Sunday, May 1, 2011

Making Music In Community

I was 9 years old when I first began playing the flute. As a little girl I had watched my mother play often, I would beg her to let me "play" with her beautiful, silver, Gemeinhardt flute. Occasionally she would allow me to toot on the mouth piece making a single sound. But as a fourth grader I was allowed to join the school band. It was then that my mother passed her flute on to me.

I played throughout school, and in the first few years of college played here and there for church events, but mostly it had become a private stress-reliever. It was not often that I would play for anyone.

Last December I had mentioned to Sr. Andrea that I played and soon she had asked me to play with the choir for Christmas Eve Mass. Although I was excited I was also nervous because this was the first time that I was playing in public in nearly eight years. Shortly after that night Sr. Elise called to ask if I would play at her Jubilee in May. Although anxious to be playing again more publicly, I am excited to be given the opportunities to play again.

Last week I met with Sr. Andrea to practice in Our Lady of Angels Chapel. Standing in the front of chapel the sounds I produced from my flute were enhanced by the acoustics of the sacred space in which I stood. Not every thing sounded so good though, having been out of practice for so long I was rusty when it came to anything not in 3/4 or 4/4 . . . in fact a couple weeks earlier I sat on the phone with a friend dictating the music so she could help me learn the counts.

As Andrea played the piano to practice with me I felt something very special happening. As much as I have practiced on my own in the years when I was absent from the public eye I always felt there were certain things I was unable to get right. Practicing with Andrea however, I found myself picking things up in ways I don't believe I could have on my own. I am thankful to Andrea for her patience, continual support, and her witty methods of helping me to remember counts in uncommon time signatures. For musicians you would love her "blueberry" chant to help me play 8th notes in 6/4.

It never ceases to amaze me how much community has holistically made me more the person God has created me to be! Music has always spoken deeply to my soul, how wonderful is it that I can be brought even deeper into the melodic world through community!


  1. Your journey of self-discovery is delightful to everyone who reads this! Thank you

  2. Thank you so much! It is so great and encouraging to know so many are reading! Thanks for supporting me!