Could he be the next Music Man?

Our grandson Ty made great music last week with an antique.

No, he wasn’t singing or playing with his grandfather – I have never been personally associated with any great music myself.

No, Ty was playing trumpet in his school band with an instrument that was more than 100 years old.

He was playing his great-grea-tgrandfather’s cornet, which his grandmother inherited and gave to Ty to play when he decided to learn to play the trumpet.

It meant he had far and away the oldest instrument in the band when they put on their winter concert – and it still sounds good.

It was older than either of the pieces the band played, which goes to show that, while you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, you can teach an old cornet new songs.

The cornet has actually been through two concerts now with Ty and we’re looking forward to more.

At least at this concert, his grandmother kept her seat.

At the fall concert, the band director asked for a volunteer to lead the band and Terry, of course, jumped at the chance.

While she didn’t lead them astray, she did learn that if she’s considering a career change at this point in life, becoming the next conductor of the New York Philharmonic probably won’t be it.

Fortunately, Ty’s cornet has held up to the years better than the old family trumpet I tried to learn on when I was his age.

That was one that had been handed down in my father’s family, but it looked like it had been dropped more than a few times while it was being handed down.

My father tried soldering it together, but its state of disrepair was stronger than any attempt to fix it.

I’d take it in to school for my lessons and it would fall apart in my hands, usually after no more than one note or two.

I quickly learned that playing trumpet requires two hands – and one of them can’t be used to hold the instrument together.

If you’re asking yourself why I didn’t discover the repair job wasn’t working when I was practicing at home, you’ve asked a good question.

To be honest, I was not the most dedicated practicer around.

I found out early that, although I enjoyed music, I had absolutely no talent for making it, in any form – vocal, instrumental or otherwise.

Having figured that out, I soon figured that no amount of practice would alter that, so why even try?

That simple truth may also have had something to do with why my parents didn’t just go out and buy or rent me a new trumpet to learn on.

Let’s just say that we all took that fall-apart trumpet as some sort of cosmic sign that I was not meant to ever make music and gladly heeded the sign.


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