Alyssa amazes me these days. She’s picked up the flute so much faster and better than I ever did. She’s better now, after not even a year of playing this instrument, than I was probably two, even three years in.
When she listens to music, she really hears it. I know that sounds stupid but she can listen to a song, pick up her flute or sit at the piano and start playing. She starts slow, finding the first note, then she’s able to figure out the rest just by playing around. She’s a natural musician.
I was never, ever able to do that. I needed actual sheet music in front of me and then I needed to practice and practice and then practice some more to make the song sound even a little like it was supposed to sound.
I still say our band director made me the drum major of the marching band because he knew no one would miss the sound of my flute during parades. He insisted it was because I was able to march in a straight line but…well, I wasn’t the best musician in his band, is what I’m saying.
But Alyssa…if she’s keeps at it, she’s got the ability to be good, really good. It helps that she enjoys it so much but I also know that having a natural talent doesn’t replace good old fashioned practicing.
So we’ll see. I’ll keep encouraging her to practice both the flute and the piano. Even though I wasn’t all that good, I treasure the memories I have from my time in the band. Practicing with a group, perfecting the music for the night of the performance, the fun of traveling with the band, it’s all there, things I look back on fondly. I want all that for her. I want her to form friendships and build memories and learn that working hard can bring about some pretty amazing results.