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Finding Joy

Since having Charlie Finn in June 2021 my life has changed. Most of the time I’m running from one thing to the other trying to get the bare minimum done. I’ve heard so many others say the same about having children. It’s not all bad, in fact, most of the time I am overwhelmed by happiness. Charlie brings so much joy wherever he goes. Covid-19 has also changed the way I approach life. Time feels fractured in a post-Covid world. I recently skimmed an article title that proclaimed covid has changed our personalities and made us “grumpier” and “less mature.” Perhaps this is true, but I’m an optimist at heart with a flute in hand. 

I’ve struggled to play since Charlie was born. I teach public school general music classes during the day, which I love, but my time outside of that is dedicated to Charlie and household tasks that seem to never end. This is not an article about how to get back in shape, or how to find time to play. Perhaps that will come at a later time. Today I choose to find joy. Perhaps it’s part nostalgia and part my Sunday brunch giving a jolt of inspiration for the week ahead. Here are some of my favorite moments of inspiration from amazing flutists.

Excerpted from “Wissam Boustany Method Called Love”

If you ask me what I think of when I say the word ‘technique’, these sorts of thoughts immediately spring to my mind:

I can’t play the flute
I’m not in control
Tension and discomfort

The word brings about all kinds of negative views and attitudes, before I’ve even blown a note. I realized this years ago, so I decided to redefine what technique meant to me in order to be able to move forward and stop the constant internal war. So, I came up with a very clear definition over 20 years ago that I still believe in today: What is a technique? Technique is the ability to play in an inspiring way –  consistently.

Wissam Boustany

Excerpted from Paula Robison Talks About Her New Album, the Art of Listening, and Boulez’s Sonatine

I think there is something marvelous about sitting down and having the patience to listen to a piece for 20 minutes. Not passively listening, but actively listening. And then listening again! That helps you to know the piece before you jump in at some future time, and makes the experience so much richer. Art has the power to change us, to help us grow…

Paula Robison

Excerpted from A Conversation with Eva Amsler

Follow your own path. Do what you truly love and enjoy. Remember music and arts is the best education you can get and you can give and share yourself through teaching and performing. Have the courage to take risks – but also keep being grounded: Feel your feet and breathe! And to end, remember Carl Jung’s very wise words:

I am not what happened to me

I am what I choose to become

Eva Amsler

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