If you find today a bit heavy, courtesy of the one year anniversary of a certain event, you can instead join me in celebrating my sixth flutiversary!
I wrote about my lustrum last year during my lunch break, and published it right as history was unfolding, and I can’t blame my readers for paying more attention at that point to US politics than my blog for once. I hope this year there are no such distractions.
I already wrote elsewhere about how learning to play the flute has made me a better teacher.
This year, I am proud to announce I am finally closing in on 700 hours of personal practice time. That’s not counting regular lessons, 45 mins a piece, which puts me well over that threshold of combined fluting time. I also had 5 months time off after shoulder surgery in 2021, my longest hiatus – turns out you hold flutes at a very awkward angle and they are heavy instruments so recovery is a bear. And my flute is extra heavy: nice silver and heavy walled, for that deep sound. Nearly a year after surgery I can still get fatigued during a session, although I regularly practice for up to an hour and it doesn’t hurt, unlike before the surgery. Progress!
So what does (almost) 700 hours get you? I’m afraid I’m not ready to give any recitals yet. Maybe if I had started aged 12 we’d be there, but for adult learners, development is at a snail’s speed. According to my teacher, though, adults have the advantage of having a more developed sense of music, and I have to admit that usually I am most frustrated because I know what the music is supposed to sound like, I just can’t get my fingers and breath to cooperate and play it like I hear it my mind’s ear.
I am currently working my way through the final parts of Bloch’s Suite Modale, and have made a gentle dent in the first movement of Hindemith’s Sonata for Flute, but I am unable to play them as a single flowing set of movements that connect neatly. For the time being, Telemann’s Fantasias are in the background but I have played through a couple of them (they’re fun but hard, like all the rest), and I’ve played a couple movements of his . Currently I have my eyes on the Mozart prize (either of the two flute concertos will do). But really, the ultimate goal is just all of CPE Bach’s flute repertoire. I am not sure if I want to perform or play with other people, I am just having fun as is right now and still practicing without further incentive so we’ll see. If I get round to performing, you’ll hear about it here!