First of all, I would just like to thank anyone who took the time out to pray for my sister-in-law, Dianne. I’m a firm believer in prayer … even when the answer is “no”. She passed away 2 days ago, and I’m relieved that her exhaustion and struggling has ended. We are a family of believers so I know she is with Jesus.

Secondly, I’ve been reflecting on so many situations that I’ve seen fellow members in: the member that comes to play his or her instrument while their spouse or partner is sick or even in hospice, the member that finds out a family member died that day but still comes to practice, the member that may be struggling with cancer themselves, or maybe they’re having a physical problem that just makes it hard to play. The list goes on and on. We come to practice for a lot of reasons. We want to play, we want to learn, we want to somehow sound better as an individual and as a group. But often showing up is more than that. It may be just being around a lot of people because you are alone most of the time. It may be escaping temporarily all the things going wrong – sometimes practice is just a piece of normalcy.

I know for myself that I’m so focused on getting things right that I’m not sensitive to others. After all, most of us come to practice and no one is aware of what is going on. So, I’m going to throw out to us as members and teachers (and mostly myself) something to work on. To not get so frustrated with the little things. I’m going to make a concerted effort to give people a break(even myself a break). We don’t have to sound perfect, although it’s always good to try. I mean, that’s technically the goal. But sometimes there are more important things in life.

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