Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Spitting rice and more: Reflections from Flutist Amelia Bruce

Flutist and Talent Trust recipient Amelia Bruce recently took time to share reflections on her music and practice with us.

Amelia is currently completing her Masters in Music Performance from McGill University and is also the recipient of the Talent Trust 2019 Raymond Simpson Award.

What are your earliest memories of your art?

I started playing the flute when I was six years old, and one of the very first memories I have is sitting in my home spitting rice across the living room haha. This was an exercise my first teacher had me do to learn to tongue and make a sound. I remember having so much fun spitting my rice day after day, and for weeks my family and I kept finding hidden grains of rice all over the floor!

Another early memory I have is at a studio recital when I was around 10 years old. I was playing a really difficult piece from memory. I remember being so nervous and thought my fingers would completely forget the piece once I got on stage. I remember it going well and feeling really proud of myself! 

What has been your greatest challenge in relation to your art? Why?

Although there are many challenges that come with being a musician and performer, one of my biggest challenges up to date is consistency in practice time. When holidays, vacations, and especially summer break roll around, I sometimes find it quite difficult to stick to my practice routine. I remember specifically after my first year of my Bachelor's degree in flute performance and coming home for the summer, I really slacked in my practice for those few months. I definitely noticed I had to work longer and harder in September once I went back to school, and since then I've tried to keep a more consistent practice routine, although I definitely still have lots of work to do! A couple of things that I find help me stick to my routine are firstly, keeping a practice journal where the night before I write out a specific practice plan for the following day, and giving myself small breaks throughout my practice for the day.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 year, in relation to your art?

In five years time, I hope to have performance opportunities including chamber and orchestra work, while keeping up with a private flute studio. I have always loved performing so I am hopeful to continue to find performance opportunities in the future. I have also always had a strong interest in teaching, as I have worked with children for many years in various ways such as nannying, music and sport. I am currently teaching private students, and I am excited to continue doing so over the next several years!

What aspect of your art/practices 'fills your cup' the most?

The aspect of my music "fills my cup" the most is giving a performance that I know was the best I could deliver in that moment. Feeling as though my hard work and practice has paid off, along with hoping I touched someone in the audience, gives me confidence, motivation and discipline to keep enjoying and improving myself as a musician!

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