Friday, 12 August 2011

New Passion - Kinda Crazy Though :-)

I have a new (crazy passion). Guess what, guess what? *grins*

I finally acted on my long-time-wish to learn a second (classical) musical instrument. I don't count the recorder that we learned back in primary school as a second instrument to my piano. I've been talking about it since I was in my teens, then kinda put it on hold when I was busy with tertiary studies, then work, then marriage.

Now, thanks to my childless state, which is a curse or blessing in disguise depending on how you are looking at it (I want a child more than anything at this point but wanting too much of something you don't have yet is very painful, so I decided to pick up and pursue my girly dream, which I figured is a good distraction) - I adjusted a bit of my schedule and found time to enrol in a music school nearby home for my first music lesson in a decade (or maybe more than a decade!). I actually started teaching music in 1998 when I was still studying and hadn't attended another music class after I 'graduated'.

I believe I've always been musically inclined since young. I've been exposed to almost everything parents could afford, from kiddies song since young up to classical music education (piano) up to my teen years; the rich experience of both English and Chinese oldies and then some (read: three) singing classes before I left my hometown and everything in music behind as I moved to Kuala Lumpur and even had my piano sold in the last decade.  Now that is one complex sentence, I'm just long-winded and don't practice what I preach (simple writing is always the best, don't use too many brackets, etc.etc.).

So which instrument did I choose? Guess, guess, guess?

The flute. Still involving pressing the keys albeit not on the keyboard but on the keypad of the flute. It's so heavy compared to a Chinese flute! My dad had a flute's Chinese cousin and I remembered him blowing the Chinese flute in my younger days. He stopped as we grew bigger and he older, lack of stamina, I think.

And man, it really does take a lot of stamina to blow, and the use of the correct breathing technique from the thoracic diaphragm is essential to produce the correct sound/pitch from the flute. Took me about 10 minutes of soundless blowing as I adjusted my oral cavity and my lips and my body stance before I produced the first audible deep B note from the flute!

I was nearly giving up and the instructor/teacher was encouraging me to be patient cos it takes some time to get used to the blowing. It was a one-on-one class, it's a male instructor (I don't know why but I prefer this term more than 'teacher') and he's very polite and very gentleman, asking prior permission and apologising in the few instances there are bound to be necessary physical contact like adjusted my fingers on the keys and my wrist holding position of the flute and my chin against the lip plate of the flute. 

It was only 45 minutes (with a few minutes extra time as it was the first class) -- but man, I talked about it endlessly after that while narrating to my hubby about it, I was excited and erm, I think passionate is a better word. I plan to buy a flute to keep practising at home. Put that on the tab of my darling as my upcoming birthday gift then. *wink* I just discovered how expensive flutes are and found out that it's because they are mostly handmade as it's a very sensitive musical instrument. There are even gold plated ones because the better quality the metal is, the better the sound is!

The good thing about learning a second instrument at such a mature age (read: old) is that you are more prepared to absorb what the lessons had to teach as you pay for it yourself, and you are more focused. Younger students usually are 'forced' at a young age to learn the piano or violin and it doesn't help that music lessons are so exam-based - think ABRSM (abbreviation for Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) and Trinity College music exams.

The disadvantage of taking up a second/new instrument when you are an adult is that you are slower to pick up on certain things, i.e. your brain and body coordination is a bit slower if you've never tapped into that area ever! Like playing the electone where you need to use both hands and legs at the same time, like driving, like playing the piano, or any other musical instrument or even dancing.

Trust me, I cannot NOT admit old age is catching up. I feel a bit like a failure after the first lesson cos I can barely blow the notes, the sound coming from my flute is like lacking energy and not even 50% of the richness of my instructor's. Maybe it's the ego/kiasu'ism inside me, cos I consider myself a fast learner. So I'm even more determined to get myself a flute to practice!

Oh yes, I'm continuing this passion. Will learn flute for long term and it's more portable than a piano anyway, I can bring it anywhere like a laptop, lol. It's so cool! Why do I choose the flute? Because of the haunting, melancholic but smooth melodious sound.

The music centre which I picked to have my one-on-one flute lesson seems to be lacking online presence, they are on fb (via foursquare check-in) and on foursquare though but lack of review and other info about them online. They are here - Dream World Music:

I shall end this blogpost with a soothing tune of a flute duet for the classic song, "Unchained Melody".

I sang this song as a duet with my husband at my wedding dinner in 2007, and my goal is to be able to play it on the flute by my next wedding anniversary next July 2012. It's a kinda crazy goal cos my instructor said it will take 3-5 months just to learn 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'! - but I'm determined. So I decide I'm gonna enjoy achieving my goal!!! Wish me luck. :-)

I have decided to start a whole new blog to record my 'journey' into mastering my second musical instrument here:


Freda said...

Did you play the flute on the video? Sound amazing!

My name is Sue said...

Oh Freda, I'm working towards that.. still have a long way to go! Nope, they are by very experienced flutist on youtube and I simply love their renditions!