You Never Know Where Life Will Take You

It’s true. 5 years ago I was recovering from spinal surgery and didn’t think I’d ever play flute again. I used to be…okay. Not the greatest, but good enough to teach and work with some pretty more-than-okay students. At one time I had even considered playing in an orchestra for a living. Then my neck got messed up and I wound up getting it sliced open and having a neurosurgeon muck around with my spine.

Now I’m almost playing again. It’s been…a while since I’d even gotten it out of the case. I now have a flute student who started this week, so I figured I’d better get moving. Been working at it for the past week and my sound is not quite back, but almost. It sounds more like a reed player in a jazz ensemble whose 3rd instrument is flute; the notes are in tune, but the sound’s a little weak.

I hadn’t realized how much a part of my life it was until it was impossible to play. When I’m nervous, I still drum out fingerings to sonatas and concertos and Syrinx against my hand. But the fact is, I have a hard time physically playing the way I used to play.

But here I am. Last week, I had my first teaching job on flute in 6 years. It was a little nerve-wracking, but I found the place that was much farther away than I thought. I went in and confronted things head-on.

“I should tell you before we get started. I have a problem with my back and neck. I’m only just now going back to playing myself, but I still know how to play and I can teach you.” “That’s ok. You don’t have to perform.” And all at once the giant gorilla leaped off my back and we got started.

The lesson went okay for a first lesson. Okay enough for a next one this week; they’re sounding pretty much like a beginner, but by the end of the hour they’d found the spot on the mouthpiece that gives the best sound. I felt slightly less worthless than I had going in. We agreed to try again this weekend. I never thought I’d be doing this again, not teaching flute certainly. Life is weird. Weird isn’t bad, it’s just unexpected.

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4 Responses to You Never Know Where Life Will Take You

  1. Mali says:

    “Weird isn’t bad, just unexpected.” I love that.

  2. torthúil says:

    This is so cool! I’m glad music can be part of your life again. I came to music as an adult and it changed my life in amazing ways. I haven’t had the time or motivation to commit to it lately, but I hope to change that soon too.

    • spyderkl says:

      I’m pretty happy about it myself! I wish I could teach full-time again, but not living out here. Just being able to play again is a Big Deal. Music is pretty awesome. I hope you get to play more!

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