As I was practicing my daily dose of Moyse exercises (I’m on Day 13 now, more ABCD), I experienced a tremendous feeling of gratitude for the kind of flute education that I have received. While I feel that I have learned many things on my own, and that students (myself included) are largely responsible for what they learn, I felt very grateful for the lessons my teachers taught me and for the many things I have learned.
For some time now, I have been feeling pretty isolated, flute-wise and education-wise. I do not meet too many people who have had the advanced music education that I have. Most people make a lot more money than I do, or are at least employed in their field, but these are all results of choices we each make. Lately I’ve been meeting flutists who would love to have had the teaching that I received, that are craving knowledge that I have been taking for granted. Reading posts on the Flute List regarding Sir James’s Moyse scale challenge have also reinforced this. There are so many people who have not had a teacher that really taught them the basics of how to play the instrument. Those of us who have had an intensive, thorough flute education are very, very lucky.
But, we shouldn’t stop there! I’ve also been reading stories, articles, and posts about flutists that continue their learning every day. Their curiosity and enthusiasm and determination never wane and neither should yours and mine. There is always more that you can do to improve as a musician. You can read about music and musicians, study scores, compose and arrange pieces, listen to recordings, go to performances, etc, etc, not to mention practice!
As a flutist with a day job, I often bemoan the time that I cannot spend on music and the education that is not being exercised and utilized often enough. Today I was able to remember that I am very lucky. I hope I can carry that feeling around for a long while! Now, go practice your scales and see what you can be grateful for!