Thursday, October 25, 2007

Of flutes & strings & other things...

This is an Irish flute used for playing traditional Irish music & not what my Ditz plays ~ though she'd like to. She thinks the colour is cool. There are some fairly major differences between an Irish flute & a concert flute but seeing as I don't really understand all the ins & outs (something to do with the size & the shape of the holes which changes the pitch ~ math concepts that pretty much elude me even on a good day, & today is not a good day) I'm not about to go into all that. Ditz isn't even at the stage of a concert flute yet & by all accounts that's complicated enough.

So this is why we play soccer. Being the laid back types we are we are invariably running late for the boat that takes us inter~island to flute & band practise & have to sprint madly down 2 sets of steps, across the parking lot & down the jetty (we have a very long jetty) while the deckie holds the boat for us shaking his head. We do it every week & after a year of this you would think we'd get our times sorted out, but no. We're invariably dashing like mad things & grateful soccer has got our fitness levels up to where we can actually do this without collapsing in a mortified heap. Gosh, these days we barely even breath a bit more heavily!

Soo! We arrive at the school to find the whole place in turmoil. It is school photos day & the band master is fuming because we have a concert in 2 weeks that the band is very ill~prepared for & most of the day will be wasted. The flutes are getting the particularly rough edge of his tongue. Too many haven't practised enough & their showcase part is sounding pretty terrible. Plus one of the girls always plays loud & sharp. Ditz says she overblows but she is a very confident young player while most of them could do with a good dose of confidence. The class instruments lessons are scrapped. This always amuses me because the band master is lovely & doesn't see why we should have come all that way to waste our time so he always gives Ditz an individual lesson. Ditz is less enthusiastic. She has got used to hiding her flaws under cover of the rest of the band & being just good enough to be on a par with the best flute player. One on one she can't do that. The teacher is also aware that he can work Ditz in ways that would have the other girls in tears before he was half done so she doesn't get a break once they start. I'm the same with her so it's not something she isn't used to. He's ex~army & it's go, go, go. By the time he was done Ditz's jaw was killing her & her little pinky was aching ~ but there was one flautist who could play the flute piece all the way through.

Like I said he is a loverly man & automatically included Ditz in the band photo. The call was for 2pm & I had to be on the 1pm boat so he said he'd just hang on to her & put her on the bus that takes the inter~island kids to the school boat. Ditz was delighted. We went & ordered her a lunch from the canteen, I gave her her fare & abandoned her ~ Ditz's word. She did the whole drama thing about abandoning her to a fate worse than death but when I met her boat she came running down the jetty all aglow with delight from having managed completely on her own. sigh. That's another one of mine growing up too fast.

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