Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Practice makes perfect

30 Comments

Our community band headed back to rehearsal this week. Tuesday night was the first time we’ve played together since March of 2020. Though we normally start up again in September after the summer break, this year we delayed starting so that the school system could decide what the protocol for our playing in their buildings would be.

We are required to where a split mask while we play, and our instrament bells must be covered as well. It’s kind of crazy, because, at least for woodwinds, air blows out through all the keyholes too which remain uncovered.

Several people protested that playing band instruments while wearing a mask was ridiculous. I suppose it is. I’m on the board and we decided early on to send out a survey, telling our musicians what the requirements would be and asking if they would be playing this season. About 50% decided they weren’t comfortable and opted out.

I understand, I waffled myself.

But in the end, for me, the chance to play overrode lingering fear of contrating covid again. Though I have to tell you, playing while wearing a mask is not easy. Playing while wearing a mask when you haven’t played more than a handful of times in the past 18 months is really hard. Playing while wearing a mask when you haven’t played much in the past 18 months and while wearing glasses that fog up is really really hard.

We’re practicing Christmas music; our first concert will be in December, and Santa will be there, so we’re motivated. I’ll be practicing this week while wearing a mask so I can figure out how to breath without fogging up. And so I can blow for longer than one measure without getting winded.

Santa from another concert, another year, another lifetime ago.

Yep, I have a lot of work to do. But we’re playing music again, a sure sign that the world is beginning to right itself. And that makes me smile. I hope you have found reasons to smile this week too. Even if you’re wearing a mask and fogging up your glasses.

Change is hard.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

30 thoughts on “Practice makes perfect

  1. Good for you! As long as you enjoy it why not! Hope you figure the mask glasses thing out! 🙂

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  2. Playing music again is a huge smile. It does sound a little restrictive, but I’m not sure how else it can safely be handled at this time. Have fun!

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  3. Playing a mouth operated instrument with mask is ridiculous. 🙂

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  4. More power to you, Dawn, for stepping up to play with the band again. We are all tired of wearing masks and hope to see a day when we don’t need them any more, but for now it seems the wise course. Sigh!

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    • I know. Our Kroger store has a sign at the door stating a mask is required but I’m always one of the few inside who are actually wearing one. It’s hard to be out and about these days, I mostly stay home.

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  5. I wonder if wearing a mask when we’re out in enclosed public spaces will become one of those things we just do in the future. The foggy glasses thing is a problem, and I cannot imagine playing a wind instrument while wearing a mask. and glasses!

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  6. Will the 50% that opted out make a huge difference in the overall playing? I think the sheer joy of getting back to playing would override playing with a mask on. I think it will be wonderful.

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    • Well, luckily we have almost all the instruments covered. We sent the survey to find that out. For example if we were missing all the trombones we might have a problem. We ARE missing almost all the percussion, and we only have 1 trumpet so far. But for Christmas music we can survive with this orchestration.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You never let the turkeys get you down!

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  8. I’m really surprised by those restrictions. Live music’s available everywhere here now, from the bars and tourist venues to the Houston Symphony and my favorite chamber group, Da Camera. I was curious to see how the Symphony was handling things, and found their wind players aren’t masked for rehearsal or performance. Some string players are masked, but some aren’t; it looks like it’s a matter of choice, as it should be. Their website did specify that all are vaccinated.

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    • I went to a symphonic event last month. We had to prove we were fully vacinated and we had to wear masks regardless, the entire time. Some of the woodwinds wore masks playing, some did not. All the strings wore masks as did the conductor.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hats off! What a lot of work to play with such restrictions. But so worthwhile.

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  10. There are now live music performances where I live too … no masks on the musicians. Like you say, there’s so much air coming out of the end of the horn/bell and out of key/finger holes, and you really do need to breathe right? As you say, people can choose to play with a group or not … and people can choose to attend or not. Not one of the vaccines is near 100% effective. I’m part of a test group of folks who had the virus, my body developed two sets of anti-bodies, and I was asked not to get the vaccine but asked to be part of the test. I’m tested once every 2-3 weeks and, so far, after more than six months, my antibodies are MORE robust, they protect me better than any of the vaccines do. In the case of all of the people who have both sets of natural antibodies, being forced to get vaccinated would actually put us more at risk of getting sick, and more at risk of passing the virus to someone else. And yet even so, I always wear a mask when I’m out and about. I’d ask everyone to please don’t judge without knowing someone else’s details. Keep playing and get those chops back in shape, Dawn. 🙂 We need your music.

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    • I always mask up when I’m in a public interior place too. Also trying not to judge. I just want this over. I would like to know what status my antibodies are. I have had both vaccines, and I’ve had covid.

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      • I’m never 100% certain of anything I’m told by the drug companies, or our government, or the insurance companies, or anything else online. But I trust the Mayo Clinic and my doctors and a good number of nurse/doctor friends who always protest making vaccinations a requirement. They tell me there are people with medical conditions who would likely die if they were vaccinated. And the medical community is crying for people who have had covid but who have not been vaccinated so those people can be tested, and their antibodies used to develop a vaccine from our natural antibodies that would be so much more effective than the vaccines currently being crammed down our throats by the drug companies. The medical community that is protesting required vaccinations has nothing to do with either political party … they simply want to develop a better vaccine but are being thwarted by the drug companies, governments, and insurance companies. I agreed to be exposed to the original covid virus about two months ago … didn’t get it … it didn’t even enter my body, much less did I get sick. My doctors tell me that if you’ve had the vaccine, then your natural antibodies are toast, so to speak. The drug companies jumped on this so fast, and we all wanted that! But now they are blocking further research. Ok, I’ll shut up now. Let’s get back to music and things that soothe our souls!

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  11. Yeah, glad you’re playing in Band again! I am, too. All the community members have to be vaccinated, we wear masks into and out of the building as well as sitting for long periods, we air the room out after an hour, and we’re seated apart. Yes, our group is smaller, but it’s sooo good getting back to what we love!

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    • The school system said we could not require everyone to be vacinated. But I imagine most are, as those not vacinnated also generally don’t want to wear masks, and that’s a requirement. However, we won’t know. We too took a break after an hour, but we’re not seated that far apart, not enough space in the middle school band room.

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  12. Good for you to play music again despite the restrictions. Hope there is no setback.

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  13. How exciting that you’re playing music again! I thought of you yesterday when we did an underground tour at Quincy Mine. Michigan Tech chorus performed in the Mine Shaft building last night–apparently the resonance in there is amazing. You probably would have loved it.

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    • Thst would have been amazing. We did that tour, it’s very cool. I remember driving past the Quincy mine in the early 80s so often and thinking how amazing the structures were. So glad many of them are now preserved.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Way to persevere to do something you enjoy doing. I played the clarinet in junior high school. It was tough enough to do that back then, I can’t imagine doing it with fog on my glasses! Except, maybe it would be like trying to read music with my trifocals now…foggy trifocals, oh, my – more power to you! Make beautiful music and let your smile shine!

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