Things do have a way of following on. I suppose that, once you have something in your mind, you will take up a potential opportunity that might otherwise slip past unnoticed.
A few weeks ago, I played my clarinet as part of a music group for a service at a local (but not my village) church. Afterwards someone said to me that she had learned the instrument as a child and would love to take it up again; could I tell her the name of a teacher? I couldn’t at the time but promised to look into it.
Then, the other day, I wrote that I want to start playing the clarinet properly again. When I have time to give to it – as in, this year, next year, sometime……….
Today, the bloke who came to take the church service talked to me about his music lessons (we are without a Rector at present as he has moved to another parish. This man is a Lay Reader, which means he is not fully ordained but is licensed to take services, though not to marry, bury or baptise people, nor to give Communion. Lay Readers are volunteers). He is learning the saxophone and has reached a stage where it is becoming very difficult. I know just what he means, first you learn to blow and get notes out and when you can play all the low notes you feel you are getting somewhere. Then you try the upper register and you squeak and parp and it is very hard, especially to move smoothly from one register to the other. He asked for tips.
In short, I said practise a lot, but not for too long at a time or your mouth will get tired and you will start to puff your cheeks out which is a Bad Thing. Skill will come, and gradually it will become second nature to you. He said, it’s such a bother getting it out and set up every time, but I have to clean it as it accumulates so much wetness. Take it apart, I said, dry it and then put it straight back together. You will have to rewet the reed, but otherwise it will not be a bother and, with practice, setting the reed will not be awkward either.
Um, in short, I just set him a lot of work, didn’t I. But said that he can do it and it’s worth it. So I think it encouraged him.
Anyway, it reminded me of Jo’s request, so he is going to phone me with his teacher’s name and telephone number. It might be a good opportunity for me too, I don’t believe in letting opportunities slip and, if I don’t really have time for lessons then perhaps I need to make time.
I’ll let you know what happens.
By another complete coincidence, I bought some earplugs at the chemist yesterday. I had a feeling they might come in handy, but I had no reason then to think that. A present for the patient Sage perhaps?