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I Played Clarinet For One Day… This Is What I Learned

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Endicott chapter.

It was the final week before sixth grade. Sixth grade was to be the beginning of a new, important chapter of my life, full of valuable lessons. Middle school intimidated every 11 or 12 year old entering its premises. I feared how much homework I was to be assigned, what friends I would spend time with, and what clubs I would join. More than anything, I wanted to develop meaningful relationships with new peers. I knew that if I wanted to expose myself to a new community in an effective manner, I had to join only the most promising organization offered to me. This said organization just happened to be the middle school band. 

That week, I begged my mother to purchase me a clarinet. I promised her to practice day after day, dedicating my time to the instrument. She bought me, no joke, a bright pink clarinet with all of the fixings. The kit she had given to my 12 year old self contained reeds, polish, and even sanitizing wipes. I adored this bubblegum-colored instrument with my whole heart. I could not wait to walk into school with my instrument, my newly found passion, and my confidence.

The first day of school came quicker than the blink of an eye, and it was time to take the band up by storm. As soon as the 2:10 bell rang, I raced to the choir room with my beloved kit. I put together my instrument and was ready to perform. The band instructor asked each student to play “Hot Cross Buns”, an incredibly simple tune. When I went to play, all that came out were pitchy squeaks capable of causing squirms. The confidence I had walked into school with flew out of my body and away into the atmosphere. I let those squeaks get the best of me, and by the time the day came to an end, I had quit both the band, and clarinet all together.

My mother was decently disappointed with my decision to quit playing the instrument after just one day of instruction, but I explained to her just how upset my lack of skill made me feel. She supported my choice, but was not thrilled it cost her what could have been a shopping spree at T.J. Maxx (don’t fret, I paid her back with my allowance). Though she reassured me of my potential, she explained that I cannot afford to quit any activity I cannot master in my first attempt. After all, my mom did NOT raise a quitter.

I may not have obtained a skill set pertaining to the clarinet, but I did learn a lesson more valuable than anything the instrument could have taught me. The lack of mastery humbled me, as I needed to be reminded that I cannot expect myself to be great, or even good at anything without practice. Mozart didn’t come out of the womb playing “The Jupiter Symphony”, and I sure wasn’t born a musical prodigy. I never should have expected to be so good at something I never had even tried. Every activity, practice, or strategy I was to utilize would require effort and will, characteristics I lacked on that first day of sixth grade. Because of that terrible band class, I work each day to continue increasing my sense of persistence and keep myself from giving up too easily. Since then, I have obtained new skills, such as painting and cake decorating. Each of these activities required me to put forth my highest effort, a positive attitude, and of course, persistence. Even with obstacles interfering, I pushed through them with the goal of achieving what I had set my mind to work hard for. Quitting would get me to the same point as where I stood on the first day in sixth grade; in other words, nowhere.

Everybody (especially 11 year olds) struggles with minor failures, and these mistakes cause individuals to lose their hope. What I understand now is that these experiences only shape and humble us to evolve into the people we strive to become as children. I may not have grown to be the world’s greatest clarinet player, but I have instead learned how important it is to persevere through even the most difficult challenges.

Sophia Lonnroth

Endicott '26

Hi! I'm Sophia Lonnroth, a freshman psychology major, and I am the current Deputy Editor for HC at Endicott College! I hope you enjoy my written work!! :)