Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Albatross

When I was in 8th grade my parents bought me a clarinet. This meant that I had to take band instead of art. And I couldn't quit because my parents bought me the clarinet. Being a compliant student, I took lessons, prepared solos for the NYSSMA competition, and performed in the area all-state band. None of this was I happy about.

It's not that I didn't/don't like music. It's just the clarinet. Instead of practicing this:
clarinetpart
I spent way more time practicing this:
pianopart
Even though there was no way that I would ever end up playing the latter in public (or even semi-public). The irony here is that while I love the piano, I am really, really, really bad at the piano. Clarinet? Even without practicing much (OK, not at all!) I was able to get reasonable scores on difficult solos, consistently play 2nd clarinet in various audition-only ensembles, and otherwise be a completely competent school/hobbyist clarinet player. When I was in graduate school, I bought a piano (costing 25% of my monthly gross income) and obsessively bought piano music. The clarinet sat (unplayed) in a closet.

Each time I have moved, I have moved the clarinet -- never in the moving truck, but always hand carried on the airplane or brought in the car (but never left in the trunk!), and I have found a safe spot for it (usually a closet -- never an attic or a basement).

I've been thinking about getting rid of the clarinet. Originally I had hoped that I would have been able to give it away -- maybe find a woodwind teacher in the public schools who has a student who needs a better clarinet. After a bit of poking about on the internet and a flurry of emails back and forth with my friendly neighborhood woodwind technician (he is really an oboe technician, but he knows important people at Buffet!), I am pretty sure that it is a very nice clarinet (Buffet R13) and actually worth something.

So now I have to figure out how to sell the darn clarinet. Either that or I will give it back to my parents when I see them this weekend and finally make the clarinet THEIR problem.