Back to band Practice.

Some of you may or may not know I use to be in two bands. I left one about 5 years ago however two years ago I also left my favourite band KCCB. I was never very confident after my repetitive hospital admissions sitting in the hall full of 50+ musicians, I was 4 flutes away from the end of the row and with music stands and instruments I worried about being able to get out of line if I felt a seizure coming on. My head was always aching, I was always tired and my joints ached and sitting playing music for that long was also hard. It seemed like I had no choice.
I still use to play music at home with my backing tracks but it wasn’t the same. I didn’t have the stanimer and it wasn’t the best when stopping half way through a tune to hook myself up to oxygen.

So as you can see in the blog life just continued and I got into craft and that was it. However My friend had been coming over and saying about going to the band and about me going back. This was a good friend who had been with me all through the crap and visited me in hospital. He played music too and very often he would bring his sax or trumpet over and we’d play along to the backing tracks… (we still do). One day on september 3rd 2012 it was decided and I was going to go back to band.

I was so nervous and scared.. what if i had a seizure? what if i knocked everything flying or drop my flute? well ok i did drop my flute but it survived!
The seizures were still not controlled and I was having absences throughout every day as i still am and the big seizures were still unpredictable however I had thought about going back a lot and came to the conclusion that i could not let epilepsy take away everything I loved.

I had had to stop my work/job/career which i loved  and couldn’t drive and so many other things that I had been stopped doing because of the beast.. It was NOT going to take my music away too.
So Mark picked me up and we went to band.
I took my flute but only played for half as I went and sat at the back cos blowing was making me dizzy but over all the eve was fab. I had forgotten that buzz of sitting on the front row and the sudden rawwww of instruments coming behind. It made me jump ! It surprised me how relaxed I was when playing music. It was the best drug id taken in years! (music to musicians is a drug… its addictive too).

Music made me happy. Music still makes me happy. I enjoyed that night and from then on I have been back to band almost every week. I do still panic if the chairs are arranged a bit tightly and I cant see a easy way out if i need to. Only at the last gig I had to make sure I had a quick exit just in case.. I am now 3rd in line and playing first flute with two wonderful ladies. It helps to be playing the same part as them as I still cant see out my left eye and so depending how we’re sitting that night or that concert sometimes i cant actually see the conductor very well but i can see glints of the other players flute move up and down, which tells me where we are as ive pretty much learnt how each player holds their flute. It sounds bonkers but I know what i mean and it works.

I was a bit upset one week at band when Id been playing first flute and two of the pieces i got given back were 2nd. Well normally I wouldn’t moan but as I cant see very well I work of memory quite alot and that close to a concert I was a bit grr as to why anyway. the problem was sorted and i got my pieces of music back. I also like playing the same as like i said above… its like having a backup conductor ha ha.

Anyway this is going well for me I love being back at band and I am enjoying seeing everybody again.  Its not only the music but the friends, the conversation it makes life better. The music is hypnotising and makes me forget about all my troubles and just enjoy the music and the moment. Yes Ive had a couple of blips but ive not knocked any stands over yet.
I often loose my place in my music due to an absence seizure – and one of these caused me to drop my flute but it survived and I either find my place in the music or by the time ive come out and woken up so to speak the music has finished but it is still the best thing i done. I Love Monday nights and band and the whole atmosphere. It means I have something to look forward to every week and i love it.
Music is amazing and has given me back a piece of me !

you can view Kent Coastal Concert Band on my youtube channel at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *