School Recorders

Music class in elementary school was about keeping us as far away from actual instruments as possible. The schools were cheap and they knew we couldn't play real instruments anyways, so anything wooden or plastic was good enough. Why else did we always seem to end up with things like "maracas," "tambourines," "rain sticks" and those "cheese grater" things you had to run a stick on?

When it came to teaching us how to make a clatter similar to the sound of falling down in a janitor's closet, it was a grand ole time. We had so much fun, half the girls were almost tempted to put down their Tamagotchis! So you'd think a rambunctious runt like me should've fit in perfectly, but such was sadly untrue. Apparently I took clatter to a whole other level, and how was I punished? With a recorder.

"Recorders" is what they called them. They're some kind of flute-like instrument that makes an ear-piercing "tone" by default when blown into, and while they told me it was adjustable by placing my fingers over the holes and whatnot, I never figured that part out. The typical ones they handed out in droves came tan and pre-slobbered on by a thousand other kids over the years, but if you were lucky enough to have them run out they'd give you the black one to take home instead, and all of a sudden that shat got classy! Even if you were lucky to get a black one though, there was no escaping the fact that it was probably the dorkiest instrument ever made. That may be why I was so crushed to be the last kid in class without one.

You see, the music teacher didn't let the rambunctious "music makers" like me at the back of the class have one until we cleaned up our act and stopped playing with all the instruments, and that fact just took a few weeks too many to sink in. Suddenly everyone else in the class had their own, and that was okay until it basically came down to me, and only then did I start feeling like the odd one out. She upped the ante too when she started handing out cool blue suede slip cases for them, so I finally decided to stifle myself, and tame that wild urge to compulsively spin the rain sticks. What did I care about that those recorders? It was the rad slip cases I wanted!

1 comment:

  1. I loved these as a kid- I thought I was talented when I could play Hot Cross Buns on one.

    I remember having to play these to Kindergarteners when I was in 3rd grade. =P