100 Days of Practice, Day 5: Take 2

Take 2, it is. Or maybe Take Two and Call Me in the Morning... which is what I just did. I took two Tylenol to ward off a splitting headache, right before practicing. Holiday weekend, it's Sunday, and oh me achin' head.

So. I am completely embarrassed to be sharing personal thoughts publicly. But you know what? It's working for me. I just spent a highly unlikely half hour working a very amazing Brazilian jazz tune on the silver flute. The same tune that yesterday, I spoke of to bandmates in my world music trio, Caravan: "Yeah, I won't be able to play this one on flute. I don't do chromatic. I just do Irish and that only requires three keys. I can't play in the key of F#, with six sharps. I'll have to do this one on saxophone." Then, some strange little gremlin took over and I decided to try it on flute. That was yesterday. Today, I worked on it for five minutes early in the day, then another half hour or so tonight. Guess what? It's starting to come. And no one is more shocked than me. And who feels more excited? Amazed and excited. Energized. And who is it that just learned an amazing lesson about practice--actually, re-learned. I already knew that practice works. It's just that I'd forgotten what it felt like when it does.

On any other day until this blog, this would have been a no-practice day. Last day of a holiday weekend... enjoying perfect weather, running out and about visiting friends (who served a hot fudge sundae for breakfast), buying plants, sitting by a pool, having neighbor over for dinner, lighting chimenea and eating smores, and suddenly it's 9 pm and I'm wondering "whoah, when will I practice today?"

But wait, it gets worse. Friend left house at 9:30 tonight. Then, our heroine notices that other neighbors are still awake... While husband puts our kiddie to bed, I wandered in the dark down to their house. They'd just arrived home, with guests. The welcome mat was put out, and the introduction: "This is my musician neighbor I was just telling you about!" To my amazement, they actually WANTED to hear music. And to my further amazement, I actually went home, got the instruments, and played tunes for them (and the entire neighborhood) on both soprano sax and flute. Sat on their front porch and played the tunes for them that I've been practicing in my own basement. Turns out the tunes aren't really ready for prime time, but they didn't seem to notice. One fellow step dances. Well, fakes it. His wife tells me she's been married 40 years and never has seen him dance like that.


One man proves to his wife that he's still worth hanging around with, even after 40 years.

One flute proves that it's still worth playing.

These are the things that make life worth living. All because one musician decided she's going to finally do that thing she's been meaning to do for 20 years: practice every day.


Debra Murphy said…
Hi, Susan. I am following you, too, and practicing. I have passed through the young child stage, so it is much easier for me. I am taking a tune class with Clayton March and play the slow session at the Olde Inn wheneevr I can, but I play silver flute and pic in the town band which conflicts timewise. Clayton is trying to get me to try a regular session, and I will. This is fun!
Peig said…
day 6

I am lovin this. was reasonably good this am. spent the day befoe working on some stuff, listened to two whistle CDs. It does help. Now it is rolling around my head all day. Not humming the office music but my tunes!
Soul Mama said…
It is fun -- I agree. It's working incredibly well for me, as embarrassing as it is to put up so much personal information online. But what the hell. Basically, when you're really playing music the way it should be played, your putting yourself out there, too. :)
Soul Mama said…
PS, Debra, I'm working the silver flute too... and the saxophone. It is hard. I know it may seem smartest to focus on just one thing, but it's not necessarily practical, nor is it true to who we are. We gotta put that vibrato SOMEWHERE, after all!