Thursday, April 24, 2008

Practice


Today is different. Today is good. Today I didn't just teach a lesson and put my instrument away. Today I practiced. I really, truly practiced. It was like picking up an old friend that had been patiently waiting for me to get my act together and realize I missed them. I played scales, I played my solos, I play 'The Spell', which is my most absolute favorite solo ever. It was like I'd found a piece of me that's been missing for months, one I could sometimes see, but never truly realized had been an aching emptiness until it was once again filled. See, I learned about a not so fun side of this real world thing. I learned about the side where you don't always pass and there aren't always happy endings. I didn't pass my student teaching last semester. And it shattered my confidence as it shook my entire world. It was my first experience with failure. Needless to say, I didn't handle it incredibly well. Mostly because I didn't know how. I didn't know how to be open and vulnerable, I didn't know how to deal with the niceness of everyone who found out/I told. I didn't know how to ask for help and support, because I'm always the one in the role of supporter, it's hard to switch roles suddenly when you've played the same part for ages. Typically me, I withdrew from a lot of things, nothing too noticeable if you didn't know me. I haven't actually picked up a baton since I found out that I didn't pass. I had a breakdown about a month ago, got too overwhelmed during rehearsal for community band at the school where I spent an entire semester, and made it home in time to get online with a friend (incidentally, now the bf) and completely freak out. As far as breaking down and such goes, it was rather mild, but it was good for me. I needed to let go. One of my favorite songs is Let Go by Frou Frou. Too bad I didn't listen to those lyrics before; "let go... it's alright, because there's beauty in the breakdown" Better late than never, right? I've had an easier time of it since then. Rehearsals and teaching my flute student has gotten easier. It's no longer painful, I can breathe now. I still haven't picked up a baton. I'm working on that. My confidence is not entirely back, but at least it's begun to mend. To be entirely honest, I've never been a great practicer. It's a bad habit I suppose. But I shied away even further after everything. But today, today I practiced. And it felt good. I plan to continue, just a little bit each day or so. It will help. I've played flute for 13, nearly 14 years. I love it, and it felt so good, so RIGHT to play today. Besides, I promised my grandpa when I graduated that I wouldn't stop practicing or playing. Time to fulfill that promise I think, because after all, I don't make promises I won't keep. Small steps, one foot in front of the other, and I'll get my feet back under me. In the meantime, I have a fabulous apartment, a job that I absolutely love, wonderful friends and an amazing new boyfriend. I may have not passed, but that's okay. Because I'm going to get back on the horse, and do it again. And this time it will be easy. (once I take the few classes I need to help prepare me better...conducting and instrumental methods) I am so lucky to have so many people supporting me. I think that's what made it so hard to deal with. Everyone was so supportive and just, NICE, and I couldn't stand it. I didn't mind telling people, it was their reactions. They were NICE to me, and I just couldn't comprehend it, because I FAILED. They could not make that okay. But I get it now, and I can deal better, I am dealing better. It doesn't throw me off to talk about it anymore. It's still a soft subject, but it doesn't break me anymore, and that's something, right? In the words of a favorite song, I'm not there yet, but I will be. And I'm ever so looking forward to it.
The picture is one I took last year, yes that's my flute. The music is the piece I was working on at the time of the photo. I've had this flute since my junior year of high school, it's my baby. I absolutely love it, it's one of my most prized possessions. It's a little piece of my soul. And it was SO happy to actually be practiced today, not just played out of necessity to teach a lesson or for rehearsal. It makes me happy, music makes me happy.

Photo Stats:
~taken February 27, 2007
~setting: landscape, flash did not fire (don't ask why I had it set to landscape...your guess is as good as mine!)


8 comments:

Kellan said...

Glad to hear you are playing the flute again. I took piano as a kid for nearly 10 years, have a piano in my house and rarely every sit and play it. Keep it up!

Have a good weekend - Kellan

applejoos said...

I was a music ed major a million years ago. I didn't make it all the way to student teaching. I remember standing in my prof's office for my lesson and hearing her say "I'm so disappointed you didn't even practice" after I had spent the whole night working on the piece. Her office was on the second floor and it was warm, so her window was open. She was tearing me down and I was tuned out, staring out the window at the people walking to and from class. I thought "If I throw it out the window, I bet the noise my flute makes when it hits the sidewalk would be beautiful." It was right then that I packed it back into it's case and I never returned to my lessons. Of course, I was kicked out of my major but it was more important to me to keep my passion for music than it was to conform and be torn down. I wish you better luck than I had and I hope you never let teaching music strip you of your passion for it.

Bottles Barbies & Boys said...

It's good to keep up on your talents, if not they will begin to fade. Trust me I know!

Jaina said...

Thanks Kellan, I plan to. I hope you have a sunshiny weekend with lots of warm weather! :)

Thanks for visiting applejoos, and thanks for the comment. I remember lessons like that...except sometimes it was because I actually didn't practice. (like I said, I'm a bad practicer) And trust me, not that I think it's possible to strip away my passion for music, but the moment anything begins to, I will abandon it. Because music is so much of my life and soul. I couldn't bear to lose that passion.

I totally believe you Johnina, I don't plan on letting this one fade. Apparently I just needed a brief hiatus to gather myself together. Thanks for visiting! :)

ggsmama said...

Hi Jaina,
I haven't visited here in awhile, I'm sorry because you've been so nice to visit me. I'm sorry to hear you had a rough patch. I didn't realize you were so young......I remember clearly how hard the few years after college were for me and feel for anyone at that time in life. I had a pretty big breakdown, depression and the whole bit before pulling up my bootstraps and moving on with the strength I found during that time. "Figuring out the real world" is just plain hard for awhile but it gets so much better, trust me. You will "fail" many times if you are trying anything and "failure" is good, if you look at it right, because it can move you forward, push you in new directions. I can tell you've got so much passion and talent at many things. Not to mention lots of other great stuff going on (new boyfriend, awesome!) Keep playing that flute.
ggsmama

Jaina said...

Thanks ggsmama, I really appreciate everything you said, and will definitely remember that. :) I will most definitely keep playing. (actually playing with a friend's handbell choir in a couple hours) I'm figuring everything out with the whole teaching thing, and in the meantime, you're absolutely right. I have a lot of good things going, and I really can't complain...especially when it's beautiful and sunny like it's been this weekend. :)
And thanks for visiting, I know you've got your hands plenty full. :) I'll see you around, I'm looking forward to more of your posts. :)

Jesse Martinez said...

Wow what a beautiful picture. It really captivates the essence of music. I consider it another form of communication. Its like a way of expressing ones self when words just aren't enough. I play the trumpet and do a little composing. I'm only 17 and a junior (almost senior!) in high school, but music touches me in lots of powerful ways. It brings me to tears sometimes, all those beautiful chords... great writing!

Jaina said...

Hi Jesse, thanks so much for visiting and for your comment. I know exactly what you mean about the power of music and how certain passages or pieces can bring tears to your eyes. Some people just don't get it, I'm glad you do. :) Good luck with the end of junior year. I remember that being the most difficult, and senior year was amazing. Are you planning to major in music?