Saturday, December 19, 2009

The answer to the question: "Which of the following Instruments did Suz play/study in her youth?"

Alright, here it is. I ("The Suz") played the following instruments throughout my illustrious "instrument-hopping" career. Living up to the motto, "better to try many things than actually stick with something and become really good at it", I dabbled in (in chronological order):

1) The piano: (from age 3 1/2...Suzuki Method for those familiar with this ear training philosophy.) The famous "hey, Suz, tellitagain" story is how I had to sit on a box in order to reach the keys to play such complex ditties as "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".

2) The clarinet: After the piano, I started playing the clarinet and was actually pretty good at it. But because of this, and because ALL the kids were playing either the clarinet or the flute and I wanted to be different, I started playing...

3) The bassoon. Oh yeah! It 's the double-reed instrument that is sometimes mistaken for the oboe, although the oboe is a smaller than a clarinet and the bassoon was almost as tall as I was when I started playing it, which was my main motivation.

4) The cello: Again, the main motivation here was size, but also the desire to learn a stringed instrument. I also think Yo-Yo Ma was quite popular at the time. The "famous" story here is after my first lesson (again, see Suzuki Method), the instrument was leaning against a wall in my room and toppled over, splitting at its neck. It turns out it had been glued together so it was particularly vulnerable in that spot, but needless to say, I was quite upset and promptly quit the cello (or did the cello quit me..."I can't quit you!"?)

5) The drums: Oh, yeah again! Remember "Summer Music"? Did you have this program? Since I didn't grow up in a world of "sleep-away camp" like my east coast pals, we had summer music to get out of our parents' hair. I fancied myself a potential rocker, so I decided I should pursue another new instrument instead of perfecting a current one. I purchased a set of turquoise drum sticks and a drum "practice pad" and worked on loosening my wrists for the 'ol drum roll action, but it didn't get much further than me banging on the snare drum a few times in the basement band room of Paris Gibson Middle School (go Panthers!).

So that's the story of (some) of the instruments I played or attempted to play. I may or may not have left out the marimbas...and I may or may not have been a contestant in the Miss Great Falls pageant.*

*hint...may not have.


  1. That brings back great memories of playing with you in band at PGMS and good ol' Mr. Black. (I was one of those many flute players, if you recall). And thinking about sumemr music just makes me laugh. I think I only did one summer, and that was enough for me. It also reminds me how upset Jill would get because Mr. Dell always told her she had to cut her fingernails to play the violin.

  2. You played the bassoon? Oh, goodness. I never knew that. Nerd points awarded, fellow woodwind.