Last night I had my first flute lesson of the year. I can't remember exactly when I decided to take a break, but I think it was in January or February. I could research this but I'm too lazy, so you're just going to have to take my word for it. It wasn't really a lesson - we didn't do much besides establish that I'll be playing a solo at a recital to take place... next month. I played a couple of scales, and the two movements of the piece I'm going to perform. Since it's been so long since I've worked seriously on anything or since I've been on the spot (there isn't a lot of pressure involved in playing at these recitals - I've been doing them since I was a little kid, but I still get nervous), and there isn't a whole lot of time (I am very slow at learning new pieces) it seemed like a good idea to play something I know. We picked two movements from "Suite de Trois Morceaux," by Godard. Relatively easy, beautiful (if done correctly, which: we shall see), French: it's right up my alley. I'm doing the "Allegretto" and "Idyll" movements. Pretty!
Having a lesson was fun. Granted, I didn't have to perform: it wasn't like a real lesson, where you have to prove that you actually did some work since the last time you were in that spot (interestingly, I fell right back into place in Patty's living room... I did all the [obessessive/compulsive?] things I always used to do at a lesson, such as needing a glass of water and a tissue right from the start, constantly arranging and rearranging the music stand to fit perfectly in the corner of her green rug, surreptitiously [and I'm sure totally obviously] reviewing the music while she talked to me), but since I didn't have to pretend I had practiced anything out of a study book (ah, those were the days! Slopping my way through an exercise was always so much fun) because she already knew I've been slacking off, I felt totally relaxed. I really like these two movements and so even though it's been at least a couple of years (maybe more but let's not think too much about that) since I first learned this piece I like to get it out once in awhile and make sure it still makes sense. It does. I also like the idea that I'm older now and might have something else to say about the music. I remember working this one up and the ideas that I had in my head from that time, and I think there might be something a little different in there now. I've been playing a lot in flute choir and I do practice on my own, but I have to say that, for me, working on a solo is different. Even if the only people I'm performing for are Patty's young students, their parents, and the old folks from the retirement home she has her workshops in, there's something about working up a solo that's exciting. Maybe it's the thrill of playing with piano (her accompanist, Marc, is an amazing player, and manages to make even your mistakes sound good), or just being on your own in front of people, but I like it. And, I liked the feedback I got from Patty and having to get out of my comfort zone a little and really listen to myself - all the nit picky things!
After the lesson, and a quick dinner with Patty (we haven't had much time to chit-chat lately so catching up with her was almost as important as the lesson itself), I went over to spend a couple of hours with my mom and dad. We watched the CMA awards, and surprisingly, I liked what I saw. Not so much all the performances themselves (Taylor Swift is adorable, a wonderful performer, but not the world's greatest singer; Brad Paisley is gorgeous, a great host, and writes horrible, cliche-ridden songs; Darius Rucker sounded really rough and his song was pretty dull; same goes for the Daughtry/Vince Gill duet and the Dave Matthews performance...) but there were a couple that were really good, and I loved that there was so much live music. I totally enjoyed Zac Brown band's version of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (that fiddle player was hot - and talented), but my favorite performance was Miranda Lambert's song "White Liar." I thought she was clever, a great singer, and fun. I am not a huge country music fan, but I might seek her out. I also am now curious about Jamey Johnson, who won for song of the year. I wish they'd let him perform it or played it more.
Right now I think I'm going to go see if I can find "White Liar" on iTunes... I bet I'm not the only one downloading it today.