My Experience of Playing the Horn in the Marching Band

PureInsight | October 6, 2006

[PureInsight.Org] I joined the
Marching Band in February this year after the 2006 Chinese New Year
Gala.  I was among the last group that joined as a formal
performer.  I mainly practiced at home. Since I joined late, 
fellow practitioners in the band had already learned several songs, and
I didn't even know how to play the music scale.  I was very

I practiced single notes during the first several days.  It was
not the time to practice any melody yet.  I was scared when I
heard other group members' experience sharing regarding the hardships
they had endured during practice. Thinking that I didn't even know how
to read the staffed score, that I hadn't even touched a musical
instrument prior to joining the Marching Band and that I joined late, I
considered myself a "stupid bird" in Chinese idiom.  (There is a
saying in Chinese, "Stupid bird should try to practice flying
early.")  The good thing was I had plenty of righteous
thoughts.  I was confident.  I was ready for intensive

Master taught us to practice with three things together: 
fingering, reading the staffed score and playing the melody.  I
tried my best to meet the requirements.  I trusted the power of
the Fa and wasn't affected by understandings and theories of the
ordinary people. As a result, I caught up with the group in a short
time.  I thought of things Master had told us before:  at the
beginning of spreading the Fa, in order to promote and spread Qigong,
Master temporarily transferred some of his supernormal abilities to
some disciples to enable them to treat illnesses.  In fact, Master
supported the disciples directly. The Marching Band members who joined
later on didn't suffer so much as the early members.  For example,
I didn't have blisters on my lips or the process of the entire body
eliminating karma.  My understanding was that the more senior
members had suffered the hardships and formed a pure cultivation
environment for the entire band.  This reduced the tribulations of
new members.  The compassionate support of Master helped us catch
up and synchronize with the band.  I truly experienced that
playing in the Celestial Marching Band was completely different from
joining any ordinary people's musical performance group.  The band
is connected with the Fa-Rectification.  It was formed out of the
need of the Fa-Rectification.  So all the capabilities we have
were given to us by the Fa.  The prerequisite is that the
individual practitioners should have righteous thoughts and righteous


When I practiced on my own, I concentrated on repeating parts that I
didn't know or couldn't do well.  I noticed the importance of
breathing and utilizing the Qi.  If I didn't breathe correctly, I
couldn't  even play notes that I could normally play well. 
So before I start playing, I try to adjust my breath.  When
playing, I try not to simply play without thinking.  I try to pay
attention to the change of my mouth shape and the status of utilizing
the Qi.  Mind intent is also important.  Before playing, I
normally think about the melody I am going to play.  It is the
best if I could memorize it.  I imagine that each note should come
out round and smooth. It shouldn't be a line shooting out, but a
circle.  I also learned to control the volume of my playing with
my mind intent.  If I didn't even think about controlling my
volume, the music I made of course couldn't be controlled.

In addition, my horn was a Fa instrument.  It was also a living
being.  My attitude was also very important.  I played it
every day, communicated with it, took care of it and maintained
it.  This way the two of us can achieve the best
coordination.  Sometimes when I was very busy and couldn't
practice the horn for several days, I felt guilty.  The next time
I took the horn, I would apologize to it first.  My mind of state
was also very important.  If I wanted to play and played it with a
calm mind, I usually played well without too much effort.  There
were cultivation elements.  So there were xinxing tests during
practice.  Sometimes I couldn't play well no matter how I tried –
I couldn't play the right note or couldn't go up to the higher tones or
couldn't breathe easily.  Then I would pause and think whether it
was an issue of breathing, mouth shape or state of mind?  I would
take a short break and resume after finding the problem.

