The Fam

The Fam
Family Photos Fall 2015

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Does anyone want to learn the to play the saxophone?

I discussed yesterday the beginnings of my experience learning to play the piano.  Let’s just say that there are not a lot of happy moments that stem from that portion of my life.  Piano was not progressing like my parents had hoped, but fear not in the 6th grade they started band at the school.  My family thinking music is important and piano not going so well, meant the solution was of course I was going to play in the band.  I actually thought for a brief moment that would be cool I could play the trumpet or violin.  I would like to play one of those.  But what I did not understand is that it is not what I wanted to play.  It was what instruments did we have sitting out in the garage?  That is what determined what I was going to play.  This meant I got to play tenor saxophone.  I did not want to play tenor saxophone, I did not want to carry it back and forth to school and I vividly remember thinking “here we go again didn’t they learn anything when we did the piano thing”. 
Mom went out and got the case out of the garage.  I had seen it for years but never opened it.  I had imagined in my mind a shining brass saxophone with mother of pearl keys.  Nope not what I got.  It was a silver saxophone…yes silver  and not even shiny, it was dull with a matte finish, this was a shocker and point of explanation every time I opened the case.  The pads were old and leaked so mom fixed that by getting out felt and the glue gun and when to town making new pads.  I remember thinking this is not going to be a good experience and is going to end up with me making up a story to my friends why I have a silver saxophone with preschool quality pads.  I also vividly remember as I opened that case for the first time in the 6th grade thinking how much I did not want to be there, and if I ever had kids they were going to learn music but they could choose their instrument.  This thought became a constant comfort to me.  I was going to fix this horrible wrong of me being forced to play this beast of a horn by letting my kids play what they want. (The saxophone only lasted 3 years before my parents gave up on that one)
Ok let’s move it forward a few decades.  I have kids and they want to learn to play instruments.  Drawing very heavily on my childhood experiences and determined to correct the horrible wrong that was perpetrated on me as a child I came up with a plan.  They could learn any instrument they want and long as the school had one for rent and they have someone to teach it.  Over the past 3 years we have had violins, guitars, xylophones, bells and of course the piano being taught.   It looks like Mayson and Harmon have settled in on the Piano.  Payton has tried the violin but it really did not stick she is asking for the piano but I want to wait for her hands to grow a bit more before we go there.  Regann has grabbed a hold of the violin… well the fiddle.  I love classical violin music, she does not.  She loves playing old time fiddle music.  So once again I am drawing on my experience as a child and biting my tongue.  She does an amazing job and is actually competing later this month in Wieser Idaho at the National Fiddle Competition.  She was practicing before going to bed the othernight and I shot this short video of her practicing the Pigtail Rag.  She has definitely progressed further than her Dad and I can always use the excuse that musical talent skips a generation or more correctly skips sons in my generation.

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