Music: Returning to a Disconnected Hobby
Like many of us in the year 2022, I spend most of my weekdays on a computer. It's how I work to support my family.
But then what do I do in my spare time? Most of the time, I get on my computer. I watch TV shows or Movies, play video games (Minecraft these days), listen to music, catch up on social media, write blogs, etc. I do read books, spend time with my family, and other non-digital things, but my current ratio of connected to disconnected free time is extremely skewed towards connected.
So I've been trying to remember what I did in my spare time before I had unfettered access to a computer. That was a long time ago. I watched TV and played video games, but I didn't have a smartphone and I had to share a computer, so I wasn't “connected” nearly as much as I am now.
So what did I do? Mostly, I played musical instruments. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a band teacher at a high school or community college. Music was life. I took piano lessons as a young child, picked up the clarinet in 4th grade, saxophone in 7th grade, and continued through 2+ years of community college. Concert band, jazz band, marching band, pep band, solo & ensemble, jazz combo – if there was any kind of instrumental music thing going on, I was a part of it.
Then, I reached a crossroads and decided to go a different direction. Music suddenly wasn't the focus of my life. I sold my saxophone (a lovely Selmer Mark VI tenor) because it was sitting neglected in a closet and I felt an instrument of that caliber must be enjoyed and shared. Plus, I needed the money. I haven't played my clarinet in years. In more recent years I've picked up the Penny Whistle (aka Irish Whistle or Tin Whistle), Recorder (not the cheap plastic ones from elementary school, a nice professional wooden one), and Native American Flute. I've played here and there at church or community concerts, but I haven't diligently practiced or tried to increase my proficiency on any instruments in a good 15 years or so.
I've missed playing. I've missed performing regularly. Music is the language of the soul and I've always enjoyed expressing myself and uplifting others through it. So if there's any “disconnected” hobby I need to pick up – or return to – I think it's got to be playing music again.
I feel like I want to get really good on my whistles, recorder, and flute. And I've been thinking for a while about finding a good piano keyboard that I can have in my office – maybe even on or next to my desk – so I can just play and tinker and work stuff out by ear like I always used to do. I'd just go to the piano and play. Sometimes for a long while. It was a great outlet. Maybe I'll even buckle down and force myself to practice playing written music on the piano.
I'll be thinking of other disconnected hobbies I can pick up, too, but picking music back up seems like the obvious place to start.