A friend of mine pointed out a guy to me the other day who plays the Shakuhachi flute. This is a flute from Japan. It can be used as a meditation flute. So I thought, as I can play all sorts of woodwind already, I will give this one a go. I ordered one on eBay and it arrived on Saturday. Here is a picture of it:
I unwrapped the parcel in great anticipation. Got the flute out and wanted to play it, only to realise I could not get a single tone out of it. I watched a few You-tube videos explaining how to play it, because apparently the embochure (lip tension) needs to be just right. I can play the normal flute and to get the embochure right for that wasn’t easy, but this one was hard. Seriously hard. Here is a picture of the ‘blowing hole’:
I didn’t want to admit defeat. So I tried for a good 1hr 30 min. Despite feeling faint from all the blowing of air I achieved nothing. I wrote to the guy on Facebook. His name is Tea Roman and he is seriously good at this. He told me that I need patience and a lot of practise and it is like no other woodwind instrument. No kidding 😉 Anyway, after I practised so much that my jaw hurt on Saturday I ahven’t touched the flute since. I want to give up straight away, as unlike other instruments before, I did not get instant gratification and success from this one.
This made me think. Why is it that I give up so easily now? I marine a child that learns to walk. They fall over several time before they manage to walk properly. Or riding a bike or swimming. A lot of activities don’t give you instant success. Learning to drive is a process as well. So I am not sure where this comes from that I am giving up straight away at the first hurdle. Maybe as an adult we have failed at so many things that failure to do something is hurtful and embarrassing. Maybe we are not cutting ourselves any slack. I am certainly like that. I put myself under enourmous pressure to do things right and perfect and so on. I don’t like to fail. I mean who does? But failure makes us grow. Not being able to play this flute straight away is not a failure as such. And maybe because I need to cut myself some slack and be able to enjoy this new hobby I shouldn’t give up straight away. I should see this as a challenge. But I was never motivated by challenges. I am not one of those people who get motivated by trying to do something impossible, like run a marathon ;-). But on the other hand I need to start changing this attitude now, otherwise I will not learn new things right? I will keep you informed how it goes. Maybe I will even post a video of my efforts 😉