What My Flute Means To Me

Andrea B. Reiter | February 2014

My flute means many different things to me.

My flute is my time machine. She puts me in touch with the music of the past as well as the present. I can visit people of the past by playing their beautiful flute music. For example, I can journey to Europe in the 18th century when I play music of the Baroque era. I can visualize myself playing for people in powdered wigs who are doing the minuet at the Court of Louis XIV. I can watch people dancing the waltz in the 19th century to my flute accompaniment. Since flute in some manner has been used virtually throughout history, I have a wide gamut of choices for my travels.

My flute is my cheap psychiatrist. I can be so thoroughly absorbed in practicing and playing my flute that nothing else matters. I can forget that the world exists when the effort becomes intense. If I have a plane ride (yes, I am a bit phobic about flying), I always read my flute music and picture myself playing as the plane is taking off. My concentration works the same way.

My flute is my obnoxious sister when practicing doesn’t go easily. She’ll say that she’s not going to cooperate. I’ll wheedle and cajole and try every angle to have smooth going. Eventually, she’ll give in. Or not. Sometimes I just have to try to convince her on a different day to allow me to play a passage properly.

Sometimes my flute is my best friend. When she is with me, she enjoys the music as much as I do. We smile at each other and share the same thoughts. Sometimes my flute is my appreciative audience. I’m playing for her and she loves it.

Other times, my flute is my teacher. Often she channels Mr. Quantz or other writers of how to flute manuals. She listens to what they have to say and explains to me their advice. Then I play better.

My flute is also my Santa Claus because she brings me many gifts. She gives me the gift of feeling like a rich lady because I have such a beautiful, shiny instrument that sings to me very sweetly.

She gives me the gift of belonging to a community. She not only shows me that I am part of the chain of all flute players who ever lived but she also makes me feel welcomed in the society of those who play this beautiful instrument today. (She helped me to be part of more than 2,000 flutists who set a Guinness Book of World Records record for a massed flute choir at the National Flute Association Convention in New York City.)

Most important though, my flute is my security blanket. Everything is all right when I have my flute with me.

So – what does my flute mean to me? In one word, my flute means LOVE.