Saturday, September 21, 2013

Goodbye, Old Musical Friend

I've got the music in me...I think I always have. But the fourth grade gave me my first real opportunity to learn music. I had plunked out a tune or two on assorted keyboards, here and there, but my family did not own a piano (or any other musical instruments). When I learned that I could be in the fourth-and-fifth-grade band, I think I may have been a little bit excited! When I found out that the pretty, pretty flute was an option, I was ecstatic!!! So my parents rented a flute from the local music store, and I proceeded to torture the dogs with my attempts at making beautiful music with that lovely, sideways, silver woodwind...but playing the flute made me dizzy.

When fifth grade rolled around, the band director gently suggested that I try a new instrument...we needed more clarinets in our little group. Eager to please, and oblivious to the fact that he was probably telling me gently that the flute was not my forte, I proudly brought home that clarinet, and I practiced at every opportunity. I was oblivious to the fact that the dogs had a strong disdain for my new "music-maker," and I put those pooches out when they nuzzled the bell and cried. In retrospect (and having heard beginners on the clarinet within the context of my adult years) I now wish I could somehow go back and apologize to them...I didn't even offer ear plugs!

Well, I played that clarinet for two years, and I think I eventually did ok. We rented it long enough that we owned the instrument, and I know that the dogs complained less (in general) over time, so I have to assume that I got better. Still, I never achieved anything remotely close to the coveted "first chair" in the band...but I really liked music, and I loved to play my clarinet. :)

By the end of 6th grade, I noticed that there were a LOT of clarinets and flutes in the band! In response, I abandoned the woodwind family altogether, and taught myself to play the trumpet during the summer before 7th grade. I also played the trombone briefly in high school, and the french horn my senior year, but it was mostly trumpet. My elementary school band director was distressed rather than proud of my achievement in the brass family, and he kept saying, "No! Sax-o-phone comes next...!," as though loudly over-articulating would bring me to me senses (and back to the woodwinds)! But, I sat 3rd-chair (only two away from first-chair) in the 7th-grade trumpet section...there was no going back!

All these years, I've kept that clarinet. I've taken it out, from time to time, and I've even blown a note or two here and there. Mostly, though, it sits on a shelf, lonely and unused...until this past week. I learned that a friend's son is having his fourth-grade band opportunity, and he's decided on the clarinet. I haven't heard him play, but this kid's personality strikes me as having Benny Goodman potential, so I've offered up the instrument to him and his family, and they have accepted. :)

Goodbye, old friend. May you Sing, Sing, Sing (Clarinet solo at 1:01 in the video), and find new life with a Bloke and a Bird's Boy!

I know...there was no knitting today, but I am making knitting'll see proof on Wednesday! Until then, I hope that you are finding the joy in your life, music and crafting.

Knit in Good Health!


  1. I played flute too, then switched to French horn. Because it was different. I found DS clarinet this summer and was thinking about donating it - still it sits in the basement, poor thing has been there for over 15 years.

  2. I was reading, thinking, no, no, don't give up your instrument, until the end. Then--oh wait. So a kid can learn to play? That's really cool, good for you!