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I forgot to mention…

August 10, 2009

J2 recently told me she wants to learn to play, of all things, the CELLO! Can I tell you how secretly happy this makes me…I LOOOOOOOOVE the cello.  I play flute and sing a little (J2’s a little singer too), but I’m in love with her choice of instrument.



5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2009 12:28 am

    I spent years studying the piano, then joined band and played the brass bass. These days, I don’t have the room for a piano, and I can’t imagine what I’d do with a bass, even if I had one. When Jerry Springer was mayor of Cincinnati, he did “Dueling Tubas” in Eden Park, but otherwise, in order to play tuba, you really need a dozen other musicians to play along with.

    Which is very nearly the problem with the cello, although a cello is useful in a string quartet.

    When I was single, I used to play the piano at 3 AM, and it soothed my frazzled soul, but where do you rustle up 3/4 of a string quartet, on short notice, at odd hours?

    This isn’t about the luscious voice of a cello. It’s rich, it’s throaty, it speaks to the soul – but it just isn’t a very practical instrument for most people. You don’t sling it over your shoulder while you carry a picnic basket into the park in one hand, and hold hands with the other.

    You ought to be able to play instrumental solos with an instrument, but you also ought to be able to accompany yourself as you sing, which rules out most all woodwinds and brass. There are a few percussion instruments that allow that – tympani, xylophone, piano, tubular bells – but then you’re back to the transportation problems, in spades.

    Even a violin makes it impossible to sing, because your chin isn’t allowed to move.

    Mandolins have such a thin voice, and ukelele and banjo are quirky, almost musical toys, rather than musical instruments.

    That leaves the accordion or concertina, and the guitar. I hate to put down the squeezeboxs, because they do fit all my criteria, but they are excessively, uh, “kinetic”, almost like the frantic strumming of a banjo that Steve Martin made so much fun of.

    I don’t regret those millions of hours spent with the piano and the bass, and I don’t want to seem unappreciative of Andrea Amati for inventing the cello, but I used to have a bumper sticker that read “Kiss the piano player – he never gets to dance.” Has your daughter considered the fact that cello players don’t get to dance, either?

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      August 12, 2009 7:07 pm

      Well Harl, I’d have to say, that I’m quite certain she’s given that absolutely no thought. I mean, she’s only 8.

      She gets to dance when she sings, which is often. I thought she might like to learn to play piano and we talked about it (of course, I was thinking I might like to learn with her!), but one day, out of a clear blue sky she came to me and said she’d like to learn to play the cello. I’ll let her cogitate on it a bit more before making a decision.

      As for the solos for cello, Bach has some wonderful ones written that I love to listen to while I work, played by Yo Yo Ma. Heavenly. So there are some pieces.

      Or she could do like she does (and I do) and just break out into song when the need for a specific kind of solo takes her!

      When you play the flute, you can dance..but you can’t sing. I guess drums, guitar and piano are good for playing and singing..but really only guitar for singing and dancing. So far, guitar hasn’t made her short list – but whatever musical choice she’d like to pursue, I’ll support her. I love music, adn I haven’t met an instrument I don’t like on some level.

      And honestly, at 8 – I can’t take it all so seriously anyway. Passing fancies can be just that…passing and fancy.

  2. August 13, 2009 12:49 pm

    My husband plays the cello — he started in grade school and has picked it up off and on for many years – now he practices every day — there are great solo pieces and the cello is so lovely to wrap ones arms around and for those of us who listen.

  3. johnieb permalink
    August 17, 2009 12:25 pm

    Cello sounds too good not to play, although I don’t. Keep at it, J2, and I’ll buy ya the Bach Suites.

  4. August 25, 2009 4:46 pm

    I wish I learned to play the cello. I remember when I was young I tried to learn. I am sure she will play and be a natural prodigy.

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