I used to be a half decent amateur musician, playing clarinet, saxophone, bassoon and the recorder, before the Parkinson’s struck. Rarely a soloist, happy enough to be in the chorus or playing the bass or harmony parts in woodwind ensembles. I really enjoyed being an honorary member of the music department in the schools where I taught. More of this later (I intend to use it as filler if I can’t think of anything topical).
For most people their experience of the recorder is limited to hearing a few shrill, squeaking descant recorders in the hands of children who will either (a) move onto a ‘proper instrument’ soon or (b) never touch a musical instrument again.
The recorder is a proper instrument, with a long and interesting history and played properly can sound quite wonderful.
So what is my experiment? When I first realised that the Parkinson’s meant I couldn’t coordinate fingers, tongue and breathing as well as I could once I stopped playing – the joy had gone. Now I have decided to give it another go. The breath control needed will be useful and practicing the fingering will be good for me; at least I hope it will. I shall provide regular updates.
Plus it’s a excuse for me to arrange the Dr Who soundtrack music by Murray Gold.