Friday 12th September- Day 5 of Student Life- My First attempt at Busking

In the morning I went climbing with a friend I made at a party in our flat. Climbing in Freshers week is free. It was fun. Making friends is much easier now that I can hear people clearly. I’m a little older than most first years, although not by much. That’s because after school I had two years spent doing college courses, learning new skills, and going to lip reading classes. Those two years gave me time to catch up with my own age group socially. My problems with Auditory Processing Disorder was much reduced by the time I left school, thanks to Johansen IAS therapy, but I hadn’t adjusted to being able to hear clearly. I still had a lot to learn, including social skills I hadn’t learned as a child. The two-year gap let me move to full-time higher education and leave home when I was ready.

Yesterday I took out money for food shopping. I saw my bank balance and remembered that I play flute to a fairly high level, ideal for busking. Busking might help me earn a little extra money. I should have a student loan by next week, and my parents would help me if things got tight, but part of me also just wanted an excuse to play. For years my flute had sat in its case. The instrument I used to love more than anything just brought back memories of school and playing it made me feel sad and pissed off instead of happy. I should be grateful for the fantastic musical tuition and teachers I had, but classical music, intense studying and mind-grinding French Baroque just wasn’t for me. Constant failure in aural music classes because of my then undiagnosed serious Auditory Processing Disorder hadn’t helped. All the chords with their roman numeral names sounded exactly the same to me. In tests I used to guess the opposite answers to what I thought was right, because then I was more likely to be correct.

So for the first time after a five hear hiatus, I had a purpose for playing and the desire to play my flute. I phoned up the council and a man said that as long as I move after every 30 minutes and stay out of Princes Street Gardens, that’s fine. I don’t have an amplifier, and I am not another bagpiper, so he seemed all for it, and wished me luck.

I decided that Busking couldn’t be more disastrous than my attempt at orchestral drumming. Last night I was up late thinking of what pieces I could play to entertain people. French baroque stuff is not happening. In fact, I never have to play music I don’t like again. I realised that I could play whatever I like.

I played 3 songs on The Royal Mile, just to see what it was like. Funnily enough, it was more nerve-wracking before I started playing. Once I got going, it was okay. I used to have a fear of people looking at me, but they were just like, “there’s another street musician”. There are loads of musicians and entertainers on The Royal Mile, and I wasn’t nearly the most unusual thing they had seen. I packed up after a five-minute trial with an enthusiasm to try it again. Even if I don’t earn any money, Busking will be great to help with nerves when I play drums in front of people. Eventually we will have a gig, and I want to be as prepared as possible.

Before next time, I’ll  need to practice a whole bunch of music, enough songs to play for half an hour or so without repeating myself. For the first time since my first years at secondary school, I played my flute and enjoyed it.

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