Flute Memes: My Favorites

Flute Memes

Social media is overflowing with memes for everything, including music. Flute memes appear on my Facebook page nearly every day.

For your enjoyment, I offer a collection of my favorite flute memes.

Deep but uplifting:

flute memes

I can’t decide if I love this one because it shows all the parts of a flute or because I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA.


flute memes

Feeling small before the almighty Bach:

flute memes

Because the flute is not for the faint of heart:

flute memes

This is one I found on the subway in Montreal:

flute memes

The Donald has inspired a lot of memes, but this one is my favorite:

the best termperament

Although not a meme, at least one person has been nearly killed by a flute.

“SERIOUS ACCIDENT AT THE VINTNERS’ HALL. On Tuesday night an accident occurred at the Vintners’-hall, Thames-street, to a gentleman of the name of Ireland, brother of one of the liverymen of the company, which caused great alarm to those who were assembled at dinner on the occasion of the celebration of the Lord Mayor’s-day. He entered the hall a little before 9 o’clock, and took his seat nearly under the orchestra. He had not been there above ten minutes when the flute belonging to one of the musicians dropped from the orchestra on his head. The blood immediately flowed most profusely, and he was for a moment stunned. Mr. May, a surgeon of the neighbourhood, was instantly called in, who found that he had received a slanting wound on the scalp. The wound was dressed, after which Mr. Ireland was conveyed home in a coach. The stewards promptly inquired how the accident originated, when it was ascertained that while the musician was adjusting the leaves of his music-book the flute slipped out of his hand. The man was perfectly sober. It was stated by Mr. May that he did not anticipate any fatal result.”
–unnamed reporter, in The [London] Times, 12 November 1841, page 7

And this one isn’t a flute, but it made me laugh so hard that I have to share it with you.

musician poster

look closely at the mouthpiece


Stay tuned, friends. I’ll add more of these gems as I find them. (Updated September 27, 2016)

What are your favorite flute memes?



Gigs: The Fun and the Funny.

Freelance musicians are dependent on gigs for their livelihood. Though it may seem like an easy way to make money, the truth is a bit more complicated. The lovely music you hear at a wedding may be lovely, but it is a tiny part of what goes into performing gigs.


toddler theater with Rotten Ralph, Sept. 2015

I consider myself very lucky to be a freelance musician. I love my career. It’s exciting to be working for myself and adapting to the wide variety of occasions my services are needed. This week, I played an outdoor wedding, headlined a concert for 250 toddlers, taught music classes, rehearsed and conducted an adult choir, team-taught an arts program with the theme “autumn leaves,” met individually with flute and recorder students, and performed at a birthday party for a dozen two-year-olds. But those are just the performing moments, the ones that everyone knows about and which seem glamorous. There were also hundreds of miles of driving, instrument schlepping (my arms are sore today!), practicing, emails and phone calls, QuickBooks data entry, standing in line at the bank, and paying a big health insurance premium bill. Those things are not so fun.

My friend Emily Packard has a wonderful blog article about her adventures as a gig musician Take a moment to read it. Her writing is terrific and the story is a good one, though I feel very sorry for her poor violin.

Emily Packard’s blog


this is the performance where I almost fainted. the sun was scorching!

Another blog popped into my Facebook feed as I sit here writing this. The Self-Inspired Flutist is another article about the perils of being a performing musician. I laughed out loud when reading about the author’s horrible experience of having her skirt fall off during a recital. Performing without clothes on is every musician’s recurring nightmare and it really happened to Terri Sanchez.

Have you read the book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly? Anthony Boudain’s confessional is filled with hilarious, disgusting, unbelievable moments from his career as a chef.

I’ve often thought that we musicians should write something like that too. My husband is a piano technician and he loves to share war stories with fellow technicians about mice nests in pianos and colorful clients. A piano technician friend works for the Pentagon and tells entertaining stories about working in the D.C. area.

I have my share of war stories too. There was the time I nearly fainted while playing in the hot summer sun on stage with a furry shark. Or maybe you would like to hear about the funeral gig that included discreetly eating my own snot while playing the flute. But I think I’ll save those stories for my book Musician Confidential.


Music Humor: A Venn Diagram

Something Silly To Make You Smile

“Humor relies on the unexpected” and it “tickles the brain.” But I think good jokes have at their center a core of truth.

(Joe Moran as quoted in the NPR story “What Makes Something Funny?“)

I love music humor.

Perhaps playing the piccolo scrambled my brain enough to make jokes about musicians irresistibly funny to me. If you played in a marching band, this one will tickle your funny bone:

How many trumpet players does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Six. One to actually do the work and five to say how much better he could have done it.

I’m working on a long post to share with you in the near future, but in the meantime, here’s something silly that a Facebook friend shared:

music humor

so true

I’d like to add some adjectives of my own to the purple part of this Venn Diagram:

  • collaboration
  • accepting failure (and success) gracefully
  • flexibility
  • persistence
  • being comfortable when alone with yourself
  • knowing how to get two piccolo players to play in tune (you have to shoot one…)

What would you add?


I have this sign on my music stand.

It makes me smile. My students read it in Yoda’s voice and we laugh.

I know that “perfect practice makes perfect performance,” but sometimes it’s helpful to hear Yoda say it.

May the force be with you.