I’m With the Band

Trumpet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know that some denominations don’t believe in using musical instruments in their praise and worship programs? I still don’t have any idea why this particular idea caught on. I just love music, and King David obviously did as well. He used the harp to sooth Saul’s depressive moods; he wrote all sorts of songs, which we call Psalms, and even put down some instructions on how to play the music.

When I was in 6th grade, my family ended up in Woodland Park, Colorado, and it was mandatory that each student play a musical instrument. I remember the excitement I felt as we perused the music store. The number of instruments to choose from was mind-boggling, and right at that moment, I felt like my choice would change my entire future. Looking back now, I see I either picked the wrong instrument, or my imagination was just getting the better of me..Nothing big came of playing a musical instrument. 🙂

I was instantly drawn to the saxophone. And my mom instantly wasn’t. Looking back, I am pretty sure the price was a factor for her, but being a tiny bit naive, I wasn’t all that financially savvy. I guess I thought that all the instruments were the same price.

I think this is a cornet.

Mom really wanted me to play the trumpet, citing several scriptures that described trumpet’s heralding great victories or ushering in the new kingdom of God. I was pretty positive that God wasn’t going to ask me to grab my trumpet to blast in the new Earth, so I wasn’t all that sold on the idea.

Instead, my mom did point out that the trumpet only had three “buttons”, and so, it probably was the easiest instrument to learn. And that sold me on it. Suddenly, the saxophone looked entirely too complicated, along with the clarinet or the flute. I was instantly doubtful of my ability to learn another instrument because my mom seemed to think I wouldn’t be that talented either. So much for being the smart one in the family. 😦

Turns out, though, that the number of valves on an instrument has no bearing on whether it is difficult or not. Instead of learning a few extra keys, I had to learn odd breathing stuff, and the trumpet turned out to be a pretty good instrument for me. Well, except for the nasty spit valve routine…Too gross for words…

Understand and Appreciate the Power of the Trumpet, People!!

I learned the famous opening themes to Rocky and Dallas, and almost all the songs from Fiddler on the Roof. When we later moved to Arizona, and were living in a tiny 28 foot trailer at a trailer park in the middle of the desert, I practiced my trumpet in the washing center in middle of the night.

Even now, I occasionally run across a trumpet for sale, and I mentally play the scales, still able to remember the hand positions and the breathing necessary to perform each note.

I’m thinking of buying another one, just in case God does actually need someone to sit in when His Son’s feet land on the earth… 🙂  Better to be prepared, I always say….

— Bird

22 responses to “I’m With the Band”

  1. excellent. i don’t understand why churches would not love to have these musical instruments. my first thought is stubborn, old fashioned, afraid of change. there are many musical instruments in the bible, and also hearing this in church wakes the soul up!!!


  2. Well, I am shy, but here goes. Do not mean to be divisive.
    In the Church of Christ (of which I am not a member, but have friends who are) the belief is that the New Testament Church is our model, and there is no mention of instrumental music in any of the references to their meetings. It is that simple.
    And quite simply caused a lot of division in a very good belief system.
    However, to their credit, they are softening a bit, realizing there are some saved people, actual believers, brothers (!), who use instrumental worship music. There has been reaching out, exchanges of pulpits, etc., that are bearing quite hope-giving fruit. They are calling it the “Restoratioin Movement”. Just started about 3 years ago, and is kept quite low-key, for a reason: They want God to lead it instead of ad slots pushing it.
    But their people surely can sing. Their worship is absolutely gorgeous, every person musically literate with that one instrument: the human voice.


  3. I love this post Bird..especially since I play the saxophone..lol..I have done since I was 8 and the saxophones always competed against the trumpets in band..lol!
    I do love the trumpet, and tried my hand at it once or twice..but I’m biased cuz I play sax, so by default I’ve got to say I love it more! lol!
    My sax is second hand..and as I grew up..I too understood why..some of the prices of a brand new sax was the same as a 2nd hand car!
    But anyway..the whole musicless church thing..I too do not understand. Music has the power to touch people in their hearts..there are some people that just go to church to hear the band play..and that’s how they’re drawn in..if that wasn’t there..I can’t even imagine however many people wouldn’t be also..
    I think it’s important. In my opinion anyway.

    oh, grab a trumpet..it will be super awesome..we can start a WP Band!! Bird and her Band..or Bird and the Jets..lol


  4. I was raised in the Church of Christ and the lack of instrumental music was always odd to me. There is something really beautiful about a cappella singing but I love instrumental worship music too. Cool story! I took piano lessons for a time, but most of the music genes skipped me 🙂


  5. Trumpets are awesome! My first major in college was music and I was a trumpet major. Bird, trumpet is really hard to play, but it’s the most fun to play in a band. Buy another one! Jesus chose it for his grand re-entrance into the world. It’s the Savior’s instrument of choice!


  6. I never learned to play any instrument but I think I would love to have played the piano…how easy people make something very difficult to do. I loved Liberace…he was my mother’s favorite and so mine too I guess…Diane


  7. when my siblings and i were small kids, my parents wanted us playing instruments too… my sister got the guitar, chris got the drums (later to be regretted), and i got the trumpet (mom wanted me to have an instrument that kept my mouth occupied)


  8. Churches of Christ are not exclusively non-instrumental. I grew up in one that had both organ and piano accompaniment. When I left, they had started contemporary praise and worship with guitar and keyboard. My understanding regarding the non-instrumental branch is that they believe if it’s not specifically mentioned in the New Testament, it’s not permitted. My belief is that God created music and the voice is nothing more than an instrument, capable of producing pitch, tone, and volume just like any other instrument. It’s too bad the NT doesn’t address singing off key. 😉 So, praise God with whatever instrument you can. ♪ ♫


  9. Bird, actually the sax is the hardest instrument to play, and in most colleges they don’t just let anyone take it up. I understand your experience though because in 5th grade I wanted to play the violin or the flute, but my dad didn’t want that…his choice the clarinet. I hated it! But gave in because he was paying for it. After 6 months of clarinet, with my dad and my teacher using my clarinet to teach me things, and about 20 bouts of strep throat, I had to stop playing it. My doctor became concerned about how I kept getting strep throat, and knowing I have cryptic tonsils, knew that I was being passed germs through something and someone. My mom went through all the things, drinking out of the same glass as others…no; doing dishes…no we now had a dishwasher; kissing…are you kidding I thought that was gross…lol. Finally the doctor asked if I played a musical instruments and that is when they realized that I was being passed germs through the reed of the clarinet, from my teacher and my dad. I was told that I couldn’t play it anymore for my health. Funny my dad wasn’t sorry for making me play it in the first place, but he was angry with me that he spent the money on an instrument I couldn’t play anymore. Mom simply said to him, that he had no one to blame but himself since I wanted to play violin in the first place. The thing she and I didn’t understand about him not letting me play the violin or flute is that he played both among many other instruments and he wouldn’t have put out a cent on an instrument since he owned both. Go figure!


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