My last two weeks were very busy... even that might be an understatement. Performances, attending a wedding, traveling, homework, practicing, working, extra rehearsals, all of the behind-the-scenes work that nobody ever sees. If you're a musician or music major, you know what I'm talking about.
On top of everything that life threw at me, I got sick. It's really hard to practice when phlegm is stuck in your throat and prevents you from breathing out of your nose. Trust me on that one. It was so tough to stay positive and productive. I didn't practice as much as I should AND I allowed negative thoughts to occupy my mind. "What am I doing here?" "Should I just quit?" "Let's be honest, I'm probably the laughing stock of the entire music school... I can't even play Dvorak 8."
*Dear self, DON'T DO THIS AGAIN.*
As awful as those things may sound, I did think those things - those thoughts ran through my mind. I know I'm not the laughing stock of the music school here. Nobody is. BUT I realized that I allowed my anxiety to control my mind. I was overrun with sad thoughts and it showed. A lot of people asked me how I was doing and I didn't give a very positive response. People came to me and told me they were worried about me. Even my mom, who is 4 hours away, sent me a text to check up on me. (Lesson #43781: Check on your strong friends, y'all.)
This Wednesday was no different. It was the 10-year anniversary of my great-grandma's passing. It was not easier than any year before. My great-grandma was an absolutely amazing woman and was afflicted by Alzheimer's, dementia, a few mini-strokes, and overall failing health in the last few years of her life. She did not let anything stop her, which is probably where I got it from. When I started taking piano lessons, she was having hip problems and couldn't walk next door, where I lived, to hear me play something. I would call her and play for her over the phone and RUN next door to hear what she thought. I picked up flute in 5th grade and she loved to hear me play what little I could at that point.
The night my grandma passed away was my 8th grade night - ya know, where 8th graders join the high school marching band for halftime. That night was so much fun! My mom and I got home and received a call saying my great-grandma had passed that evening. I remember thinking to myself "Wow, she held on until I was done playing. I should keep playing for her." aaaaaaaaand here I am!
It's no surprise that I started a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/morganfrederickflute) for professional stuff and whatnot, where I'm hoping people will contact me for lessons or hear about me for future job opportunities. Wednesday night, I received a message from an activity director who works at a local assisted living facility. I thought, "Great, this is exactly what this page was created for. I'm so excited, etc etc etc." I continued reading through my excitement because I thought I something interesting ahead. She asked if a few friends and I would be willing to play for their residents around the holidays. Even more specifically, she mentioned how important and helpful music can be to the residents who have dementia.
My jaw dropped. I looked at the clock -- 10:30pm.
My first thought was "It's a sign." You may or may not believe in signs, but I do. This was aligned far too well to not be a sign. Also recall how much of a crappy week I'd been having... This was the turn around moment. It felt too good to be true, but it was. I went in to Thursday with a light heart and a clear, focused mind. I shared my story with people close to me and their faces matched the emotion I felt when I received the message.
Long story short, I accepted the invitation and told the woman who sent me the message about how her timing could not have been more perfect. The sign I received from my great-grandma was nothing short of necessary and I am so lucky to have had her help in refocusing my mind that night. Thank you, Meemaw.
Hey there! I'm Morgan, a flutist and educator, who is ready to help beginning and intermediate flute students of all ages CRUSH their performance anxiety and reach their musical goals!