Now I would like to talk about group practice.  I totally didn't
know what to do during the first group practice.  Although I was
able to play "Falun Dafa is Good" at home, I totally got carried away
by the main melody played by trumpets.  I forgot my own horn
melody.  I didn't know what to do after the first group
practice.  I was very anxious.  Later on, I learned how the
horn melody and trumpet main melody were supposed to work
together.  I realized that I couldn't know my part only. 
Keeping an eye on the big picture was important.  Group
performances required harmony and coordination.  Individual skills
were necessary.  However, more importantly, coordination should
reflect the perfection of harmony.  Every opportunity of group
practice was very precious for me.  Our conductor pointed out the
characteristics of every musical instrument, the role it plays in each
song, the style to display and the overall impact.  It was really
eye-opening.  I sensed the preciousness especially after sharing
with the other band in Canada.  We had compassionate support from
Master, Conductor Chen's professional guidance and such great indoor
and outdoor practice sites.  We couldn't cherish it more.

Initially, I marked every score with the simple score, 1234567. 
Especially when a new score was distributed, we were musically
illiterate. So we asked someone to help us translate it to the simple
score.  One time there was a translation error.  We didn't
know and followed the wrong translated simple score.  We were
lucky that the error was corrected later on.  Our team leader told
us:  do not write the simple score any more.  Otherwise you
will never learn the staffed score.  We started memorizing a few
songs in the staffed score.  Finally one day, when a new score was
distributed, we didn't have to write the simple score on it.  We

Let me talk about f parade experiences.  From February to now, I
have not missed a single parade.  I remember the first parade I
attended was the Chinatown parade in Los Angeles on February 26. 
The pressure was enormous because I had only had my horn for two
weeks.  However, I paid a lot of attention to it.  I
practiced diligently.  I was even reviewing the score on my
flight.  On the other hand, interference was strong.  Once I
boarded the airplane, I started feeling uncomfortable.  Later it
became worse:  sneezing, running nose, watering eyes, dizzy head
and weak body.  I knew it was interference.  I strengthened
my Fa study and sending righteous thoughts.  Although the
interference was much reduced, it didn't completely go away.  I
was able to keep up during the parade.  However, afterwards I lost
my voice.  I didn't pass this tribulation well.  When the
same interference came the second time, my righteous thoughts were
stronger and understanding clearer.  I sent righteous thoughts to
eliminate all evil that interfered with me.  After I finished
sending righteous thoughts, all symptoms disappeared.  I
appreciate Master's compassion.  It enabled me to experience the
mighty power of sending righteous thoughts.  I didn't experience
any more such interference in later parades.

My experience during the San Francisco Chinatown parade on April 1 left
me with a deep impression.  It was cloudy that day.  Weather
forecast predicted thundershowers.  It was raining on that day and
the previous day. When we gathered, we saw many dark clouds.  We
were sending righteous thoughts all the time.  When we started the
parade, a couple of drops of rain came down.  However, our band
marched with order.  I communicated with my horn and told it,
"Being able to participate in the Fa-rectification is the best thing
for you.  So you should cherish it.  We should play with the
purest state of mind and the strongest righteous thoughts." Although
the parade route was long with many upward and downward slopes on the
road and performance duration was long, I persisted and performed
well.  As a result of the powerful field of everyone's righteous
thoughts, the clouds cleared away.  The sunshine came back. 
It became warm.  I could clearly feel the transparency and
cleanness in the other dimension after the elimination of evil and the
indescribable power of the Celestial Marching Band.

The busy parade season of this summer is almost over.  I clearly
know that my performance level has barely met the minimum
requirement.  It is far away from Master's requirements for the
Celestial Marching Band.  It is like reverse cultivation. 
Master increased our gong to the level of parade performance. 
However, we should practice the fundamentals on our own.  When my
state of mind was good, I could stick with half hour or 1 hour daily
practice.  When it wasn't so good, I would slack off and not
practice for several days.  I think this is still due to my lack
of understanding of my responsibilities as a member of the Celestial
Marching Band and the importance of validating the Fa through a music
performance group.  

I forced myself to review my cultivation of the past 6 months in the
Marching Band when writing this sharing article.  I know that many
good practitioners haven't spoken.  Without Master's compassionate
support, Conductor Chen's professional guidance, or fellow
practitioners' encouragement and help, the small steps I made would
have been impossible.  I appreciate every member of the Marching
Band.  I'm proud of this good cultivation environment.  I
will advance more diligently and will not let Master and fellow
practitioners down.

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