Saturday, September 29, 2007


We picked up a movie last night: The Last Mimzy. We watched it with James (it's a kids' movie), and boy, was it weird. I've seen some trippy ones in my time but this one took the cake. The kids find a stuffed rabbit from the future who says the world's going to end unless they send it back to the future and save the universe. Yeah. It actually doesn't sound that bad when I describe it like that, but it was really strange.

We did our usual butcher/baker/farmer's market shopping today (when did we turn into such hippies?), and made the lamb/tomato/zucchini thing for dinner. It was funny - it was the first time I made it that it wasn't for guests.

We gave James a solar car kit for his birthday - he and I built it today and played with it out on the sidewalk. Once we found a big mirror and used the regular sunlight AND the reflected sunlight, it was really moving along. He was pretty impressed, and then a cloud went over the sun and the whole thing screeched to a halt.

Oh, and his mum announced this week that he was starting music lessons. More specifically: trumpet lessons. I mentioned that 'Uncle Ed' played the trumpet all through middle school and that I played the french horn and trumpet in high school and college (and taught the trumpet to kids his age at an after-school program for 2 years).

He was SO excited about bringing his trumpet to our house so he could play. I was mean, though - his idea of playing is 'taking a huge breath and blowing as hard as he can to make a honking noise and then giggling.' Granted, this is pretty much what anybody would do with a trumpet, but it's not the best way to learn to play.

I made him do some breathing and then he buzzed on the mouthpiece and THEN he played a few notes. He reminded me of myself at that age, trying to learn something. He wants to do it ALL and he wants to do it NOW and he doesn't want to bother with stupid stuff like breathing right or playing real notes. He gets frustrated pretty quickly (like I always did), and he's had asthma his whole life, so the breathing exercises generated some tears. I reminded him that if he learned to breath the brass-player's way, his asthma would get a lot better and he'd be able to breathe more easily anyway.

It was totally bringing back memories of my college horn teacher, who I have to say was one of the best teachers I've ever had. She was a kindergarten music teacher when she wasn't teaching horn, and she used the same techniques on her college students as she used on her little kids. We LOVED it and really learned a lot. I think James was a little bit mystified when I made him lie on his back on the floor with a cookbook on his stomach (it's to get him to breathe with his diaphragm), but it definitely helps.

I'm hopefully going to get to the Paxman store in London next weekend (it's a horn mecca), since my mouthpiece is somewhere in New Ro and my horn is in Stowmarket. I kind of need them both to play, so I'm going to suck it up and buy a new one. It feels a little bit sacrilegious - I've only ever had the one mouthpiece and I can't really imagine playing with a different one. But until I (or mom) figure out where it is, I'm going to have to get a spare. Like Edward's blankie when he was 6. I guess the good news is be that when I find it, I'll have two. And until then, I'll have my own brass instrument to make noises on so James won't get icked out by sharing his mouthpiece with me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you get organic free range horn mouthpieces?