Why not try something new? | Portsmouth High School

Why not try something new?

On Sunday I dusted off my cello and settled down to play. This is very much a literal description as it took some time to clean it up and even longer to tune. Then there was the process of tracking down some music to play, eventually found in my cello bag in the back of what is affectionately known as ‘the cupboard of doom’.

The motivation for this resurgence of interest was not simply internal. Mr Tinsley asked me to join the orchestra to take part in our annual Gala Concert which is being held at the Cathedral on 12 February. He has asked me each year and I have declined due to being ‘too busy’. This year I have made it a target to help out and hopefully add something to the proceedings. As with physical exercise, it takes an external challenge to make me focus on getting in some practice or training.

Many of the girls are naturally intrinsically motivated and that is a joy to behold. The ability to do something for its own sake brings its own rewards. Many of us need an impetus to push us onto new or greater experiences. Just as the looming nature of a concert has made me bring my cello out of retirement, performances, matches and examinations make the girls focus on what they need to improve. There are also rewards for doing things well and many of PHS awards are based around the amount of effort.

The result of my experience at the weekend was that I rediscovered how much fun it was to sit and play music. This was especially apparent when my daughter picked up her flute and joined in, leading to a special family moment. Although her skill now eclipses mine it is something we can enjoy together and this is all down to being encouraged to take part in something new.