In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Strike a Chord.” Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.
As I was searching through past topics of the Daily Prompts, this particular topic caught my eye instantly. It caught my eye for a multitude of reasons and decided that I would do this daily prompt before heading out to work today.
Yes, I do play an instrument. I play the flute. I’ve been playing the flute since the sixth grade. That was back in September of 1991. Holy shit, that was 24 years ago. The story around why I started playing the flute is quite humorous. I originally started playing the trombone and my arm was to short to slide to the fifth and sixth positions and even with the extension I was still unable to slide to the sixth position. Since I was unable to play the trombone due to short arms, I had to choose another instrument. I was debating between the oboe and the flute and was ultimately persuaded into choosing the flute by my best friend, who was learning to play the flute at the same time as well. I am beyond grateful that I was talked into playing flute but part of still wishes I picked up the oboe. The oboe has a beautiful yet unique sound and is an instrument that catches my ear.
I find many musical instruments quite pleasing to my ear besides the above mentioned instruments. One of the instruments I find particularly pleasing is the bagpipe. Yes, the bagpipe. People tend to laugh at the fact that I not only enjoy the sound of the bagpipes but want to learn how to play them as well. Over the years I’ve come to study the history of the bagpipe. The reason being is because it is a part of my heritage. I am half Irish and identify as Irish. Yes, I do know it’s also a part of Scottish heritage however, I don’t have any Scottish in my blood. A cool side note about bagpipes is my fiancé, Junior can play the bagpipes quite well. In fact he is a part of the pipes and drums with the fire department. He in fact is a firefighter and paramedic. The cool thing that I find about Junior playing the bagpipes is that he is Mexican and isn’t afraid to do so. (Junior is also able to play the trumpet and plays in a Mariachi Band).
Playing the flute has been a life safer to me in many ways. Playing the flute in the high school marching (and concert) band is what helped stay in school and prevented from dropping out. That’s why I am so passionate about keeping both the performing and fine arts in schools. The arts keep people like me in school.
Not only did playing the flute keep me in school, it has helped me enormously in my recovery with mental illness. Playing the flute helps with my mental illness in several ways. It helps keep me distracted at times. It relaxes me. Most importantly it helps me focus on my breath and breathing well. When I am dealing with severe PTSD symptoms I tend to forget to breath and the “normal” breathing techniques and exercises don’t help me much. The “typical” breathing techniques and exercises tend to make my PTSD symptoms worse due to some trauma. That is where the flute comes in to helping me focus on my breath. You need to breathe well to be able to play the flute properly. That means, me being able to breathe well not only helps me with playing the flute helps with the symptoms of my PTSD. You can say that playing the flute has been a type of therapy for me; music therapy. Unforantenly, not many places offer music therapy despite how helpful it is to many different people in this world.
When I chose this particular daily prompt, I had absolutely no idea where it would lead. I honestly didn’t think I would be discussing how the flute helped (and still helps) with my PTSD. I thought I would me discussing more how band kept me in school and how I now have life long friends because of band. In all honesty, I have my best friend since the third grade to not only to join band by picking an instrument but persuading me to choose the flute over the oboe when I was not able to play the trombone. Playing a musical instrument gives one a community that they will always be a part of.
Now that I’ve done this daily prompt, it brings joy to my soul that I was able to share one community I belong to, to you the blogging community in which I to belong to. Thank you for allowing me to share all this. I am going to have to end this blog for now because I have to go to work now. Have a wonderful work week everyone. Happy Monday and peace out everyone!!!!