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Licorice stick

Fifth grade band. I remember starting fifth grade band, oh so many (too many) years ago. We went through an "instrument try out" with a music technician who let us try all the mouthpieces, asked us what we wanted to play, and ultimately told us what we would play. I wanted to play the trombone. They made me play the clarinet. I'm no longer bitter about that. Really. I simply bring it up because I remember it. I remember it oh. so. well.

Anyway . . . fifth grade band. It's an elementary school rite of passage, and while other homeschooling parents worry about missing out on homecoming or prom, I confess I was a little sad to think that without the public school we would miss out on the blaring, squawking, and squeaking of a child's first year in elementary school band. Thankfully stores sell ear plugs. Also thankfully, our state law provides that all homeschooled students are eligible to participate in any extracurricular programs offered in the local public schools. So we called, we connected, and, after filling out a tome of paperwork, Calvin is now enrolled in the public school for twice weekly band, which runs from 11:18 to 11:58. Apparently it's in the details.

Calvin's own instrument fitting went more smoothly than I remember mine because he immediately fell in love with the instrument they wanted him to play, which, incidentally, is the instrument that I played. Maybe it's genetic. Regardless, although I tried to talk him out of the clarinet at first (it's harder to get into the marching band, I warned him), he really does show an aptitude for the thing, and it's certainly helpful that we not only have two nice specimens for him to play, but I know enough to tutor him through the first couple of years so we don't have to seek a teacher elsewhere.

And so far it's actually been a joy. He happily gets it out to practice at least once very day. He's already mastered Row Row Row and Twinkle Twinkle, and I think the less repetitious music might be just around the corner. And he's making great strides in his tone. It won't be long before we no longer need the ear plugs.

Although the dog is a little less sure.

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