I have mentioned before that one of the things I am doing to kill time is learn the ocarina. I did really well learning from middle C to high C, I even manage a high D on occasion. But lower than middle C…Ha! It taunts me, teases me, drives me to my breaking point…those dastardly notes!! (Okay, I’m better now)
For the higher notes it’s about holding it without covering the holes and blowing harder. I am generally very breathy, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. For the notes below middle C, I see no light. Okay, that isn’t entirely true. But it feels it on most attempts. In fact, today were my first few successful tries! Yea me!!
The problem is that it is awkward and rare. You have to cover two holes with one finger. And said finger has to point in a slightly different direction than your other fingers. Another problem, at least this afternoon, is now I can’t seem to get middle C! And another problem is in my song I go from D to low B. It is all very confusing to my tiny, little brain and my fat, short, nubby fingers! But it was exciting to hit it the few times I did. And when I managed middle C going back and forth wasn’t too bad. I just have to figure out why I am missing it all of a sudden.
When I was very young I was in band, I played the cornet (think small trumpet). It had 3 buttons and you pressed them in different combinations to get different notes. You also blew into the mouthpiece differently to get higher and lower notes. I miss the simplicity. Three buttons, that was it. Well, I love the sound of my ocarina most of the time and I love music so I won’t give up. Those dastardly, devilish, difficult holes will eventually have to do as I am trying to tell them. I will win this battle! (So maybe I wasn’t better after all!)
Among other things I am bipolar and I tend to shuffle around different hobbies and crafts. I will pick them up for awhile then put them down. I always go back if it doesn’t cause pain (fibromyalgia). Right now I have shuffled my way back to music!
I love music. I have very eclectic tastes and like just about anything that I don’t find offensive. My tastes go as far as classical, folk, country, pop, rock, some hard rock, and even some metal. Old jazz is good, Etta and Billie. Some R&B, particularly popular Motown. I have also played music. I studied the cornet (a small trumpet) in school. It didn’t go as far as it should have, I stopped when we moved to an area where I was bullied a lot and with that I lost interest in almost everything. I have since picked up and fiddled (ha) with the clarinet (didn’t go anywhere) and I have picked around on pianos in piano stores to help cope with what was then diagnosed as straight depression.
Music has a wonderful affect on me. It’s like I get to be a bird. I love birdsong too. So just in the last week I bought an ocarina. That can be pronounced with a long or short o, I use the long because then it sounds like okra. As a good little southern girl I love okra! Moving on. So as it turns out it is an easy little instrument to play. I bought a 10 dollar plastic one and a much more expensive book to teach me. I can now play Twinkle, Twinkle, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Ode to Joy, London Bridge, Long Long Ago, Kumbaya! Of course only while looking at the song book. Basically at this point I have one octave learned not counting flats or sharps.
My ocarina is a soprano C and I really prefer lower notes, so I am eyeing an alto C that is a little more, but still really inexpensive. My one problem is my hands get really sore quickly. But I have found a great nerve cream that seems to help and I work in small bursts. The other problem is I do not have the wind of my younger self. I quit smoking 15 years ago, but it still affects me. I’ll build back up though. Anyway, I am very excited to have music back in my life. It is a mood booster for me and I like learning new stuff.