Hello Nathan Bell, I really like your writing style of separate sentences, (very much) with or without the content. And the content, it is really a killer article, and can touch deeply. (I'll separate a few sentences, to see how it goes here.)

You say “I have friends that are nothing like you”.

I am nothing like you, but have you beat in age by enough.

Most Americans are not rooted (to any land or location). America is about mobility and pulling up stakes. IMO.

Yeah, our only offered heritage is, you kids got’ta do some mighty work. What a set-up.

I’ll tell you about our differences. I am not a musician! But I'll tell you my story anyway. I am an amateur with the classics. I am all self-taught. I am not in the band.

In fact, I know NOBODY that plays a flute, my instrument, (nor a violin, which could be good too). I have NEVER played with another person. (So, I couldn't do it.) Well, I tried a couple of times to record one track of a duet, and then add in the second track. I never end at the same time. (Really a metronome is confusing as hell for me, once I fall out of the beat, I can never recover. Then it is just background noise.)

(Who knows what novelty the future might bring?) I'll be open to it, but I really don't enjoy the bands in the clubs. I go only twice a year, if someone coaxes me.

So, my method is the sensory experience with the music: through the ear, the harmonics of the scale or sequence being played, the fingering of the notes and melody."

I only and exclusively work on the fingering, the faster the better.

I only play pieces straight through, and never concentrate on the "difficult passages". (Usually three times, then move on.)

I have never memorized anything, not even Mary had a little lamb, her fleece was white as snow.

I collect free sheet music, lately from flutetunes.com, they have 500 composers and 5,000 selections. But I have tons of books also. I print them all, and photocopy books when a piece has multiple pages.

I have a 6 page board I use at home and a four page board I use on the road.

I rotate through about 600 selections, usually playing 50 in a 2-hour session. Then I get tired of standing. My goal is to read music, but only on the level of the fingering.

The written timing and embellishments have to come later. For instance, I hate trills, they are so dated.

I do get a melody out of it, but it is my melody. I can realize all the intervals, but only as they are written. I invent NOTHING. I am just a copy-cat.

I love to play "power-flute", I blast it. I guess that is because I have no subtle embouchure. Well, my tone is getting better. I call my flute very "bright", but it is me that is so squeaky.

This summer I broke free and it has really helped me. First I played in an open mike club, but they only allow you 10 minutes. I didn't obey, and played 30 minutes before they ran me off.

(Have you read about the Samurai, that if they pull their sword out of the scabbard, they have to cut someone, in order to respect their sword.) Me too, if I take the flute out of the case, I have to play at least an hour.

Then I arranged lunch times in three restaurants. They had to be restaurants with gardens, I couldn't play inside. But I played too long, and burned them out. (I play for me, not for you.)

Then I started going to the public park, set up my table and have at it. There is a fish pond with Koi, and a pavilion built on top of it. It has a cement floor and ceiling and the acoustics are really good. The sound really carries and people are just passing by, so no one gets over-dosed.

I also have another fantastic venue. It is an art museum where they allow me to play at any time. The hall is 8 meters wide and 7 meters high, but 45 meters long. The sound is like a cathedral, I am so thrilled.

I will play anywhere now, without is hint of stage freight. It just does not occur in my body. That is because I am only "DOING" me. I am not doing any authoritative professional.

I guess it depends on what your goal is?


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"I’m 63 and I don’t want to go somewhere else. I don’t want to run. I’m determined to stay and fight the theocrats. There are too many people I love living here with me. I know too many teens who are in danger. I want to say to all of them, “don’t let anybody make you disappear.”

I always enjoy your posts but these words today just knocked me in the jaw. More power to your elbow and to your words and actions. Don't let the bastards grind you down as someone once said. PaulK

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