Musical Decline

Posted on October 22, 2014 10:42 pm under General

Yesterday, Calico and I were discussing Miss Muffin’s growing guitar skills. We’re both delighted that she is doing so well and practices daily without reminders. “Remember when I was like that with the clarinet?” Calico asked. I thought for a minute and gave her a look that needed no words. She knew exactly what I was thinking.

When Calico was in fifth grade, she wanted to play a clarinet in the school band. The school’s supply of instruments was limited, however, and her teacher was late in sending interested students to see the band director. By the time she got there, a tuba and a few percussion instruments were the only choices. The director saw her disappointment and offered a solution. “You can buy clarinets here”, he said, handing me a list of stores. “They carry used instruments suitable for beginners at very low prices.” A visit to each of the stores on the list confirmed this. Unfortunately, the used instrument supply was fairly depleted by that time of year and not one of them had a used clarinet. They did have plenty of new clarinets with shiny high prices.

We left the last store with a new clarinet and two years of payment coupons. As the number of payments declined, so did Calico’s interest in the clarinet. Before the last payment had been made, she left the clarinet on her bedroom floor. Her dog found it and decided it was a new chewy toy.

I took the battered instrument to get a repair estimate. The guy who did the repairs said that it would be cheaper to buy a new clarinet. I declined another two years of payments and Calico didn’t look disappointed.

As I recalled Calico’s musical decline, I realized that I frequently check to see if Miss Muffin’s guitar is hanging from it’s hook on the wall. Once bitten, twice shy!

2 Responses to “Musical Decline”

  1. Tammy Says:

    Oh, this really hit home! My daughter’s clarinet was rent-to-own, but coincidentally, you owned it the summer after her last day in band. Yet I didn’t want to take it back to the store when we were so close to owning it! Of course owning it was the curse. She never picked it up again.

  2. Judy Sheldon-Walker Says:

    I know what you mean. My daughter studied violin in 5th grade and has not shown any inclination to play music since.