The drummer leaned over during rehearsal last night and said, “I’m a band director, and you know what I always asked my kids? ‘What’s the difference between a twelve year old trumpet player and an adult one?’ (Meaningful pause…) ‘Not a thing.’ (Ba-dump-ching!)”
One of the interesting side effects of my re-dedication to music has been not having to work to rediscover my younger self. Seems she was there all along, and as soon as I sit down in a section of brass players she grins slyly and pops out in most of her glory. I may be a hair less quick-witted and my mom persona sometimes sensors that brassy girl, but when the other guys in the section are telling jokes, making bad puns, and singing songs from “Blazing Saddles” (fake Teutonic accents and all) in between making great music, it’s like I never grew up.
It’s not just the group I played with last night, either. It seems as though every time I sit down in a row of brass players I morph into a wry jokester, goofing around and saying whatever comes to mind, usually sotto voce so the director won’t hear but my section mates will. Sometimes an opportunity arises to pop off to the whole group, but I think the other musicians just expect that from us; I’d hate to not meet their expectations, after all. The trick is to be able to have some fun with it and still hit every note just like you meant to.
Getting back to ensemble playing has been a little like meeting up with an old friend; no matter how many years it’s been since you’ve seen them, you pick up right where you left off and continue the conversation you were having, full of laughter and joy.