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playing music

I'm interested in too many things to give any of them the time they deserve. Farming, baking, cycling, adventuring with my family... writing blog posts.... There are moment where I wish I could devote myself entirely to one of them, in order to do things properly; but of course I'd never be able to settle on which one. So I divide my time. Some of my interests, like reading, have fallen by the wayside as I devote every extra moment to hanging out with the kids; and none so completely as playing music.

It's not that I've ever been very good as a musician, but before Harvey was born I had plenty of opportunities to play: in the town band, the worship band at church (our previous church had a low bar for worship participation!), and around the house—Leah didn't complain too much about my noise. After I had a baby to worry about disturbing, though, I couldn't play as much at home. More importantly, all the diaper-changing and whatever meant that I didn't have time to spend two or three evenings a week out of the house, so I gave up playing with other people. And it's playing with other people that makes music interesting and makes me a better player.

So I was delighted this past weekend to attend an Oktoberfest party hosted by friends of ours, where, despite the presence of beer, brats, and pretzels, the main attraction was the communal live music!

Dan holding the cornet amongst other folks playing a living room concert

focusing on the music

The main attraction to those of us playing, at least; everyone else at least endured the noise. I was a little worried going into the evening, since it was so long since I've played at all, to say nothing of improvising with people I mostly didn't know, but in the event I acquitted myself pretty well. It helped that most of them weren't too accomplished, unlike the last time I played with other people: alongside two members of the very polished worship band at our current church I was too nervous to make very much noise. But this time I was able to keep up with the guitarists—mainly by holding my second valve down at all times—and harmonize reasonably with Sarah's trumpet. It was super fun, and it's a good thing Leah wasn't feeling well or I would have kept the kids out super late for not wanting to stop playing.

As it was we left at a very reasonable hour, but now I'm left wanting more. The electric bass is out in the playroom, and I took a few minutes off from painting the trim this afternoon to make some thumping sounds... who do I get to play with next?

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