The sound of music

My elder daughters both play piano and flute, and have the shared use of a piano and a flute between them. So far that’s worked out really well, but contention for the flute has been getting difficult, and is getting worse now that they are both starting to talk about joining flute ensembles and the (same) school orchestra.

Meanwhile our youngest will start junior school this year, and will also be offered music lessons. Fortunately she wants to play something (anything?!) different to her sisters, but this means finding yet another instrument for her. We’d been starting to think about what we could do about this, when as though by magic, everything came together this weekend. My eldest daughters godmother mentioned that she had a flute that she no longer used, which she was happy to lend to “J” long-term, and a clarinet came up for sale through our local church at a very reasonable price.

So on Saturday I went to visit “J”s godmother to collect her flute. I had a great time too… Kirsty lives just far enough away that it’s difficult to just pop in, so I’d not seen her in several months. We spent a great morning quaffing coffee and chatting about everything and nothing, before going out and grabbing lunch together. It was just like the old times. It’s hard to do things like that now that we’re all so busy with work and families, but this convinced me that I need to make an effort to spend more time with my friends – it’s too easy to let it slide for too long.

Meanwhile my beloved wife had been persuading talking to our youngest about the clarinet, and playing her some clarinet music to see if she liked the sound of the instrument. Fortunately she did, so by the end of the day we became the proud owners of a rather beautiful Yamaha clarinet, for an extremely good price. Her school offers clarinet lessons, so with a little luck we’ll be able to get her enrolled in those when the autumn term commences. We’d like her to learn the piano too, but with three piano players in the house now I’m hoping that we can at least get her started on that with some informal lessons from within the family.

Saturday evening and much of Sunday the house was filled with the sound of flutes as my two eldest tried to play some pieces together. A job for this week is to find them a book of proper flute duets to play. Meanwhile our youngest has started learning the fingering on “her” clarinet, and can already extract a series of notes from it. It occurs to me that when the kids finally start leaving home, it’s going to be very much quieter around here. I’ll miss it.

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