Gotta Lotta Brass, Ain’t He

Digital illustration from a  photo: Feel Free to Horn InThank goodness parents and neighbors have the blessed invention of earplugs to get them through our first attempts at singing and playing instruments. I can honestly say that after at least five years of piano lessons, fifteen of singing in choirs and ensembles, and over eighteen of being married to a professional musician, I am still unable to read music properly, barely being able to follow a score when more able musicians are doing all of the singing, playing, and conducting. After enough years of dealing with Spasmodic Dysphonia, I’m not even very dependable for singing a note very tunefully on cue. But, as it’s said, I’ve still got decent ears. So I, too, own earplugs. Just in case. And I apologize, retroactively, to everyone who didn’t have them handy when my noisemaking might have required such intervention.Digital illustration from a photo + text: Brass

8 thoughts on “Gotta Lotta Brass, Ain’t He

  1. love the photos, and thanks for the introduction to Spasmodic Dysphonia, although I’m sure it’s a term you’d probably prefer to have never had the occasion to learn

    • Yeah, not my favorite, but I have enough life experience and enough friends and acquaintances with tough things to face that I still think I get off pretty lightly. I’d very much like to keep that going, of course. I’m glad you liked the photos; I got a kick out of processing both of the images. Brass instruments are such fabulous photo subjects!

  2. Lovely post Kathryn and it made me smile as it brought back memories of learning the recorder at school. I never made it past a squeak so it was the only ‘blowy’ instrument I ever tried. I did several years on the piano though from an early age but only until I was 15 when I decided it was too ‘square’ a thing to do! My husband’s family are all very musically inclined so I sit back and enjoy their abilities, some of which have spread to our children but I’m afraid life has got in the way of their pursuing such talent to any degree. Shame really. xx

    • I took about 5 years of piano myself and never either got any good at it (’cause I was too lazy and cheated by having my teacher play pieces for me so I could learn them by ear) or learned to read music (the aforementioned need to learn by ear being necessitated by my dyslexia, I suppose, though I didn’t know it at the time). Your other instrument, though, reminds me of other members of my family. My baby sister is a violinist and married to a pianist. His two older sons were about 8 and 11 years old when my sister married him, and the eldest played cello pretty seriously already by then, so people often asked the younger son what he played. His answer? “I play the tape recorder.” Little smart-alec! I thought it was a great answer. He actually got pretty good at guitar, and was probably the one who eventually got his young half-brother so interested in it that the youngest is now a rock guitarist in a successful band. Funny, the turns our practicing, not practicing, and being musicians or not can take!

      I think it’s lovely to be surrounded by musicians even though I’m not one myself, so I completely agree with your pleasure in sitting back and enjoying the others’ abilities to the highest degree! As for the others like us who don’t pursue music after early dabbling? I consider it a good balance of the universe that we are the designated fans and an appreciative audience to support the great work that the musicians among us provide! 😀


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