Last week my trumpet arrived. A second-hand Boosey & Hawkes that I bought on eBay.
In a week or so I’ve gone from being a little scared of it, to managing a few honks, to being able to produce a fairly pleasing sound and go up and down C-D-E-F-G.
It’s not the first time I’ve been really keen on an instrument, bought one and set about learning to play: tenor sax in my 20s, cello in my early 30s, classical and flamenco guitar in my late 30s/early 40s, piano in my 50s and samba drumming in my late 50s. And now, in my early 60s, the trumpet - my first brass instrument.
What’s different is that this is the first instrument I am learning with the intention of approaching it as an Embodied Practice. In other words, a practice that’s not only about Layer 1 (the pleasure of doing it) and Layer 2 (building skill and competence) but also Layer 3 (working through the body with awareness to intentionally develop personal qualities in action) and Layer 4 (shaping my identity, my self-narrative).
To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about Embodiment or Personal Development when I bought the trumpet. I was listening to, and feeling inspired by, and seeking out trumpet players and pieces that really hit the spot for me. And I guess buying the trumpet was a way of getting more deeply into the sound - and maybe a way of identifying with those players and fantasising about being them, like people who buy soccer jerseys of their favourite player.
But since I bought the instrument, and since I am so invested in Embodiment and Personal Development in Action, it’s an ideal opportunity to track the whole process in a reflective (b)log.