Tootling My Own Horn

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

Ah. The bassoon. Who could ever create a finer sound and look so cool doing so? My dream, ever since I saw it in high school concerts, was to play one. But I never got a chance to learn it. Until…

Ellen and I searched for instruments to rent when I was in my thirties. She could find the ones she wanted: clarinet, flute. Instead, for twenty bucks, she bought a recorder.

Me? The owner of a music store told me I would have to buy bassoon. No one rented them. However, at a cost of $4,000, it wasn’t an option. My daughter insisted on eating and having a roof over her head. (Demanding child). So I prayed, “Lord, if you want me to play the bassoon, You’ll have to find one.”

And guess what? Yep. He did. For ten bucks, I found one in a garage sale. And our band director at school had been a bassoon major. So now you say, “The rest is gravy. God willed it. Presto-virtuoso!”


A few things interfered:

  1. Abdominal surgery. It’s hard to blow a bassoon with belly stitches.
  2. The said band teacher moved.

But a dear friend who majored in music at Crane alerted me to a professor who would give non-Cranies lessons. You repeat, “Abra-ka-tah-tah-tah.”

No again.

  1. Seven years of traveling to Crane, produced a mediocre player.
  2. So mediocre, my teacher got a job elsewhere.

 So what’s my point?

Throughout this time, I knew God had answered my prayers. I met my husband who told me about the Adirondack Players. They took me on and taught me to play with a band. A member there alerted me to performance opportunities at Crane. I expanded my skills.

I now play second bassoon in a community band, in addition to first (read: only) bassoon in two other bands. And lo and behold (it’s my blog and I can be cliche if I want to), I’ve been sight reading music, playing fast and accurately and sounding pretty good.

It took many years. It took due diligence and no symphony would ever take me on as even a stage hand, but I’m playing the bassoon.

God answers prayers. Usually not the way we expect, but if we’re faithful, we will walk in His perfect way.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    as it is said…. "be careful what you wish for…" now you are stuck with a bassoon! I do admire your perseverance and were it possible, I'd like to hear you play. ~Shelley

  2. Andrea, that is so cool. It's obviously my fav instrument. Also wish I could play cello. So in ACFW there are 4 of us who "play."

  3. I played the bassoon in high school…for one semester…the last semester of my senior year. The teacher didn't have time to teach me (apparently the school expected her to teach the rest of the band, go figure). So it was me, the Bassoon, and a book locked in the teacher's office for an hour a day for a month or two before I was proficient enough to join the rest of the band (ps. our standards for "proficient" were fairly low ;P ). I wasn't great, but I loved every minute of it.

    One of the pieces we played was the them to the movie Independence Day (I'm dating myself here). I always watch the credits to that movie because I love to pick out my part in the closing theme.

    I taught myself to play the flute the same way in the seventh grade.

    Alas! I don't play either instrument now.

  4. I think we connected once before, Jan. Your husband started bassooning late, didn't he?

    I now own a Fox and love it. And I'm improving–by playing with those who are better than I. Hmmm, I foresee another blog.

  5. Jan Marie says:

    Congratulations on your progress with the bassoon!

    We need to start a Bassoon Choir; we could regale them at conference with our unique sound. I have played bassoon for many years and still love it as much as the first time I laid eyes on it.

    One of my father's greatest regrets was that, as the pastor of a small newly-established church, he was not able to afford to buy a bassoon for me. When I got married, my husband, who is also a bassoonist (we are jokingly known as the Central Indiana Bassoon Team), assumed responsibility for my car payments and other bills and allowed me to save all of the income from my job as an orthodontic assistant and apply it to the purchase of my very own Fox bassoon. Even though it has been over 35 years, I still vividly remember the day my bassoon was delivered. That bassoon has been my source of refuge and strength through many rough times. When I play my bassoon, I enter into a private realm occupied by only God and myself and before long I am refreshed and able to carry on.

  6. Elaine, you blessed me, too. Glad I made you smile.

  7. It had to be God. Although I don't know why He chose the bassoon for me–I'm no virtuoso. I did sell that $10 horn and bought a $4,000.

  8. Elaine Stock says:

    Carol, I just came home from work followed by groceries (Saturdays are my Fridays) and after not receiving much sympathy/support on the home front, I have to say that you just uplifted my spirits and boosted my hope. Thanks so much.

    Also, bravo for pointing out that it's okay to write what you want & how you want on your own blog 🙂 Being a blog owner myself, your comment made me grin silly. Our blogs are our own little corners of the world… rejoice in our own rules!

  9. Oh, Carol! I played bassoon in junior high, high school, and college and have asked for a bassoon for Christmas for forty years! So far, nothing. TEN DOLLARS at a garage sale???? I am so jealous…I mean, happy for you!

  10. Wonderful as always. Sure you don't want to be a geezer blogger? You can do a two-fer.

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