The Slow-Cooked Sentence

The morning’s song

Rachael Conlin Levy

At 8:30 every weekday morning, the house is filled with the squawks and squeals of the clarinet, the plaintive plucking and moaning of the violin. My sons are learning to make music, a plodding and painful process that I might not survive.

 The clarinet was mine when I was 12. It’s been passed down to my three sisters, my daughter and now Max. He plays it loud, really loud. The sound explodes out of the bell with a force that sends me scurrying for the silence of the basement. The violins are loans — one from a neighbor, the other from a local shop. Someone once told me that the sound of the violin most resembles the human voice, and Sam’s version of “Mary had a Little Lamb” sounds like mourners at a funeral wake.

At 8:45, instruments are shoved pack into cases, backpacks are slung over shoulders and my two older sons throw me kisses and head for school. As I shut the door, I sigh and smile, happy with the sound of silence.

5 responses to “The morning’s song”

  1. R.Hope says:

    Oh my, there's much to be said for the sounds of silence! When my boys were young Chris played the drums, Andrew played the violin and Terrance played the trumpet. I feel your pain!!

  2. Excellent video. Imagine them looking back at this when they are in their 30s. So cool.

  3. Andrea says:

    So sweet! (fortunately, I can't hear sound from YouTube on my computer for some reason)…I have to say I was HUGELY relieved when my older son's interest in playing violin petered out before I got around to looking into lessons. Now he plays the guitar, and I think an inexpertly played guitar is much easier on the ears than an inexpertly played violin. But how wonderful it will be when they're all fiddling (and clarineting) beautifully in a few years!

  4. Loved it Rachael, it was so cute and it totally made me crack up! Reminds me of back in my clarineting days!

  5. Rachael Levy says:

    Randi, My pain is nothing compared to what your ears put up with!

    Denise, you're right. I take lots of pictures but forget about video.

    Andrea, an inexpertly played guitar also is easier to sing (inexpertly) along to.

    Chey, exactly! Every time that little brown case is opened and I get a peek at the orange velvet interior, I think I'm back in 7th grade trying to survive Mr. Fletcher's band class.

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