I am just recovering from the flu, and yesterday felt like the first day I was able to step back up onto the podium to start conducting our family band again. The band was a mess. Somehow over the holidays we forgot the notes and rhythms of our once familiar song. We were all playing at our own tempo with a general disregard for the key signature. We were finding it difficult to settle back into a common rhythm despite my best efforts to keep us all together by frantically waving my arms in the air.
We spent the day rehearsing the same bars and measures of music. Each time, hoping that the overall sound would improve. As the day wore on, the rehearsals began to drag, and it seemed as though we would never reach the end of the piece. Improvement did not seem achievable. The motto, ‘practice makes perfect’ only works when the band all wants to play the same song!
When I started to lose hope in any form of music making, one single note rose up above the clamour, played by the littlest member of our band. The note was so clear, so pure, so beautiful, so needed. It was her first note; “mama.”