Tomorrow Is My Birthday.

Tomorrow Is My Birthday.

Number 69, thankyouverymuch. I need some feedback on a question I think a lot about these days. I am a very active player (more on that later), so my question does not center on the here and now, but I have several superb flutes that will outlive me. My fondest wish is that they end up in the hands of players who can do them justice, but not afford to buy instruments of their quality. I won’t want money for them, I want good homes. I haven’t a clue as to how to go about this when the time seems appropriate, so I hereby solicit your thoughts. I don’t want to publish exactly what I have right now, but suffice it to say I have five total, not all of them Irish.

Now, I’d like to share with you a video I produced and play on. It’s not Irish, but I’m very proud of how it turned out. It is brand new and went up on YouTube last week. Not looking for comments, just wanted to share and, hey, it’s my freakin’ birthday!

https://youtu.be/6tnVo73djyY

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A very happy birthday to you! When you feel the time is coming, can you entrust the flutes to someone(s) you trust to pass them on to the right people? They don’t even need to be musicians, if they’re discerning enough.

If you choose the right people, this can work very well. A few years back I was the lucky recipient in just such a situation: Some dear friends passed on a violin that had belonged to one of _their_ dear friends, who’d asked them to caretake her instruments and pass them on. It was (and is) a very special gift that I couldn’t possibly have afforded at the time, and it’s all the more special because when they gave me the violin they told me some stories about the owner, whom I’d never had the chance to meet.

However… if you go that route, it’d be worth making sure your friend(s) know any special care instructions that go with the flutes, so they’ll be in good shape when the right person comes along!

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Happy birthday Ailin.

Is there an Irish music school or Comhaltas branch near you that you could donate the instruments to, getiing good instruments into the hands of young players is always a good thing.

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Happy Birthday Mate. I’ve long enjoyed your contribution to the discussions. Lovely video, and I totally share your philosophy of passing on cherished instruments to the right people. To do so is a virtue of the musical soul. Good on you Ailin.

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Happy birthday! Up Neptune’s kingdom! I hope you are still playing flute many decades from now, but it is a wonderful gesture to pass on your surfeit of flutes to those that will benefit from them. I must state that I would be in no way a worthy recipient of one of your flutes, since I already own two (plus one pending repair), which have not come anywhere near my lips in at least 5 years. Perhaps I should consider a similar gesture…

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Yes, indeed, Happy Birthday - nearly three score and ten (but you don’t look it, of course).

Being a mere youngster (who has lost most of his hair before his sixty-fourth birthday, which is not "many years from now" but, in fact, less than two weeks away) the "final" destination of my (ten) instruments, nevertheless, has been a thought of mine for some time.
I do have some ideas of musical acquaintances who, being less financially comfortable, might appreciate an extra instrument. However, most of them are my generation and now that I’m not teaching anymore I don’t have much contact with younger players. It might be a case of me getting in touch with local music schools for suggestions, but then I might live for another thirty years.

However you plan to distribute your instruments, it is important to make sure you have someone you can trust absolutely to carry out your wishes.

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First of all, you don’t have to do anything very complicated to give your wishes legal effect: just clearly stating in your will that you leave items A, B, and C in trust to X, Y, and Z to be given to promising players without means. The only question is who X, Y, and Z should be. I would suggest making one of them the "musical" decision maker, and the other someone whose probity you have faith in. I think it’s all too easy if you hand responsibility to one person, that they end up at the back of a cupboard and ultimately found by a relative clearing out when they pass on forty years later…

One thing though - a lot of instrument makers do a lot of unsung work making instruments on the quiet for young talents, and often have a very good idea of who would be well placed to receive such an instrument.

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Happy Birthday Ailin

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Happy Birthday Ailin. Loved the video. You don’t look at all as I had imagined. Good luck bequeathing your flutes.

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Thanks for the video, Wendy, Glenn & Alan! Have a good 69th.
I’m still drinking my early coffee so I might have some ideas about your flutes once my brain wakes up.
Great to know you are thinking about the music and deserving, appreciative people.

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Happy Birthday Ailin! I turned 70 today. I have a slew of instruments as well and at the point where my hands no longer work, I figure I can donate the instruments to some establishment with an Irish trad music program.

