One of the perks of working from home is that if for whatever reason (and, let’s face it, if you’re in a procrastinative mood, any reason is good enough) you feel like a break you can take one. I don’t mean playing facebook scrabble, or checking the definition of a drupe on wikipedia, all the while trying to look busy and keeping a watchful eye out for your manager; I mean a proper break, maybe away from your desk or doing something not usually allowed in an office.
I’ve recently turned to the latter. Long-term readers (all 8 of you) will know that I have been accompanying an Irish fiddler on the guitar for about a year. Just before Christmas I got the urge to have a go at an instrument more traditionally associated with carrying the melody, so I got a tin whistle.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for every parent to campaign for their schools to teach the tin whistle instead of the recorder.
- It has a much nicer sound, particularly when placed in unskilled sounds
- It’s got a much more fun, unstuffy repertoire
- Last, but definitely not least, a tin whistle has no wrong notes on it! It has all the notes of the D or C scale on it (typically) and though you still have to hit the right ones to play a tune it’s much harder to sound as disastrously wrong as you can on a chromatic instrument.
But back to the point. My current preferred displacement activity from work is playing the tin whistle, and I reccommend any home-workers who read this to try it out. Just get yourself a whistle for a tenner or so, read brother steve’s website to understand tin whistle technique, listen to some tunes on youtube (Planxty are a good place to start as a lot of the pipe songs are in the same key as a standard whistle and not too fast to hear the notes), and try and copy them (or if you read music find the score on the session).
As a warning though, it does become addictive. For instance, during the writing of this post I’ve played two reels and a hornpipe.
And I’m about to have a crack at a jig.