Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Learn to Play an Instrument

I’m moving right along on my 2009 goals list. My bridge lessons have begun, my new T’ai Chi class started, and so on. Today I’m addressing another of my missions—learning to play an instrument, specifically the flute.

Actually, this is a case of re-learning as it’s something I’ve not done since high school (many, many years ago in a galaxy far, far away).

Accessing an instrument is not a problem as I own three flutes. One is the ubiquitous Bundy flute most students use in school music programs. My second flute is a special edition of Gemeinhardt’s 50 series, a step above the Bundy. It has a solid silver head joint and gold-plated lip plate. Both will do for learning.

My husband gifted with a beautiful hand-painted Hall crystal flute which is hand-crafted using Pyrex® glass and decorated with kiln-fired glass enamels and 22k gold. This flute will require a whole different set of skills to play as it’s not like a standard flute.

Want to be part of a collaborative online international symphony orchestra sponsored by YouTube? You have an opportunity to play at New York City's Carnegie Hall in April 2009 under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas playing a new piece written for the occasion by renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Practice the music they provide and, when you’re ready, submit a video of your performance by January 28. More details here.

I’m not ready for Carnegie Hall. So I talked to a couple of Tucson Flute Club members during a Christmas program at Tucson Botanical Gardens. They’ve invited me to join. My goal is to learn enough to play in their Christmas 2009 public performance programs. offers free instructional materials for flute as well as other instruments. I’m going to play around with this for a bit at home and see how it goes.

Do you play an instrument?


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi June

Music is another area I sadly lack any expertise in. It seems when I was growing up all the emphasis was put on learning the three "R"s and nothing of the arts. I've tried to educate myself as an adult, but it seems I'm more of a spectator and not a doer.

I've actually seen an opera written by Tan Dun called "The First Emperor" at it's premiere at the Metropolitan Opera last year. It was very unusual music and a visual spectacular!

It's really wonderful how you have all these goals for yourself in 2009! Your glass flutes is so lovely!

Hugs, Pat

Mrs. Staggs said...

No, I don't. I tried to learn to play the piano one time, but everyone laughed at me. I think, it's that math adversion that I have, that makes it more difficult for me. I love music though, and did well when I took modern dance lessons.

I've never seen a crystal flute before today. Yours is beautiful.

Lilli said...

Good for you!

Well, I'm a music teacher. I've just now finished meeting with a 4.5 yr-old and his Mom. I offer a musical introduction service where I play different instruments for the kids (violin, piano, recorder,ukulele) and the kids get to try them too. The parents can see if the kids gravitate toward a particular instrument, and I tell the parents what I think about their child's readiness and learning style. I really love doing this for people, because it can be so confusing for them otherwise.

Gemeinhardt flutes are quite expensive, aren't they? Anyway, I'm jealous because I don't know how to play flute. Recorder yes, tin whistle yes, but no flute.

Best of luck with your music project. Just have fun :)

Thimbleanna said...

I'm so impressed June. Your crystal flute is beautiful ... well, the other ones are too. I play a very poor rendition of the piano. I took as a child and then again as an adult. I can sight read the right hand. I can sight read the left hand. But to put them together requires a LOT of practice!

rohanknitter said...

Well good for you, I think that's great!! I have always, always wanted to learn to play piano. And now that I actually have a piano in my house, I've been toying with the idea of starting lessons......

ps. My Lantern Moon needles show no sign of wanting to break, and they're not getting all bendy like my bamboo ones do. (I've broken more than one bamboo needle) My set also came with six needles, which is nice, so there's an extra. They are a US size 1 so they're pretty skinny but they seem sturdy to me!

Storybook Woods said...

Oh my gosh I did even know there is such a thing as a crystal flute. Just beautiful Clarice

Anonymous said...

Good for you June. I love your flutes -- they're each so beautiful. I learned to play flute in school on a plastic flute!! Can you imagine?!!

I used to play piano a wee bit as a kid but can't read music. I would love to play piano or the harp. Mind you, if I could play any instrument with any proficiency would be wonderful. I'm really enjoying this journey you're taking in 2009.

Jennifer said...

Congrats on re-learning the flute! I played in High School, and I still have my Gemeinhardt. I'm actually trying to sell it to get some money for school.

If you know someone who's interested, they can make an offer: .

That crystal flute is amazing. I've never seen anything like it!

Nick Andrew said...

Hey nice and lovely flute. I not playing any instrument but I think you can get some tips from:-

jhonny said...

I love your flute its beautiful, I'm actually having hard time learning how to play flute.

Thanks to my cousin because he gave me books and instructional videos for my flute lesson.

Thanks by the way for this post.

buurd said...

Hi, I have the same Hall flute desy=ign as you keyed in D, and the same design in a picollo keyed in C. I LOVE these beautiful pyrex flutes (not really crystal but Jiim Halls said cyrstal spunds better than pyrex). They sound like crystal when played. I am going to spend more time on these glass flutes for awhile, and less on my Miyazawa flute. I hope our flute choir director will let me play a piece or two on the crystals for our season's concert. Enjoy yours. Check the CDs of grammy award winner flutist & composer Rhonda Larson. She plays these Halls on some album cuts & see her in person! Happy fluting, Marcia

learn2playpianos said...

I've always wanted to learn to play an instrument, but not just any instrument, but the piano. The sound it's amazing, and the passion of singing...breath-taking.