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My New Clarinet

When I was in junior high school, I started playing the clarinet.  I was excited to join the school band program for so many reasons. The main reason, interestingly, was because as a young girl, I had a cousin who played the clarinet and she let me try it one day.  On that day, I couldn’t even make a sound on the instrument and she kind of laughed at me.  I decided, at that moment, that I was going to play the clarinet in the school band.

The day we picked our instruments, I was nervous that I wouldn’t get my first choice.  I can’t even remember what my second and third choice instruments were.  But it doesn’t matter: I got the clarinet.

I loved my clarinet and I made playing it the biggest priority in my life.  All I did, ever, was practice my clarinet.  I was the best clarinet player in my grade.  And, by the end of my first year in band, I was probably one of the best band students in the school.  As I junior, I was invited to join the senior band, I got to perform a solo at the school concert, I was offered the opportunity to play the saxophone in the jazz band, and I was the teacher’s pet.

I can’t pinpoint one reason why I played the clarinet so well right from the start.  I know I was dedicated and I practiced hard.  I put everything I had into being the best I could be, to the point where some of my other school subjects suffered.  That didn’t last long, however, because I quickly realized that if I wanted to impress, I had to do it in every way possible.

And, that’s exactly what I was doing: trying to impress.

My band director in grade 7 turned out to be the very first female role model that I had.  If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.  There was nothing particularly special about her, just that she was the right person, in the right place, and the right time, and she had the right characteristics to make me want her positive attention.  Although she left the school after one year, my dedication to my clarinet continued well into my university years.  I loved my clarinet, and regardless of why I was interested in it to begin with, or why I excelled at it initially, it became one of the most important and defining things in my life.

I was thinking lately, that I have a “new clarinet.”  Something that I have as much interest and dedication to – Something that I hope to give my everything and my all – Something that I want to be the very best at.  There might be (probably is) a role model, much like my band director in grade 7, who makes me want to be the best I can be.  But as my adventures with my clarinet proved, it doesn’t matter the reasons behind why it started and why I was motivated.  What matters is how much I loved it and how hard I worked.

I am pretty sure – and I really hope – that O&G is my New Clarinet

2 thoughts on “My New Clarinet

  1. My first female role model that I remember looking up to was my English Teacher in 4th year (Irish equivalent to the 10th grade). I had always loved reading and writing, but hated English classes. For the first time I had a teacher who was young and had a passion for the subject. This in turn instilled a passion in me. She made me fall in love with the classics again which I had forgotten about as they were not ‘cool for a 15 year old to read anymore! I only had her for the one year, but she gave me a new spirit and taught me to follow my instincts and not change who I was just to fit in. Your post brought back some lovely memories, thank you 🙂


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