Thursday, June 28, 2007

Beginner Again

My daughter talked me into participating in the U of I summer band this year. I haven't played in a band for 32 years, so there is an element of madness here, but I took the bait because it might be the only time that I could play in an organization with both my daughter and my father. So, it was all about the three generation thing.
There is family tradition here. My dad played tuba in the U of I bands when he was a student. I played French Horn there when I was a student. And now my daughter is a trumpet performance major there, and plays in the wonderful Wind Symphony.
The summer band allows community members to join in the fun. There are two concerts each summer, performed outdoors on the Quad. It is the typical "band in the park" fair-Sousa marches, medleys from Broadway musicals, old warhorses like Vaughn-Williams folksong suites.

However, I think you are supposed to have some competence on your instrument.

This is where I run into problems. I used to be an adequate Horn player, even though I was a vocal-choral person. Now, I stink. It's incredibly embarrassing. But I'm learning some interesting things by blatting away at the end of the section.

First, this isn't high school, and people are actually kind enough to tolerate my incompetence, instead of whispering behind my back. In fact, they are very nice.

Second, for a long time I've been in a situation where I was probably the best, or one of the best, musicians available, and playing in the band helps me remember what it is like to be the person struggling to keep up. I hope that doesn't sound prideful in any way; it's just the way things are. I think this probably happens to a lot of well -trained musicians that are serving in church settings. You get to be a big fish in a small pond. Not healthy.

Lastly, next time I try to recruit someone to choir and they say "Well, I don't know.. it's been a long time since I've done that" I'll be able to reassure them. "Look", I'll say, "it's fun. The people are really nice. And it will come back to you, if you stick it out. Trust me, I know."


Michelle said...

Hi Joyce! Did you just start blogging? My first day was Tuesday of this week! My son had to help me set everything up, though. I couldn't have done it without him!

Several of us from FBC went to a church camp last week, and a lot of the kids have a myspace account. So I made a myspace account too so that I could keep in touch with them.

If you'd like to see it, it's

I read all of your blogs so far, and I enjoyed them immensely! If you don't mind, I'm going to give you a call this weekend. I need to talk about some stuff I'm going through at the moment. I'd like to pray with you again too. Have a good day! Take care and God bless!

Joyce said...

xnoiwoHi, Michelle!
Welcome to my blog! I thought we might have fun thinking about worship together. It's strange to me to throw my ideas out there for the whole world to see, but it will be exciting to see where it leads.

ramonw said...

Hi Joyce!

I sure miss all you in the FBC choir! Our church here doesn't have a choir (all contemporary services), so I'm feeling withdrawal. Guess you're done for the summer, eh?

How are you all doing? We're OK here; getting used to Western Indiana (not all that different than Eastern Illinois!).

I feel your pains with picking up an instrument after years of disuse. I'm not sure how well I'd do at the violin these days!

Still running, though not as much as I used to.

Keep up the good work on the blog!


Michelle said...

Congratulations on being a Grandma! I'm so excited for you! Matt was grinning as he shared that announcement at church today. I hope all is well with you. God bless! Love, Michelle