I’ve decided to undertake a new hobby. I mean, between martial arts, my Buddhist studies and fitness, writing my blog, reading dozens of books a year and taking care of my son, I have so few hobbies, right?
I’ve decided to learn the pan flute. I found a unique opportunity to get my hands on one for only $14. Considering traditional bamboo pan flutes usually go for $80 to $100, minimum, it was something I couldn’t pass up (I can hear my wife cursing the day I got a credit card as I type this!)
The pan flute is a traditional wood-tube wind instrument that was originally created by the ancient Greeks. It was believed used originally by shepherds and is thought to have been used as early as the third millennium BC. It usually contains a minimum of four to eight hollowed bamboo or wooden tubes and is known for it’s rich sound by blowing across the opening.
It’s often associated with specific soundtracks. For example, Gheorghe Zamfir played a full track of Japanese Pan Flute for the original Karate Kid movie in 1984 ( the video can be heard on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSlAk0GatQ0 and haunts my soul!). The sound was haunting and beautiful, and it has always stuck with me throughout my martial arts training. I’ve always dreamt of learning this instrument and now I have one. It’s important to to have goals.
Music can play an integral role in your mental and physical well-being. Music wears several different hats for someone who indulges, such as lessening stress and anxiety, improving your mood and facilitating exercise, provides ease and comfort as well as easing pain in certain specific circumstances.
Music can move people to tears, make them smile or alter their mood. I’ve been playing the guitar and singing (in small doses), for the past twenty years. I’m not professional or anything, but the playing of music has always provided a satisfaction akin to meditation, which as you may or may not know, I’m a bit of a fan!
Music is often used in physical activity as well as meditation. I hope to learn this instrument in short order and include it in my meditational routine. I’ll keep you guys posted and maybe even post a couple of sound bytes of me playing (if I can learn anything that sounds normal).
My point is, if you have the opportunity to learn and embrace a musical instrument, I highly recommend it. It can provide a certain amount of relaxation and all the benefits I named above, if you stick with it. It can also provide a certain level of discipline, which would be required to master any instrument. But if you stick with it and enjoy it (which is important) the benefits will far outweigh the efforts. ☯