I’ve got a lot of stuff going on that’s apparently effecting my horn playing. I noticed several weeks ago that I’ve started messing up phrases in pieces that I played just fine months ago. I’m forgetting fingerings, messing up rhythms more than usual, losing my place in the music and having trouble focusing in general.

This really came to a head last week during my horn lesson with Lynn. I had a guy come to clean the chimney and he showed up during my lesson while we were playing duets. He went to take a look and came back with an estimate of $2400 and the recommendation that we shut our oil burner off – it was 30 degrees outside – and leave the house. According to him we were in imminent danger of having a puff back which is basically a small explosion in the oil burner. Well, I couldn’t play a note after that. I was completely distracted and concentrating on the music was impossible. So much for the rest of my lesson.

Both Lynn and I thought that my inability to play was due to this major distraction. We assumed it was temporary but sadly such is not the case. A friend of mine came over yesterday afternoon to play duets. Again, I couldn’t play much of anything. I had trouble with everything. You’d have thought I was only playing for a month. One of the duets we tried was a fugue that we had played a few months ago with no problems and this time I just couldn’t get it.

I told Lynn about my duet fiasco and we talked about what might be distracting me. I really didn’t feel distracted and I couldn’t put my finger on any specific thing. I am quite busy and I’ve got some more stress in my life but if you asked me I wouldn’t have said I was worried about anything more than usual. Then today at my lesson when we got to playing duets I started off just as badly. Fortunately I did get better. Not where I had been a few weeks ago but definitely better. I think some of the problem is that I lost some confidence when I played so badly at my lesson last week. If that’s it, all I need to do is find someone to play duets, or trios, or chamber music with every day. Wouldn’t that be nice.

Oh, I didn’t shut off the heat, my house is still standing and there was no explosion. I had another company come and they just cleaned the chimney for $119.00. I guess what they say about chimney companies is true.

Having to… –>

One thought on “Distractions

  1. It’s not just the chimney companies–we’ve had plumbers predict horrendous events having to do with sump pumps and toilets. When we got another opinion, there was no problem.


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