About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, January 8, 2018

MSU Community Music School

Music Monday – The birds make music, so can you! Now Recruiting Members for the New Horizons Adult Community Band.

I had seen the flyers for years when my kids went to their music lessons at MSU Community Music School. I was interested in playing in a band but I hadn’t touched my instrument for decades. I wasn’t even sure I remembered how to play. Then last spring there was a signup sheet at the school to get more information. A few days after I signed the sheet, I heard back from Mary Ann, one of the members. It sounded like this band really could be something I could do, even though I hadn’t played in years. The New Horizons Band at Michigan State University really is a band for anyone with any level of experience that would like to play in a concert band. And the group is what makes this band different. Forget about Facebook and Twitter to get your “Social” fix. This is the old-fashioned way to meet and interact with people. While the opportunity to play music is the draw for me right now, NHB is designed for learning music and for social interaction and during a 2-hour practice, we take a 15 minute break half way through for snacks and conversation. I’ve met some wonderful people in the time I have been in the group and I may introduce some in future blogs.

Unlike some of the members of NHB, I did not play when I was in high school. I played in my school orchestra in junior high school but we didn’t have a high school orchestra. I decided not to try as a beginner to join the band in high school because most of those students had been playing for five years already, so I didn’t get my music fix and I have always regretted that I didn’t get to play in a concert or marching band. Never-the-less, I remembered hearing a saxophone in junior high and decided I would try it when I graduated from high school. I took private lessons for about a year, until my teacher moved away and then I played one semester in a college non-major concert band. I liked that but was too busy to keep up with it and my other courses. I put the sax away and only occasionally thought about it. In January 2017, I finally decided to sign up for the NHB. There are always excuses of being too busy to join and I did think about that but then decided I was just making excuses. I wanted to play and so I would make the time to play. I actually joined the group a week after the semester started because I did need to talk myself into it. There is definitely a fear factor of being new to playing in a group after being away for so long. But now I tell everyone that that should not be a reason. You are welcome here. If you are still unsure, send me an email and I can tell you more about the group. You can visit for a practice or two and see what we do. You don’t have to commit to anything. Bring your instrument and play along for a bit. You still do not need to commit but you will want to. If you have never played or want to try a different instrument you can sit with a section and see and talk to others before deciding. You will not be forced to do anything. There are no auditions, no first chair competitions, no forced solos. Just a chance to play music in a fun group. When I joined, I brought my instrument so I could try to play. I don’t think I did very well but I enjoyed the chance to play and now my only regret is that I waited so long to join.

If you would like to talk to me in person or have questions about joining, I will be at the Wild Birds Unlimited East Lansing store this Saturday (January 13, 2018) from 10am to about noon and would be happy to answer any questions.
The new semester starts the week of January 22 but you can visit any day before or after during a practice to see what we do. You can also visit the Community Music School Sunday January 21 between 3-5pm during their Open House to get more information.

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