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Happy BD, Alan. You do a fine job of filling that big flute all the down to its bottom G, and outdoors as well. So I predict many more years of happy fluting for you. What make is the instrument? Chet

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Jupiter. The audio was recorded in a studio, but still…

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Happy birthday, Ailin! I am older than you, but haven’t yet made any plans where my instruments might go after my demise. No doubt the grandkids will take the digital piano/keyboard as they already have what was our old trusty upright piano. My son will probably bag the guitar and mandolin, but not sure who will go for my 2 B/C button accordions! A friend did have her eye on one of them……! And they are actually worth more than any of the previously named instruments.

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I really appreciate the good wishes expressed in the responses to my post. I want to emphasize, though, that my dilemma stems primarily from the fact that, unlike fiddles, guitars, mandolins and such, my flutes are mostly of interest to players of Irish music. Other instruments can be passed down or donated with a reasonable expectation that they will end up in the hands of a musician who will be delighted to assume ownership. My flutes have a specialized appeal to a relatively small audience. Making a good match is the challenge. I don’t want these gems to languish in an attic, or worse, end up in the dustbin because whomever comes across them won’t know their value or their use.

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Ailin, it’s a good challenge. Do you think Casey Burns or Terry McGee might know anyone who would really appreciate one of your flutes? I remember at Lark Camp when Casey was able to provide a 17 year old player with one of his flutes, both John Skelton & Jack Gilder actually got him to make a few adjustments. She was stoked.

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That would be a good suggestion if I were doing it now, but Casey and Terry are both older than I am, I believe. Others, of course, will rise up in the coming years and may prove good resources when the time comes.

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Sorry, didn’t mean to rush anything.

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Happy Birthday.

I’ve given away two flutes. If you find the right person - it’s very gratifying to know that you helped them on their learning journey.

Comhaltas branches are generally good (non-commercial, community initiatives) at encouraging young players and any branch would likely find really worthy candidates.

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Happy Birthday Ailin and Callison! Your thought is a noble and generous one! My first thought would be to talk to someone who teaches a lot, say Kevin Crawford or Catherine McEvoy, maybe. They teach players all over the world, and would certainly know gifted young players that are in dire need of instruments that are beyond their means to purchase. The only problem with that is that the time frame is unknown at this point. So maybe you work out an agreement with them ahead of time and make it clear what your intentions are, so that when the day comes that you’re knocking on heaven’s door, they would be able to provide names and contact information for potential recipients to whomever is handling your estate…

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You’ve placed a good idea in my head. Over the years, I have been in casual contact with Hammy Hamilton and even more so with Robert Bigio. I’ll bet they would be able to help. Thank you!

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Happy Birthday Ailin, and many, many more to come.

You’ve the same problem my wife and I both have. What to do with a number of High Quality Instruments when Last Call is announced? Unless our Grandkids decide to start learning to play any instruments (and all of them are under 6 right now), the last thing we want to see is any of them just stuffed in a closet unused.
So we approached our Lawyer, and it’s set up in our will. We both want to see them bequethed to promising musicians that are unable to afford top shelf instruments. So the executor is to approach the District Public School Music Director and/or the local University Music Director, to assist in picking a recipient(s).

If one of the Grandkids begins to show interest, talent in music, we’ll change
our will. We’ll just have to wait and see what unfolds.

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It’s a problem. I put it right up there with the common complaint about "millennials" and our Rose Medallion Tea Sets. Seems like no one wants them. I’ve got a bunch of fiddles, some flutes, other instruments. None of the offspring/family has any interest. Most of the friends I would give stuff to are in my age group or close to it, though some of them have children that might play in a few years. The current batch of executors are family and would not be happy at having to find good homes for my"babies". True story: friend of a friend found a $35K violin (needed repair) in a dumpster. I looked it up online to find what it was worth, told him to take it to David Bromberg. In A BLEEPing dumpster! People have no clue. This is the thing we face.
What I might do with the stringed instruments is donate them (well some of them ) to the local underprivileged childrens’ orchestras, thus taking some of the load off the executor. Hoping one of my daughters will want the Rose Medallion stuff.