The Ultimate Freedom — Thoughts from NMoP from 5HE Clarinetist, Jenny Woodrum

As many of you know, five 5HE members spent two weeks in Vermont participating in the inaugural New Music on the Point camp working with young composers and musicians.  The following post is some insight on the effect that 2 weeks in the woods just playing music had on 5HE clarinetist (and mommy) Jenny Woodrum.  Enjoy!

I’ve been talking to a lot of folks this week about my amazing experience at NMOP in Vermont. The first thing people want to know is “How was it being away from Charlie for so long?” It might shock you to know that my answer is always the same, “Totally awesome!” If anyone were to ask me a month ago how I would feel about being away from him for two weeks, I would have said, “Not gonna happen.” You see, the plan all along had been to take Charlie and my mom (nanny Barb) with, but my aunt Emma took a turn for the worse health-wise and we made a last minute decision to leave Charlie and my mom behind. When I dropped my mom and Charlie off with all of their luggage that they were supposed to be taking with to Vermont, I shed a few tears, but in the back of my mind, I knew a rare freedom stood before me.

Freedom for a mommy musician is….being able to practice as much as you want and you might as well because you have nothing else to do!!! Being able to have a glass of wine with your colleagues and keep the humor in the gutter because there are no little ears listening. Taking a break from a crazy rehearsal schedule to go sit in a canoe in the middle of the lake. Taking a nap without having to get a little one to sleep first. Sitting in front of a fire without shouting repeatedly shouting “no touch!” “hot!”. Eating three meals a day without a drop getting thrown at you.

Then at the end of the trip, once I saw my boy standing inside my front door, I barely took the time the time to put my car in park before I had him in my arms. One big long hug and several rounds of “mama, mama, mama” and I was exactly where I wanted to be.

Freedom for a mommy musician is being granted the time to be totally engaged in your art so that you can come back home and be totally engaged in being a mommy.
Fifth House Ensemble

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