September 05, 2006

Cucumberous Motivations

This evening I had to take my 2nd son to school to pick an instrument for school band. I have one trumpet player and wondered what we would have as of tomorrow when band starts.

The only instruments he wanted to play were… saxophone and trombone. Well… and the lute and mandolin and dulcimer, but as far as concert band, that was it.

We are not big people and my son is the smallest of small. He’s a beautiful boy with a sharp analytical mind. Stature was not in the basket of gifts he was given and until now, it mattered not to him.

He tried the sax and his hands were too small and couldn’t fit on the keys,

He tried the trombone and although his small body could push some major air through it, he could not reach past the 5th position on the slide. To play trombone, he had to reach the 6th, ignoring the 7th, as according to the band instructor, “It’s not played much. He’d grow into it.” But not being able to reach the 6th was a real deal breaker.

And my son was heart broken. Absolutely heart broken. The skies were falling around his little world. And ultimately, I had to explain to him that we all have set backs in life, but it is how we handle it that matters.

After much angst, he chose the trumpet and has vowed he is going to be the best trumpet player in the band, surpassing even his brother. I promised him in 6th grade he can switch instruments, as I’m renting. He told me not only would he switch, but he was going to learn how to play them all.

Suddenly we were taking the world on fire.

We were in the car on the way home and he said, “Mom, I want to learn the sax and the trombone… and do we have a tuba in our band?”

Me: We have not had one, but if you want to play tuba, I’ll talk to the band director and I’m sure something can be worked out.

Son#2: I REALLY REALLY want to play tuba the most.

Me: Really? Why… I didn’t know this.

And I sat there trying to picture this very little person playing tuba.

Son#2: Yes. Two reasons. First I think its super cool, but 2nd, I like it because Larry plays the tuba and it looks fun.

Me: *blink*

Larry is a frickin’ cartoon cucumber on a cartoon called Veggie Tales. We are picking our instruments from a talking cartoon cucumber?! Say it isn’t so!

And I can so picture him in high school, with all his fellow tuba players and one day they’re talking at band practice as to how they got turned on to the tuba and my son saying, “Oh… it was Larry the Cucumber…” Lovely.

Posted by Boudicca at September 5, 2006 08:59 PM | TrackBack

Cartoons are great inspiration. I've taken most all of my ideas and philosophies from them...

Posted by: That 1 Guy at September 5, 2006 09:06 PM

There is a 3 valve trombone he can play until he grows enough to play the slide trombone. I played it in jazz band.

I'm proud of the lil dude. If he wants any info on the stuff, I've got it for him! I played the tuba for awhile. It is fun.

Posted by: Sissy at September 5, 2006 09:42 PM

Chowhound started out with the saxaphone in 5th grade. It was as big as he was. He later confessed that the tuba was what he really wanted to play but he didn't know the names of the instruments and said the wrong one. Now, 7 years later, he plays just about everything and wants to be the next Jimmy Buffet.

Posted by: Sticks at September 5, 2006 10:07 PM

I like the trumpet, it is also used a lot in ska music, go over to Tesco and load some, or hell ask RSM...he is the local music man

Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at September 5, 2006 10:13 PM

Heh, I played both trumpet and tuba in school, starting with trumpet in elementary school all the way up to both tuba (Sousaphone in the marching band) and trumpet in the high school band.

Let him know if he's going to be in the marching band those tubas or Sousaphones are darn heavy!!!!


Tuba players do it from below, you know...

Posted by: Jack at September 5, 2006 11:06 PM

I played the sax for 9 years and had tiny hands. You really must be little people.

Gotta love Veggie Tales, though.

Posted by: Jerry at September 6, 2006 12:09 AM

I played Tuba, and I feel a blog post about that coming on....

Posted by: Graumagus at September 6, 2006 02:25 AM

hahahaha. I have to say that one made me LOL!

Posted by: vw bug at September 6, 2006 06:21 AM

I think it's wonderful that he wants to play the same instrument as Larry. And yay that your kids know the veggies!

Hubby played trumpet. Trumpet playes make the best kissers.

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at September 6, 2006 07:29 AM

Did he think about the Clarinet(my instrument in school)?

It's sort of similar to the sax and probably easier to switch to from the clairinet.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at September 6, 2006 07:56 AM

"Larry boy . . . .Larry Boy" Hey, at least he didn't say, i saw this movie where someone puked in a Tuba and it was super cool . . .

Posted by: oddybobo at September 6, 2006 08:52 AM

YES! Go Larry, Go Larry!

Posted by: Ogre at September 6, 2006 11:36 AM

I played trumpet for 7 years. I miss it now and again but I couldn't play now to save my life.

BTW, Larry and Bob Rock! We still sing..."Oh where is my hairbrush..."

Posted by: Dazd at September 6, 2006 12:59 PM

Hey, Larry Boy is *very* cool... Possibly the only superhero who's alter ego plays the tuba!

Posted by: Richmond at September 6, 2006 04:08 PM

I think the trumpet is a great instrument, and it can definitely kick butt. Give a listen to Charpentier's Te Deum (the first track on Telarc's Ceremonial Music for Trumpet & Symphonic Organ).

Posted by: Bob at September 7, 2006 02:05 PM