Be Positive

Do you know someone who is always cheerful? Someone who sees the glass half full? Always positive? Hopeful? Bright? Encouraging? Upbeat? Looks at life through rose-colored glasses?

Our world has far too much pessimism. I’ll admit that sometimes it’s easier to see all the problems that surround us in our neighborhood, our community, our country and the world or in ourselves. But it certainly doesn’t contribute to a happy life if you are always a negative person. Do you like being around people who are negative? Don’t be that person. We need more people who are optimistic.

When it comes to flute practicing and performing (or any other endeavor for that matter), it is critical to stay positive and encouraging to yourself. Find the good things you are accomplishing through practicing or performing.

For example, don’t get frustrated if you can’t get a passage after a 10 minute practice session or an hour practice session. Some things take time and some things take a lot more time than you think to get to the level you desire. Be patient and stay positive and keep trying. Look back on how much you have learned in the past. Rejoice in small accomplishments. Be nice to yourself.

I promise that your life will be much happier and you will be more successful if you can learn to look on the bright side. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “the power of positive thinking”. Optimism is a conduit for power. You can Google a million quotes about being positive.

Are you familiar with the term “Pollyanna-ish”? If not, go watch the 1960 movie Pollyanna with Hayley Mills, which is based off the 1913 novel. It’s an excellent story about an orphan who truly knows how to look on the bright side of life.

I have a tile plaque in my living room which provides a daily reminder to…

  • THINK positive.
  • DO positive.
  • BE positive.
  • STAY positive.
  • ACT positive.
  • FEEL positive.

I challenge you to Be Positive for at least one day and discover how your life can change for the better.

Parental Support

How can parents support their child as a young musician? There are many different ways you can offer support. Here are a few ideas.

First of all, the younger the child, the more support they’ll need from a parent. If they don’t read yet, your child will definitely need you to guide them through which pages they should be practicing and how many times they should play each piece that day or how long they need to practice. Read them what the teacher wrote in their book. Sit by their side. Help them practice flashcards. Let them know that you are there to support them.

As they get older, you can gauge how much to step back and let them do the practicing on their own. There is no magic age for this.

Each child is different in their development and personality.

Show interest in what they are learning. If you don’t attend the lesson with your child, ask them what they learned that day and demonstrate that to you. Look them in the eye while they are talking to you.

Provide opportunities for your child to share their talents. My dad used to always ask me to play for people who would come to visit.  I hated it! I’m sure I rolled my

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Have Instrument. Will Travel.

Yesterday we played for a funeral for a close family member. They just held a graveside service and naturally, there was not an organ or a piano at the cemetery. It was wonderful to easily transport our instruments (flutes, guitar, and cello) so we could provide some music.

For occasions such as this, you usually don’t get a lot of advanced notice before needing to perform. That’s when it’s a blessing to be experienced enough as a musician to able to have a rehearsal one night and perform the next day.

Why do we study, practice, and learn music? To just play for ourselves or to share that talent with others? Even though music is extremely rewarding individually…

I was taught that music is a gift to bless other people’s lives.

I’ve tried to pass this philosophy on to my children and to my students. Playing music with my daughters yesterday brought peace to not just me but also to everyone else there.

If you are a musician, please travel and always be willing to share your gift with others wherever you go.

Performing is Fun

What is fun about performing?

Sometimes students are scared to play in front of others. I completely understand that. Sometimes I get nervous too. When I was younger my dad always wanted me to play my flute or the piano for anyone that came through our front door, or so it seemed. Did I love that? Absolutely not! But now, years later, I’m grateful that he was so proud of me and wanted to provide opportunities for me to share my talents with others as often as I could.

I went to college and earned degrees in Flute Performance and Pedagogy. Some of the college requirement options were to either do a research paper or do a solo performance. Which one did I choose? You guessed it. Performance!! I had a lot of fun preparing and playing multiple solo recitals during my years in college and graduate school, not to mention all the large and small ensemble performances I’ve been involved in for the past 40 years.

Utah Valley Symphony Sunday in the Park

Last week I played with the Utah Valley Symphony for our second outdoor summer concert in the park. The symphony is on the left just past the large screen and the van. It’s not the best photo, but at least it gives you an idea of the setting. Even though a lot of people filled the park to come listen to us and even though it was being filmed by the local cable company to be rebroadcast later, I wasn’t concerned about the people or the cameras.

I was just so happy to be playing again and even more grateful that the wind wasn’t blowing like our last outdoor concert. I sure missed not preforming last year, thank to COVID.

Our concert was patriotic and movie music such as Battle Hymn of the Republic, Moon River, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Over the Rainbow, Harry Potter and more. Nothing heavy and serious, just a lot of fun and beautiful music. There wasn’t anything scary about playing this summer concert.

So what’s fun about performing?

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Utah Valley Symphony Sunday in the Park

The Utah Valley Symphony is performing a free outdoor concert on Sunday, July 18th, 2021, at 7:30 pm. We will be set up on the east side of the Spanish Fork Library, 49 South Main Street, Spanish Fork, Utah.

Here is the official news release:

This year, Legacy House is proud to present Utah Valley Symphony as the Sunday in the Park entertainment. Utah Valley Symphony is the longest established community orchestra in the Valley. The Utah Valley Symphony was organized in 1959 as a non-profit organization.  Its purpose was to give the talented local musicians an opportunity to use their talents and to provide the community with symphony music.

They will be performing popular classics including Star Spangled Banner; ET: Journey to the Stars; Over the Rainbow; American Salute (This is Morton Gould’s arrangement of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”); Moon River; Fiddler on the Roof Medley ; Harry Potter, Wondrous World; The Battle Hymn of the Republic; and more!

Some seating is provided, but you may also bring chairs or blankets for your comfort. Bring the family for a wonderful evening of fun, and inspiring music!

Food vendors will not be available during this event so please feel free to bring your own drinks and snacks.