May 8 to 14, 2000
I married, moved from New York to California, raised two children, went to graduate school in computer science, and divorced. I still loved the flute, but the idea of playing again was far in the back of my mind. In 1978, looking for an antidote to the stress of being a working graduate student and (part-time) single mother, I started running. What made this revolutionary for me was that I had always assumed that it was something I could not possibly do, and it took me only a few weeks to find that not only could I run (slowly), but that I enjoyed it. I joined a running club, started participating in races, and made running an important part of my life.
It was a revelation to me to realize that I could enjoy an activity for which I had little natural talent, and so running led me back to the flute. A year after I started running, I celebrated having completed a challenging uphill trail race by buying myself a flute.
I still hadnít figured out how to make time for the flute, and every time that I took out my old Wagner method and Gariboldi ťtudes and started practicing, I gave up after a few weeks. It took me nearly 15 years to realize that, as with my running, I needed some external stimulation to motivate me.
In 1993, at 50, I decided that I was too old to wait until I had time to do the things I wanted, so I found a small flute ensemble class through a local adult school. Once a week, I escaped my busy life and spent an energizing hour playing duets and trios and renewing my love of music and the flute. I still didnít have much practice time, especially since by that time I had become a serious (although still slow) ultramarathon runner, and, while I learned a lot about blending with other players, the ensemble format didnít allow for much personal instruction, so, after three years I switched to taking private lessons with the same instructor, list member David Tickton, whose personal flute-playing history and teaching style make him an excellent instructor for adult students. David knew just what to do to improve my tight, thin tone, and had me spend the first year doing little but learning to relax and open my throat. Gradually over the past three years Iíve been developing all aspects of my flute playing and finding my own voice as a flutist. The only performing Iíve done has been in a community college band and in Davidís occasional performance workshops and once or twice a year free public flute choir performances.