An “Instrumental” Activity During Quarantine

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Published on April 10, 2020

Amidst the current pandemic, there has never been a greater opportunity to pick back up playing my instruments. 

The last time I even acknowledged my violin was for a sculpture project last semester. Before that it had just been laying in the corner of my room, in its case, collecting dust for the past five years. Beside it sat my flute, also abandoned, along with the lessons from every Saturday three years ago I spent learning to play. Moreover, in December I purchased a keyboard, and fell off with learning a new song every week by the end of January.

Between work and school, I never had much time to practice. Since I’m home more often than not for the foreseeable future, I wanted to pass time in a way that was fun, but also helped me learn and focus better.

A red violin, Mendini flute and Yamaha keyboard. Photo by Aquiera Williams

I started playing the violin in third grade and have loved learning music ever since. It had a lot to do with having a dedicated music teacher, but also the sound of the violin has always been so soothing, and I’ve never felt prouder than when I learned how to recognize the different notes on the strings. It’s been a long time, but the joy of playing hasn’t faded.

In ninth grade my great uncle convinced me to learn the flute, and thankfully my high school offered a program where I could get lessons for free. I learned how to read sheet music and how to form different pitches depending on the way air enters at a certain speed. I learned proper air control and breathing, including how to sustain a note. I’ve been learning how to play Greensleeves, to help get in the mindset for reading King Henry IV, in my Shakespeare course.

Learning an instrument helps challenge you to focus on something other than the isolation from the rest of the world. It’s also fun to discover new music and create your own little symphony. 

Music is a powerful thing that everyone can enjoy. You can listen to your favorite artists, or, possibly become your own.