Why the flute instead of another instrument?
Why did I choose to play the flute myself? Well… I have a pretty fun story. It all began waaaay back in about 1982 when my family was cleaning out my grandpa’s old root cellar.He was moving to another town, so we had to get everything out of the house. I was only about ten years old and had fun looking for all the treasures you can find in an old farmhouse.
On the last day of cleaning out the house, I thought to shimmy myself down into the root cellar. It was musty and full of dirt and a few rotten potatoes. I was poking around in the dark with my hand outstretched, afraid of mice and spiders when I suddenly felt something hard. It was a flute case. Seriously. I remember my heart pounding as I pulled it out into the light and opened the case to find a real, genuine flute.
This new ‘found’ flute was old. I found out much later that it was one of the first made of its kind in the early 1960’s. Older than dust, but it kind of worked. My parent’s couldn’t find the owner, so it was all MINE.
A little background to this is that my older sister had a flute, but I wasn’t allowed to touch it. Ever. I don’t think she had any idea how much I wanted to get my hands on that shiny tube. I do remember hiding in my closet sitting on the bumpy shoe pile (with our hung Easter dresses brushing the top of my head) and trying to figure out how to play her flute. She would have sister-strangled me had she known…
My start to learning, playing, performing, and teaching the art of flute was all serendipitous. I had a flute of my very own now!
I didn’t want to waste a moment. I felt I had been literally ‘given’ a chance at something I could be great at.
I worked hard. Boy, did I work hard to learn how to play that instrument. I look back now and see that I was quite competitive, and wanted to be really good at playing the flute.
Now it’s my job to help others on their own pathway to flute-success.
I was determined to play well, and I thought it was so pretty. What an elegant instrument. I had a guitar, but I had even more reasons for why the flute was calling me.
I like to challenge myself and do it myself also.
I wish I’d had some better direction those first few years. I could have really saved myself a lot of time and effort.
It wasn’t until two flute teachers and three band instructors later that I started to see the correct ‘light’ in my tunnel of effort. I also learned that not all so-called-experts are created equally. So, once I found a pathway that led to quick, easier, and more natural feeling results, I definitely perked up to listen and learn.
I had some little habits to break, but I fixed them with some concentration and focus within not too much time. I also had some natural skills that I was ever so grateful I hadn’t messed up with strange ideas that float around out ‘there’. My band teachers had been trumpet players.. They did their best, but definitely didn’t know how to help the flute players much with tone.
My favorite times were playing flute for fun with friends and gifted accompanists. I was asked to perform for loads of people, especially in church. That seemed to spark my drive. Once I found other musician friends who wanted to play music with me.. There was no going back. I was hooked. Music would be in me for life.
I also felt inspired while I was teaching (still true). So, I kept at it, and have loved every single minute of it. My first student was a young autistic boy from a couple of farms over. I learned so much from that experience, and found that I was a more patient and kind person while watching others go through the learning process. Since then I have worked with literally thousands of students around the globe on their own quest to make beautiful music with this instrument.
Now that I look back on my humble beginnings of flute playing, I know that it’s my job to help others on their own pathway to flute-success.
I haven’t just ‘made-up’ the proper way to play the flute.. In fact, I’ve taken many years of pedagogy training from instructors around the world. It has molded my teaching sequence, and I’ve been able to simplify it and create a super method that cuts many years off the learning process for others.
Why the flute instead of a different instrument? This story is just one of the reasons. I’m happy you stopped by today. This was just my beginning. I’ll tell you more of my story later.
Why did YOU choose to play the flute? Let us know in the comments. It’s fun to see how others got their start.