Saturday, our son's high school marching band won third place at their national competition. He is a percussionist, currently on vibes.
This is me wearing the band-mom hat I knitted in my son's school colors.
|Once a band geek, always a band geek. I was a flautist. Now I'm a band mom.|
This week was our daughter's first middle school band concert. She plays clarinet. We've talked a few times about adding a second instrument (sax -- not for her, the deep tone kept making her laugh) but she is devoted to her clarinet.
|My daughter spotted this early clarinet at the Smithsonian Museum of American History and pronounced it "weird."|
I was looking for a clarinet poem for her and found one by Terrance Hayes. I don't think she's ready for this poem yet. It's a very gentle love poem, but more suited for the teen side of 'tween. Teachers -- I'd recommend this poem for eighth grade and up.
|All of these instruments are in the clarinet family. My daughter plays the "traditional" B flat clarinet.|
by Terrance Hayes
I am sometimes the clarinet
your parents bought
your first year in band,
my whole body alive
in your fingers, my one ear
warmed by the music
you breathe into it.
I hear your shy laugh
among the girls at practice.
I am not your small wrist
rising & falling as you turn
the sheet music,
but I want to be.
Or pinky bone, clavicle.
When you walk home
from school, birds call
to you in a language
only clarinets decipher.
Read the rest at Poetry Foundation.
Hayes visited our area last month. He is a powerful poet (National Book Award winner) and a great speaker. I love the metaphor at work in "Clarinet." It is never spoken, but the clarinet and its music are deeply loved by the girl in the poem. It's soul love. The speaker's hint of sexual love is quiet -- the girl in the poem isn't there yet.
Fellow PF blogger Tabatha Yeatts (The Opposite of Indifference) and I had a long talk about our kids and music over lunch recently. Kids who are musicians associate strongly with their chosen instruments. It's part of who they are and can define how they see themselves.
If I tell you that my son is a percussionist, my daughter a clarinetist and Tabatha's daughter is a French horn player, you begin to form an image of each child. Interesting.
Musicians out there, what do you think about how choice of instrument can define a person? Why did Hayes choose a clarinetist for this poem -- rather than a girl who plays the trombone?