Flute, Fear, and Faith

You think that I--with my musical family, musical exposure, musical opportunities, and musical ambitions--absolutely love blowing into my metal tube (A.K.A. flute) for hours and hours and hours. You suppose that practicing is fun for me, all the time. You suppose that I want nothing from life but to keep blowing and blowing and blowing. Unfortunately…you're wrong. Sometimes, practicing drives me crazy. Why? First, whenever I'm not playing, I feel like I should be playing. And since I can't play all the time, a cloud of guilt hangs over me. Second, I am not a perfect player. I make mistakes. I haven’t mastered certain finger patterns. And worst of all, sometimes I pick up my instrument, blow…and my tone--the color of my sound--is terrible. Third, while my lungs are pumping air in and out and my fingers are whirring up and down the keys, my brain often says, “Why are you doing this?” 

Gifted, Talented, Skilled or What?

I teach writing in our homeschool co-op.  One of the first things I try to impress upon my students is that no one is born a good writer.  The ability to write well is not a mysterious gift-  it is a technique or skill that can be learned with diligence and practice.  (Lucille Vaughn Payne explains this brilliantly in her highly-recommended little book, The Lively Art of Writing.)