It wasn’t too long ago that I used to practice music at least an hour a day. My primary instrument is and likely ever will be flute. And I used to spend a lot of time practicing, playing, and enjoying the experience. My first experiences with playing flute wasn’t exactly positive. We were all forced into a band class in 7th grade for a quarter… part of the arts curriculum. We only had two snare drum slots and one cymbals and one bass drum part. And there were six of us trying out, only one of us without any prior experience (that would be me). Needless to say, I had to find an alternate instrument. That ended up being flute.
But it wasn’t much into my band experience that I really began to enjoy playing. Shortly after I started showing some interest, my mom took me into RTO in Iwakuni, Japan and we went to one of the music stores there. My parents got me a silver-plated Yamaha flute and some music books, including one of traditional Japanese songs. If you’re a musician you’re probably thinking, “Silver plated?” That was all they could afford. And that instrument survived into my junior year at The Citadel, when enough of the finish had come off and a repadding project ensured its end. I ended up borrowing stock instruments from our inventory until I graduated.
Needless to say, when I started receiving the pay checks from Uncle Sam as a member of the US Air Force, my first major purchase was a new flute. It was a beauty: solid silver Gemeinhardt with French open hole keys and the B-natural foot attachment. It was just shy of professional grade, which I couldn’t afford. Total cost was about US$1000 but the folks worked out a payment plan (no interest!) with me since I was in the USAF and not going anywhere. I have it and it’s still in great condition considering it’s gotten a good deal of use over the years. I used to play every day but over time I’ve slipped out of that habit. So that leads to a new goal:
Personal Goal: Practice music (specifically on flute) for at least 15 minutes each day.