tunebook 198 tunes.

Not really sure what to say. Well, my name is Vanessa and I live in Cork. By the way I am German and moved to Ireland when I was 18, so since I am almost 37 it’s nice for me to think that I spent most of my life in Ireland, but unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to loose my dreadful German accent although I do feel Irish at heart (I hope that doesn’t sound too silly). And as to Irish music: From reading the posts I know most of you live and breathe Irish traditional music, and if not you have some other kind of musical background. Unfortunately, I don’t – all I have is a great love for ITM. Never in my life would I have dared to step on what I consider to be sacred and holy ground by learning an instrument myself because I always believed I lacked an aptitude for music. Still, I have always dreamed about learning the Irish Black Flute and also the harp and the fiddle. And just some months ago with the help of a friend, I finally found my courage and through a most magical encounter came into the possession of a wooden black flute, which I have christened Feochán – after one of my favourite flute songs. So, now I am teaching myself at home – I would not even dare to try to go to lessons because I am really starting from scratch and would be a teacher’s worst nightmare. Also, stuff like ABC notations, time value of notes, and words like e-dorian etc are way beyond me, so what I do is I take the written notation and listen to a recording of a song I want to learn and literally feel my way through the music – then I try to play it by first looking at what I call the little flying dots on the ladder before learning the tune off by heart. Regrettably, my fingering is still very slow, my ornamentation clumsy, and I do not always hit a clean note in the higher octaves – but I love it nonetheless and I feel I am literally living a dream. I know I have a very long way to go but I am having a wonderful enriching time. Unfortunately, I will never be good enough to play at sessions with others but I love going to them to just listen, enjoy and learn. However, I can’t go as often as I would like to because I am a full-time carer for my wonderful husband and soulmate who has Multiple Scelorosis - so time and opportunity are often limited but when I do go to sessions I am the one sitting there in the corner with a big smile on my face because I am in heaven. Well, so as not to bore you (which I probably have anyway), I am going to stop here but to summarise: I am someone who is pretty clueless musically and that’s why I love this site because I can learn a lot here. So, thank you!

And here’s a little update:

It’s roughly about three months ago when I first wrote my description and since then something wonderful has happened - I’m actually doing something which I thought I’d never do - I’m taking flute lessons🙂. This would not have been possible had it not been for the advice and encouragement of the members here on this board who helped me find the courage to take this step. So a big thank you to you all and of course to my amazing flute tutor who is opening a new wonderous world to me.

As things are right now (July 2007):

Unfortunately, late last summer, I began to develope Carpal Tunnel syndrom in both hands/wrists which put a stop to most of my practising and playing - sadly it also put an end to my flute lessons, at least for the time being. Saw a specialist recently and waiting for more tests and then hopefully I will get the go-ahead to get the carpal tunnel surgery done which according to my consultant should put me back on track.

Right at this moment I can tolerate to play 5 minutes a day - better than nothing but not enough to make much progress or to revise and retain all the tunes I learnt - but then I tell myself, hey, every little counts or how does the saying go: “It only takes one step to climb a mountain…”

Update March 2008:

Hip hip hurray - I will get my two Carpal Tunnel operations this year and then there will be no stopping me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Update October 08:

Had carpal tunnel op on right hand at the end of July… unfortunately as it looks the nerve was damaged during surgery - one of those things that can happen - I’m still going ahead with the operation on my left hand… if I just had one good hand it’d be a bonus… as to playing the flute again… it will be 12 months before I know for sure since I was told nerves can regenerate for that period… after that the window of opportunity closes so at this point I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel yet… ‘what will be will be’ I suppose… well, if all else fails I’ll take up sean nos singing in the banshee style😉

It’s been a week since I had op on left and it appears to be a success - function is coming back into fingers and if progress continues surgeon will try to go back and operate a second time on right hand in the hope it will give me back some function… who knows what will happen… so I’ll just sit back and wait and see…

… but at times I do find it tough… all the years of waiting… all the obstacles… all the hurdles… of holding the dream briefly only to have it litterally slip from my hands… and yet that dream of learning to play the flute is just so strong and I’m yearning… and the longing never fades but becomes more painful as the days and years pass…

… and maybe now it’s time for me to take up the violin 😉