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How I stumbled upon the flute


Dear all,

So I am a flutist !!

How did it happen ? It is actually a funny story, and I thought I would share it with you, because it is quite different from the usual "I knew I wanted to play this instrument the moment I heard it".

No, nothing of the sort for me. First, there are no musicians in my family, so there was no spontaneous need to play music.

I think my mother once said "why not play an instrument", and we waited for next September and enrolments to the music school of my town, and that was it.

Well, that was it on the principle, because I still had to chose the instrument, right?

So, next thing we know, September is upon us and we are going to the music school. When asked what I wanted to play I said: "I want to play the piano!", with no real reason behind it.

At that time, my parents were separated and I lived with my mom, so she was very sorry to tell me that a piano was too expensive an instrument and to pick another.

I can tell you I was not disappointed for a second, and I happily shouted "the violin, then!"

It is obvious that I didn't have any idea what to pick, because I guess I would have been a little heartbroken about the piano if I really had wanted to play it...

Anyway, then we are standing in front of the secretary, and my mom says "she would like to play the violin."

Thing is, everyone wants to play the violin.

So there was this unending waiting list and you couldn't know whether and when you would have a spot in one of the violin classes.

And if there is one thing to know about me, it is that I hate waiting. I have to be the most impatient person in the world ! I am working on it, but I am hopeless.

Needless to say, violin was not an option for me.

I remember having no idea what to choose then and looking at the instrument list in search of inspiration.

And stopping on the horn.

Because in French it is called "cor" and it is such a peculiar word : we don't have lots of three letter words, and as a child this word caught my attention, with its unusual look (I know, it is nerdy).

And I suddenly wanted to play the horn.

But my mom actually knew what it looked like, and she told me it would probably be too heavy for me (I was seven and not keen on physical activity).

So I didn't pick the horn either, and I was just as not-heartbroken about it that I was about the piano and the violin. What a fickle child...

And that is when I saw the word "flute".

This is where it gets funny, because you know, in my mind I saw the flute we had at home. My mom's flute. Which was actually a recorder, but in French it is called a flute as well.

And I yelled "I want the flute !"

There were free spots in the flute class, and my mom hadn't anything against it, so we went to the flute teacher. It was enrolment day, so no instruments were out, just the teachers behind a table taking names and addresses.

We said hi to this unbelievably nice lady who happened to be the flute teacher, we gave my name, and suddenly I was a new and very happy pupil of the music school !

So home we went. I remember proudly telling my mom "it is perfect, this way we don't even need to buy an instrument !"

I can't remember my mom's face, but I guess she must have been very surprised because she told me that it actually was not a treble recorder, but a "flûte traversière".

I stopped, speechless, and tried to picture what a flûte traversière could look like. I guess I had already seen one somewhere because I remember picturing something shiny with keys on it. And, as uncertain as I had entered the music school anyway, I decided that a shiny instrument called a flute would do, and that if it wasn't a recorder, I could live with it.

And that was it.

That's how I picked the flute !

I might tell you more about my first contact with the shiny instrument and the incredibly nice lady who then became my teacher for the next ten years and to whom I owe how I play nowadays, but for that you will have to wait until another post.

In the meantime, what about you, are you a musician ? How did you pick your instrument, or your job ?

Do you have any funny anecdote about that to share ?

Don't hesitate to leave comments to tell your story.

All the best,




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