Cleaning Out: Goodbye Cello, Sax & Oboe

“Do you think you’ll want your cello?” I asked my son many months ago. Apartment living, graduate school, working and four small children didn’t allow much space or time for music.

The local high school happily accepted my donation. I added a saxophone and oboe my daughter had played, and bags of sheet music, boxes of reeds, and other accessories accumulated over the years of participation in school band and orchestra.

Culling through the stacks of music, glancing at tattered notebooks from various teachers, I remembered the many hours spent driving to lessons, bringing forgotten instruments to school, and the many concerts we proudly attended every winter and spring.

Our children took piano lessons  and each one selected a a band instrument in 4th grade. Our eldest played bass clarinet, which he still has and picks up for fun now and then.   Through the music programs, we joined a community at the high school and town. Our sons participated in marching band all four years of high school and we attended not only football games to cheer them on but also competitions in far-flung corners of the state, joining other parents clanging cowbells and other noisemakers when our team took the field.

Our cello- playing son moved to Israel last week. He and his wife brought his trumpet and her saxophone, but said no to the cello. Hopefully they’ll find some time to make music in their new home.

We unloaded the car and carried the instruments into the band room, leaving them against a wall with other instruments awaiting students when school opens. New fingers will play these instruments; other families will take pride in their children’s musical prowess.

I did however keep one of my daughter’s oboes. I’d called her former teacher and asked if she taught adults. I can read music, having taken piano, but have always wanted to be in a band. There are many community orchestras nearby and I’m hoping I can get good enough to join one day.

Stay tuned.

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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15 Responses to Cleaning Out: Goodbye Cello, Sax & Oboe

  1. Janet Alley says:

    This is unrelated to your post but I recently read your post on “Where’s Warren?”. I was wondering if I could contact you about that post, as we are looking for Warren too.

    Like

  2. lisakunk says:

    I’m so glad they kept some instruments. We are graduated band parents also and must say our kids started their musical careers on our old band instruments. My husband played trombone and one of our sons took that instrument as his own. From there he went on to tuba and baritone. He just finished 90 days of marching DCI with the Cadets this summer and has headed back to college to his leadership role in the band there. Our two daughters took up flute, starting with the one I played through high school. From there, one went on to major in flute/ music ed. after playing flute in concert bands and melophone in her high school marching band. Our other son picked a different instrument, sax and marched bari sax in high school and college. That’s way more info than you needed but we share that experience of being band parents. That’s something only a band parent can understand. Love that red case.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stay tuned… love the word play Lisa. 🙂 Calgary has an civic Symphony made up of mostly amateur musicians and they’re quite amazing! http://www.calgarycivicsymphony.ca/about/
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Go for it. You’ll never know when some local band mayweed an oboe player. Also never know when some kinder may want learn to play the oboe.

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  5. Wow!! Good for you wanting to learn a new instrument- it will keep you young! As if biking isn’t doing that already. Always wanted to learn the cello myself

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This post really struck a chord, Lisa. I have a very hard time getting rid of instruments. Eli played the oboe and hopes one day, when he is more settled, to pick it up again. And every country he teaches in, he ends up bringing home another traditional folk instrument, so our house is full of instruments waiting to be played.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope the music always plays in your heart!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks, Ronnie. Fun and challenging, and no rush.

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  9. This is me catching up on the blogs, and the people, that I care about. This is me tearing up, as I clear my own children’s debris, and adjust to this empty, empty nest. This is me reading your post and smiling, because it is so like a draft in my pile (that I recently wrote about)… that I’ve dusted off this week. Too hard to post yet. It will then be real.

    Sorry your son and family have left. It’s hard, hard stuff, my friend. I know, as you know. Where are they? All the best to them, and you… (( hugs )). Lovely, touching post!

    Like

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