I have a new flute! I’m very excited about it.
Way back in the mists of time when I was in secondary school (about 20 years ago – ugh!) I started learning how to play the flute. I was fairly mediocre at it and didn’t get any support for it from home, but I absolutely loved playing it. I got as far as doing (and passing) grade 2 and I’m sure I still have the certificate somewhere. Unfortunately once secondary school ended I lost access to musical instruments and I haven’t even touched one in the intervening years, let alone played one. Though I have thought about it many times over the years.
So why suddenly get one now? The catalyst is something actually quite trivial. At work I am on a project which is codenamed “Pied Piper” and in keeping with the theme, the project lead bought a cheap (£3 I think) wooden flute off ebay. It is an awful thing which I think is probably just decorative, but playing around with it sparked the idea in my head. That’s not the only reason of course. That would be silly; I don’t do things on a whim like that. The bigger reason was that my friend Neal bought a guitar last year and I went with him to visit the shop with him. It showed me that someone could pick up an instrument as an adult just because they wanted to and also that just going to the shop and buying one wasn’t a big deal. I’ve been thinking about playing the flute on and off for years but in all that time I never pictured myself actually owning one. Going to that guitar shop with Neal opened me up to the possibility of owning one. Thanks Neal.
So all of those things accumulated in my head until the briefest spark of a thought eventually lead to me actually buying my shiny new toy.
I bought myself a Yamaha YFL-211 from a shop called Jonathan Myal Music in Croydon. Their website was absolutely chock full off useful information not only about the different types and variants of instruments available but also buying guides for different audiences (beginners, upgraders, parents buying for their children, etc). Definitely worth a look around.
I explained some of my background and what I was after and then the guy showed me into a side room and brought out three suitable flutes. He explained the pros and cons and each and then just left me to it. Brilliant. Given I hadn’t played one in so long, I’m glad he went away. I was very rusty but it came back to me quickly. To my amateur hands, eyes and ears they were all good flutes but I felt the Yamaha had the slight edge over the others in terms of sound produced and how easy it was to produce it.
Well this is a little unclear. I’ve played it quite a bit since I got it less than a week ago, mainly getting myself familiar with it and trying out songs from memory and ear. There is the danger that the novelty will wear off and I won’t touch it again. If that were to happen I would be actually be ok with it because, to quote my friend Kinga:
the possibility that it might bring some extra joy back into your life is higher than you would regret
She is right. Having it there and available at any time to inject some happiness will outweigh any regret I might have.
But wait! Being who I am, I’m not content with that. Just this evening I’ve wondered what I might do to sustain my interest and playing and I thought that I would try and go for my Grade 3 exam. This will be a nice, concrete and attainable goal. I’m going to give myself until the end of the year. That should be plenty of time to get it done. There is also the remote possibility I might get my niece to learn how to play too. I can’t wait to see how things go.