all about these holidays. And probably the biggest way we can quickly identify the time of year surrounding us is by the music that is being heard and broadcast.
It just jogs memories and triggers feelings.
Music is not only a mood determiner, but it’s a mood enhancer as well.
So as we think about all of the upcoming holidays that have specific themes and music, we musicians get ready to spring into action.
Literally, we only have so many weeks to get our skills and our music ready. It’s one of those things that really gets our pulse racing at the thought.
Now here at Learn Flute Online, I’ve encouraged my members to have a special notebook where they keep an extra copy of their holiday music.
The reason that it’s the type of music that comes around over and over and over throughout the years of life. And every year we get to put a new twist on what we already have known before by using our new skills and creativity.
I like to get creative and I also like to feel the moods once again.
So, like I said- for me, my emotions are kind of like a sponge. Lots of porous little holes that allow the mood of the room to enter my body.
Now, are you like me at all?
Or is it really just me?
If someone is in the room that’s all uptight and angry, my emotions just go sky high. If I can help them and do something about it, I do.
If I’m in a situation where I cannot help then I notice what starts to happen within myself- because their mood affects mine, for sure.
I’m a bit sensitive in this area and that’s why music and melodies and the real musicians who play them are so powerful and potent for my soul.
I’m guessing because you’re here today, and because you have also chosen to play the flute as a lifelong instrument, that probably and maybe you have similar feelings.
It’s okay – we’re awesome. In fact, we’re more than that. We have like a superpower that others do not.
You know, here’s an example: Last night I had tickets to and attended a musical being put on by all-stars from around my state where I live. These were young adults who were still in High School.
The reason it’s important to know this is because they had chosen a very dramatic and mature production to put on.. It was Les Mis. You know, Les Miserable.
I hope you’ve seen this musical sometime in your lifetime.. I’ve seen it over and over. In fact, one year I even read the entire unabridged book. It was like 800 or more pages, and I can’t even believe that I read it.
I took it with me on an extended vacation and I just devoured it. It is a classic that I learned so much from.
At the same time, the mood of this story is not exactly a happy bright one. In fact, take a little cue from the title – The Miserable.
Oh boy, what am I thinking putting myself in this position? Reading this, and watching this.
Well, in this case, the power in the words, the lyrics, and the melody are just at the top of my charts, and it gets my goosebumps going and I really enjoy feeling, seeing, and hearing the effort of all those who are highlighted in this story.
I like the recurring melodies also, that put you back in the mood of whichever actor is singing it.
It’s an impressive and compelling story of a man named Jean Val-Jean during the beginning of the French Revolution. And it is a mighty description of the time. The music and the lyrics- oh. They’re oh so good as well.
Okay, the reason I bring this up is because as I mentioned, I’m a sucker for the emotions in the room, and during this musical I was so hesitant to think that these high school students could actually pull it off.
I mean, they’re still teenagers, and by the second half of the show, I was kicking myself for ever having doubted them. Silly, silly me. These kids were fantastic!
In fact, the actor who played the main character, Jean Val Jean, taught me something.
You do not need be a sixty-year-old man to portray emotions to an audience. He sang Bring Him Home with authority, grace, and a level of talent and humbleness that made me feel small.
I was just encaptured and very impressed!
If you ever have a chance to see a well-put-together production of Les Mis, please do yourself a favor and go. Focus on the emotions there and the story that’s being told. You’ll have enhanced your life, I am positive.
People are amazing.
People who play instruments are amazing, and sing, and as they use music and melodies to bring emotion into our world- they’re like superheroes! So cool!
Anyway, back to our main subject of holiday music for flute and why we’re talking about this right now in this month is that we get to look ahead farther than everyone else in the world, and prepare our practice schedule and we’re going to accommodate the weeks and the months that are coming.. Because we want to bring and feel the spirit of the different holidays.
Now, each country, family, and individual does it their own way, and I’m going to encourage you to branch out a little this year. Find out what is so compelling about the music in a genre or holiday you don’t normally celebrate yourself.
Playing music helps mitigate stress and definitely certain types of depressions also.
I say ‘playing music’ does this, and I really mean not only playing it on the radio or your favorite listening device, but I mean really ‘playing’ it yourself.. With your own instrument and your own skills and emotions.. Which today, is the flute, right!
Sometimes the holiday seasons can really get us bogged down with extra things to do, to buy, to remember, and these busier upcoming weeks and months are kind of, I would say, a vulnerable time of year.
Making music keeps our spirits high, though. Playing our instrument and having a fun focus for a few weeks especially can really redirect any negative energy into something extremely pleasant and fun.
Now this type of entertainment and self-care really does relieve stress. I like to think of it like Captain America’s shield, it’s up and ready to ping off any naysayers or gloomy thoughts that could potentially come my way. Let’s keep our blood pressure and cortisol levels in check this year.
I actually have a plan for you also here inside LFO (Learn Flute Online).
Watch your email for notifications about participating. You will not regret it.
Alright, so music makes us happy-
We’ve established this now, and I want to demonstrate something that you may not have thought about before which is using this tool to strengthen ties within your family and friendships as well.
Think about it, what types of instruments are used in, lets say, Christmas music? Well, .. mm… I’d say… all of them, all of the instruments right?
