Hit by Covid? Play trumpet

Hit by Covid? Play trumpet

Daily Comfort Zone

norman lebrecht

November 30, 2022

From a reader’s remedy in the New York Times magazine:

Covid caught up to me in May of this year. My symptoms were not dangerous, but they were persistent; I counted 12 days, 14, 16, and I still couldn’t eat normally or function for more than a few hours without exhaustion and physical pain. My mental-health symptoms, meanwhile, were devastating and worsened as the days passed. I couldn’t see the point of anything; I couldn’t stop crying; I couldn’t imagine a time when these things would change….

So I decided to relearn trumpet in a more committed way: by joining a community band. I found a no-audition ensemble near me and filled out the online interest form. I received a welcome text from my new section leader and a card in the mail, telling me how the band was sure to be better because I had joined. The first time I attended rehearsal, I played a single note, badly, then spent the rest of the 90 minutes listening. Throughout the following week, I practiced at home every day, switching on the metronome and playing long tones until my lips gave out. When the next Tuesday evening rolled around, I could play. Not well, but well enough. It felt astonishing, a revelation: Sometimes, things get better instead of worse….

The author is Shea Tuttle (pictured). The full article is here.



  • Fred Funk says:

    Yet another inspirational story for Larry the viola player. Put in your units, Larry.

  • Hayne says:

    Try early treatment next time.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    The number of non-paying community bands in America is becoming astonishing. In most cases, you actually pay into the band. People do it for the love of making music, and to participate in some form of camaraderie. In many cases, the level of musicianship can be very high (certainly not always). If you wonder how this can be possible, go listen to the top wind ensembles at major universities and conservatories around the country. One of the most jaw dropping groups I’ve ever heard was the wind ensemble from the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana. I head them do a wind ensemble transcription of “The Rite of Spring”, that was every bit as good as the best orchestral performances I’ve ever heard of “Le Sacre”.