clarinet · OLLI

And classes begin

Tuesdays have become my busiest day in retirement.  And today, it got a little busier!  I began a ukulele class at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) as a part of the OLLI program.  OLLI stands for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and is a learning organization for adults 50 and over.  However, there really are not any age restrictions when signing up – as far as I can tell everyone is welcome!  It is perfect for those with a little extra time and a desire to learn something new.

So for this class cycle I signed up for beginning ukulele on Tuesdays and beginning French on Thursdays.  I attended the ukulele class and it is truly a beginner class.  But this is the best place to start!  I may know some of the chords but I don’t think I could have skipped to the intermediate class – I just don’t know enough of the chords.  The thing that has impressed me about anything I have done with the OLLI organization is the friendliness of the participants.  Everyone from the volunteers to the teachers to the students have been welcoming and friendly.  For someone as introverted as myself, this has made it much easier to try and integrate into the group.  Maybe I’ll even find myself making new friends despite myself!

And of course Tuesdays is the day I have my clarinet lesson.  I’m feeling much more confident about playing in front of a teacher – I’m still not as good as I want to be and a little self conscious about someone hearing all the mistakes I make but I want to learn and this is what I need to do in order to improve!  Today, I couldn’t play anything correctly.  My fingers felt three times larger than they are and I couldn’t make them push the keys in the proper order!  I’m not sure what was going on but I just call it a day with fumble fingers.  But we talked through what I needed to do with a few problem areas I’m working on  and I feel optimistic after each of these classes.  I’ll be working on long tones and on trying to get a little muscle memory into my fingers for passages that have fingerings that challenge me.  Taking lessons has been an item I’ve wanted to do for many years and I’m eager to learn.  I again look at where I am right now and feel gratitude for the contentment that I have finally achieved……….

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