And just like that, there are 3 weeks left until classes begin. My email has been buzzing the past few days. Reminders about parking passes… Informational emails about auditions for various musical groups… Don’t forget to purchase a meal plan… Check to see what textbooks you will need… Rehearsal time for trumpet ensemble… Trumpet lesson day and time… Group trumpet warmup times… The list goes on a bit…
Then, yesterday, a total of 23 emails and text messages telling me that items have been uploaded for my Religion in China class.
WHAT HAVE I DONE?
I’ve had more than a few of those moments over the summer. I feel behind before I’ve begun. For all intents and purposes, I am starting over, even though I do have enough transfer credits to be considered a sophomore it is unlikely that I will graduate any sooner than if I were to start completely from scratch. Many of those transfer credits are just there unless I find a way to fit them into a minor of some sort…
A Music Ed major is rather involved and after discussion with the head of the music department and the trumpet professor, I declined to take any transfer credits for music courses even if eligible. In part, so I can get the most current information and not have to try to piece together information I received 30 years ago with something new. I also want to give myself time to catch up on my playing.
It has been only about 2 years now since I picked up my trumpet and began playing it on a fairly regular basis. Other than a few false starts a few years prior to that, it had been about 30 years since I had played it so being in a position to go back to school for music still seems to be rather far fetched to me. And yet, in 3 weeks, that is exactly what will be happening.
I’m not downplaying how far my playing has actually come in a short period of time. After all, I only played in a group for the first time in about 30 years in June of last year at the International Trumpet Guild conference. I joined a community band the following September, which led to joining two others, and only became aware of Westminster College in November at which point I started taking lessons from the trumpet professor, sitting in with the trumpet ensemble and by the end of April was auditioning for the school of music. All of this with an embouchure that is completely different than it was 30 years ago. Not just changes from getting older, but completely rebuilt on the inside.
Forget “What have I done,” it’s more like “How is this even happening?”
The first time around, I was more confident in my playing abilities and less interested in actual classwork. I’ve learned a lot over the years and forgotten more than that. I am approaching this chapter from a much different angle than I was back then so I am looking forward to seeing what happens from here. I’m a bit disappointed in not being in the marching band this year, but given the short period of time I’ve been playing, it is probably best to wait on that.
Regardless, it is almost time to roll up my sleeves and get to it. I’ve spent the summer practicing technique and while I’m not at the level I want to be, I am where I should be.