What Was Your First School Instrument? What Did You Children Get?

How on earth did we pick school instruments when we were in middle school?  I had played a little piano by the time I was forced to make an uneducated choice, and it’s probably the reason why I do not play an instrument to this day despite being very musical.

So how did my son come home from school with a clarinet recently?

I think that was a great choice of instrument, considering last year his class played the banjo and the year before they were given that wannabe instrument and all around general noisemaker, the recorder.

He wanted to play the trumpet, but chose the clarinet…

Granted, my son is way more musical than me, he plays piano and will be taking his level 2 conservatory exams soon.

But boy, how the times have changed from when we were in school, right?  Or have they?!?

What instrument did you play and why?

Was it your first choice?

I remember having to face this dilemma way back in grade 6.  My best friend at the time was a drummer – taught by the drummer from Platinum Blonde – so I wanted to drum.  But with only one drum set and the need for only one drummer, I was out of luck.  Oh, and he was REALLY good, and I was really awful on the drums.

My teacher instead gave me the cymbals and the triangle.


The following year I wanted the trombone because all the trumpets were taken, but my first time using the trombone, I used the instrument to drill my friend in the back of the head (he was sitting in front of me).  That was my absolute reason for requesting the instrument… To use it as a weapon.  What was wrong with me??  But my teacher set me straight, alright.

Bye bye trombone.

She gave me the Tuba.

Little did I know back then that nobody takes the instruments which are impossible to take home to practice… But I got the instrument that I deserved.

I managed to convince the teacher that the Baratone was better (lighter), however every class my friends would toss stuff into it (like the little plastic army guys), so when my turn to play that one note came up, my instrument made either the wrong noise or no noise at all.

The upside was that carrying that beast home (I walked to and from school) made me very strong and I learned one helluva lesson.

The following year I chose the French horn!

A rather unique instrument, but was lightweight, had 3 keys and was rarely used.  So I guess I showed her, eh?  That was until she gave me a solo in one of the school concerts.  Me, my French horn and a LOT of people watching me.  Needless to say, I was sick that night of the concert, but on my BEST behaviour the rest of the year.  I had finally met my match.

If only I had selected a real instrument and actually learned it…

… Like the recorder.  lol.


What instrument do you want your child to learn?


5 thoughts on “What Was Your First School Instrument? What Did You Children Get?

  1. The Urban Daddy October 30, 2015 / 12:36 pm

    @ Rachel – I remember now!
    @Janet – That is a fantastic story! I even had to Google euphonium. Great idea, however, sending a second instrument home, eh? I would have stayed with the Baritone.
    @Dominique – I played piano, but I wanted to learn fun, modern tunes, and my very old-school, Eastern-European teacher would have nothing to do with it. I switched to guitar after 3 years but when I wanted to go back, she wanted me to start from the beginning all over again and I refused… So no instruments for me!
    @Anon – That is a really cool story about the trumpet and how you were drawn to it because of your Uncle. I guess if I had a musical family, it likely would have made a difference. Do you play and instruments now?


  2. Anonymous October 30, 2015 / 8:22 am

    I played the Trumpet….. Why you might ask? My Uncle was a professional musician and he played the trumpet… At the time he was one of my favorite uncles and he lived in NYC. He use to come visit his sister (My mother) every other week and he use to tutor me on the horn. It was great going into band the next week and showing the teacher what I had learned….. That lasted about 6 months. Uncle Lew decided to take a job playing with the New York City Broadway Shows and he could not come to visit so often since he worked on Sunday…. My trumpet playing got terrible so I dropped the trumpet for other activities.


  3. Janet October 30, 2015 / 8:17 am

    My son was annoyed that he had to take music in Grade 8 and not art. But he had no choice. Music staff had the students experiment with various mouthpieces and checked out their embouchure. They suggested tuba or euphonium. He chose the former, and they provided him with a second instrument to keep at home for practice. That was 8 years ago. He’s now studying classical tuba performance at McGill.


  4. dominique October 30, 2015 / 4:43 am

    Sounds like you experienced a nice selection! If you hadn’t you would never know! Just the ol piano for me!x


  5. Rachel October 30, 2015 / 2:38 am

    I played the clarinet too!!! 😀


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