Haha yah. All of them!
Let’s learn about something called music-making- not music practicing but music making.
Creating full music with someone else and other musicians is just magical. It’s truly magical.
We take something completely intangible- like sound right, our breath and our fingers, and all of our body. But the sound is not actually tangible. And we can take and make something so full that you can actually reach out and almost touch it in a room. Like those emotions and mood I was talking about.
What friends or family do you have that also have been working on an instrument? I bet you have someone.
I’m going to give you a little challenge to reach out and ask if they’d like to play along with you in some merry music-making. Just for fun!
It doesn’t have to be long or complicated at all. Just use the easiest song or melody and play it together.
You’ll then see creative sparks fly into the room like magic pixie dust and things that you could just take off to a whole new level.
A sense of unity and festiveness will feel satisfying and put a smile on your faces, for sure!
You know that age is never an issue when playing an instrument, also. It is never too late to have fun with someone much younger, or much older.
Let’s take the next twelve to fourteen or so weeks and let’s break them down. What’s happening around the world? Whether you are an active part of these exact holidays or not, you can play the music and find much education and satisfaction in them for sure.
We have holidays like Halloween, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Lent, Mardi Gras, St Lucia Day (Santa Lucia Day), Dia de los muertos, Chung Yeung, Omisoka, Boxing Day, Lantern Festivals, Waitangi Day, and so much more.
I could go on and on and on about the beautiful festivals and celebrations happening around the world during the upcoming weeks and months that also have special and specific melodies and music, well-loved tunes or songs to go along with them.
Let’s branch out a bit, folks – there’s so much creativity and coolness to participate in and explore!
There are songs of all flavors, beats, colors, and textures. Because of this I have a little trouble listening to just mainstream radio during the next few months. In fact, I don’t really do it. I don’t even listen to the radio.
In my area the local stations play the same seven songs over and over- and I just can’t do it. My mind is more complex than this.. Which I take as a compliment from myself.
Let’s look for refreshing and gratifying options in what to play and listen to this year. It will exercise both our bodies and our minds.. Which will again increase our cognitive function, stamina, and our mental well-being.
I’d like to shift for just one itty bitty second also:
To point out that while I’ve been mentioning mood and mental well-being today, playing an instrument and having holiday music on tap is also a terrific source of exercise for our bodies.
Playing the flute and deep breathing- you know, all the way in and all the way out- you know that deep breathing that we do when we play the flute is so good for our lungs.
Combining this deep breathing and the type of relaxation work that we do on our flute technique is a recipe for body and mind success.
Of course, we can all use some respiratory work on a consistent basis and the holiday months where viruses abound are on top of the list for a great time to increase our lung capacity and our immune system.
You know, I don’t often come unraveled. I’m a pretty even and happy person, but the other day something just kind of got me all off-kilter and I couldn’t shake it. It really was affecting me. And that bothered me because I like to keep even and I like to keep my cool.
So, I told my hubby that I was going up to play my flute for a while. He agreed that this was a good idea, and I played with no aim in mind, no time frame. I wasn’t trying to impress or improve anything. I was just playing to play.
So, I have a binder that sits on my stand most of the time which is full of what I’m working on at the moment.
I ended up bopping through a couple of different pieces at first, without much satisfaction, until one of them just landed right for my mood.
It had long phrases in it also and it was just a slight challenge.
I dug in deep and really poured what I was feeling into it.
And guess what?
Oh, I wish I had recorded it because the return and what I was hearing was quite nice.
The deep breaths were soothing my soul, and the twists and turns of the key and the other intricacies of the piece were just what the doctor ordered.
So nice! It really did it for me. I returned to my husband a new woman. He was impressed! As well as you should be because I’m hoping that the stories I’m telling you today will remind you of what you can do to use holiday music for flute to enhance your life, especially in the next few weeks and months.
It’s also fun to have a time when we use certain tunes and let them, let them have a rest for a year. And then we’ll come back to them the next time. It’s really good for our education to have these types of waves in our learning and creative sparks.
Well whew! Today I gave a good brain dump on holiday music for flute and why I think you should challenge yourself not only get yourself some, and get prepared, but to branch out from the norm and really get into it.
We can start looking for ways to make music with others – and not to take it too seriously – just having fun and using music making as a tool to enhance our lives as well as our friends and our family’s lives as well.
Here at Learn Flute Online, we strive to become better people through this type of music-making. We learn to look ahead, schedule ourselves, and work towards new levels of enjoyment.
I really do feel bad for those not doing it.
You’re awesome, and I’m so glad you’re here!
We have a lot more to look forward to, and I can’t wait until next time – so get your notebooks out and organize your holiday music for flute, folks. We’re going to need it.
I’m Rebecca Fuller, your instructor and expert here at Learn Flute Online, and of course we have a program, and a learning area, and everything for you to help foster your enjoyment, and your motivation, and your well being in music.
Okay, I’ll play you out now – with a piece that I arranged myself and performed with some of my musician friends. This is part of the celtic holiday collection that I have waiting for you here at Learn Flute Online as well.
Love you all, I’ll see ya soon!
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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the importance of Holiday music for flute. Join us for the next episode!