Sunday, September 25, 2011

#13: Unexpected inspiration

I'm a freelance musician.  My normal day consists of going to a school for a few hours and teaching lessons and/or sectionals, and then teaching lessons later in the day.  Some nights I have rehearsals.  If it's an on week for orchestra, I'll have rehearsals every night.  I love my life - I'm so glad I'm getting to do what I love.  Some people wouldn't like teaching little middle schoolers most of the day, but I love it.  I love the light in their eyes when they get something right for the first time.

I have auditions coming up, so I spend pretty much all of my practice time on my tubas.  My bass trombone has been feeling a little neglected (though I use it frequently to teach).  I found out about the Gainesville Community Band through my quintet, and I joined so I could get better at bass trombone.  It's been a lot of fun even though my left hand wants to fall off at the end of each rehearsal, haha.  It's definitely helped my reading on trombone and I think I am playing better in tune since I have people around me (even though they're not always in tune, haha).  Plus I have met some really cool people with really cool stories.  It goes to show you that music can be a lifetime love no matter what career you pursue.

I know a lot of musicians would scoff at the idea of being in community band.  It's not paid and it's not exactly at the level of a professional ensemble.  But... I think that's what I like about it.

I should preface this with informing the reader that I am one of those corny people that tries to find inspiration and wisdom in everything that I can.  I'm the cheeseball that is happy every day because the sky is blue.

See, the thing is, when something isn't your job, and you're doing it anyways, you probably really like it.  There's no obligation for any person to join this band - everyone does it because they want to.  It's a huge room full of band nerds of all ages that could sing you each piece we're playing front to back just because they like band music that much.  Most of the band is amateur players, but everyone's really doing the best they can, even if they're not nailing every single note.  Watching people count in this ensemble is incredible - even if technique is not perfect, no one ever misses an entrance.  And you never see anyone texting during rehearsals (this has inspired me to kick that habit this year when I'm in my orchestra rehearsals - I don't know why I've ever done that, I don't even like texting all that much).  Though the lack of texting might be due more to the average age of group being a bit higher than to professionalism, haha!  Plus it's band, there's not even enough time during rests to text...

Another thing I've noticed is the lack of complaining in this ensemble.  Complaining is something I'm certainly guilty of - I feel that people should prepare their friggin' parts when they're being paid to play their instruments.  However, I'm now feeling that perhaps complaints are one of the things that can degrade the camaraderie of a group.  Plus, who the heck wants to hear it anyways?  In an amateur group, there's plenty that one could complain about, but nobody does (at least in this one).  Thus, no one is at each other's necks, and generally everyone is happy to see each other.  

I'm learning all the time.  I feel fortunate that I have the ability to practice and have fun making music.  I feel downright lucky when I get paid to do it.

In other news, I'm off to New Mexico this week for my best friend's wedding.  I'm very excited for a mini "vacation" and I hope that I do not suffer from separation anxiety from my horns.  I'm taking requests for tunes that I should buzz while I'm out of town... ha ha!

Everyone have a lovely week. :)