Following an accident last year leaving me unable to play my flute, I contacted Help Musicians UK who helped me enormously during the interim months between accident and return to work. I wanted to organise a fundraising concert for them to raise money and awareness for the work they do. The concert was a 45 minute woodwind trio recital followed by tea and cakes at my mother’s house and 23 people attended the concert and we just about managed to squeeze them all into her living room!
I am pleased to say we raised £140 as a result which will go directly to Help Musicians UK.
My musical career began back in 1993 after graduating from Birmingham University. Over the years I have enjoyed playing in various orchestras and chamber groups as well as teaching the flute in many different schools and at home. Having started playing the flute at 9 it had become not only the one stable thread through my adult life but also something I took fairly for granted and certainly not something I ever thought I would find myself not being able to do.
However last year whilst on holiday in Lanzarote I was involved in a nasty cycling accident. One of the first things I thought of when I had my accident was how it was going to affect my flute playing. Losing 6 top teeth and severely damaging my top lip in addition to multiple jaw breaks seemed about the worst accident I could have had as a Flautist. I will never forget the day, several weeks after coming home from hospital, I mustered up the courage to take my flute out of its case to find I couldn't make a sound out of it.
I didn't think I'd play again.
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After much positive encouragement and ideas from friends I contacted Help Musicians UK. I had a visit from Matthew Dewhurst and they offered me support which allowed me to make the journey that has taken me right back to being a beginner, adjusting my embouchure and thinking about aspects of my technique that I had long since taken foregranted.
10 months on I was able to return to Sinfonia of Birmingham for their summer concert (albeit for a fairly 'safe' programme, playing 2nd flute!).
I am still at least a year away from 'completion', currently awaiting a bone graft and 6 top tooth implants and some corrective surgery to my top lip but I am increasing hopeful that my flute playing will eventually get back to where it used to be, and I hope that the spiritual and emotional journey I have been on might even make me a better musician!