Embouchure – Sheryl’s Daily Prompt

I freely admit I had to look this one up as I had no idea what it meant. 🙂  “The aperture of an instrument you blow into”.  Pretty vital in the grand scheme of things in making an instrument work.

I remember learning the recorder when I was a youngster.  We made some pretty “awesome” noise until we learned how to correctly control our lips and tongue and a more pleasing sound resonated from the instrument.  I’m not sure those around us thought our noise pleasant.  I’ve since witnessed three grandchildren learn and the look of pure joy on each face when they got it right was such a delight and reminiscent of my own experience.

I always wanted to play an instrument.  In fact, in grade four (on my part to get out of class smirk smirk) I took an aptitude test for band.  Out of all the students there, I received the 3rd highest mark (the only two higher were already in the band and knew what the terms used meant) but I got 3 questions wrong.  I excelled at listening and could play a tune after hearing it and I was delighted.  The band instructor went through every student, listing an instrument they were best suited for.  When it came to me, he said, “Flute!” then he paused as it wasn’t the instrument of choice and he could see the look on my face.  He smiled and continued, “It’s the only instrument that your fingers will be able to keep up with your mind.  The others would bore you in no time.”  I wasn’t sure whether to be delighted or not since I’d have loved to learn guitar or piano and the flute seemed such an uninteresting instrument.  As it turns out, it was a mute point as my mother refused to allow it.  One because she didn’t see any reason in learning an instrument and two it went against policy.

Fortunately both my kids had the same aptitude for music, one started learning the trumpet and the other the saxophone.  Unfortunately, their music teacher was a woman who shouldn’t have been a music teacher, at least not of young children (perhaps Carnegie hall).  She took a missed or wrong note personally.  I noticed the concerned looks on other parents faces as well at her manner.  We were all concerned about her ability to reach children – especially to instill a love of music – which she killed.  She was so perfectionistic and miserable – shaming the kids instantly a wrong note was hit – right in the middle of the concert, stopping everyone to begin again pointing out by name and gesture, the student that had hit a wrong note, saying it was their fault they had to begin again, that the fun and enjoyment of playing was lost.  As a result, my kids dropped out of band and so did everyone else that year and they cancelled band altogether.  Not her finest hour and resulted in the loss of many students who may have gone on to play.


Your Daily Word Prompt – Embouchure – January 8, 2019

7 thoughts on “Embouchure – Sheryl’s Daily Prompt

    1. She was horrid. She destroyed 34 kids hopes and excitement about playing an instrument. Was not impressed. Couldn’t change their minds after that and she was replaced. She’d destroyed their excitement completely.

  1. Yikes! Had a band director kill my enthusiasm, too, which is why I still suck at Clarinet despite wanting to get better at it (I’m the worst with my embouchure–my lips go numb so easily and I’m trying to improve). I liked music until it became all about competitions. I wanted to learn more and improve, and there’s no way I could afford lessons to help me out and he had 100 other kids to deal with, so chances were slim. I hated the music we played so much, also, that I didn’t want to practice, so that didn’t help either (my fault there, I admit). I just wish I could’ve learned more earlier, then I wouldn’t be starting from scratch musically.

    1. I know. Missed opportunities, right? I LOVE music, and I have always had an ear for it and my kids did too. Because of her they still have no interest and they had potential and I backed them and would have. Sigh. Keep at it, I’m sure you’ll get there. It’s such a delight to be able to play and to sit and listen to someone who plays. I wished with all my heart that all of us could have continued.

      1. just keep going down the list of “5 flavors of blog” on my home page–i’m pretty sure even my oldest ones are still there, just has to be refreshed and scroll further down.

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