Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Clarinet and Flute Disasters

It's been a time of musical instrument disasters this week.

Firstly, my friend's daughter left her family heirloom, very expensive flute on the school bus.  No-one handed it in, of course, it's probably in a second hand shop somewhere now for £50.  I have lent her mine (to use solely at home!) until my friend can buy her a new one.

And then there was this:

Tomorrow daughter takes her first ever clarinet exam.  So tonight she did her final practice and then she dismantled her clarinet while I cleaned it.  I put the special cleaning cloth through the upper part, pulled the cord and ............. stuck!

Oh no!

It wouldn't budge.

So I asked for husband's help.

He used brute force to try and pull the cloth through the clarinet and then it was well and truly stuck.  He then decided to use a chopstick to try and force it through, rammng it in rather like a soldier loads a cannon.  It was not pretty.

By this stage daughter was in tears.

"Shall I try?" I said.

"Well, if I can't do it, you can't" he retorted.

"But I've got more patience than you"  I countered.

He left me to it.

After using a jewellery screwdriver to remove one of the keys to see if I could remove the obstruction inside the clarinet, I realised that it was never going to go through, it needed to go back the way it came, but hubby had stuck it fast.

I used the chopstick and a hammer (I kid you not) to try and force the cloth back down the clarinet, until I could manoeuvre a sliver of cloth down the clarinet via the holes with the jewellery screwdriver to the other end, where I grabbed it with a pair of pliers and pulled it back out.

Phew!

Disaster averted.

At least we don't have to buy a new instrument.

If anyone sees a Yamaha flute for sale too cheaply in the Manchester area, please let me know.



4 comments:

Sarah said...

I hope the clarinet exam goes well, and is the first of many. :)

ADDY said...

Good luck to Izzy for her exam and glad you managed to free the cloth!

GRANNY G said...

Oh Dear!
Well Done Mum for finally getting the cloth out. Was living that with you.
Maybe your friend could keep a look out on Ebay for the flute.
My cousin got his stolen trumpet back by keeping a beady eye on local ads.

Working Mum said...

Granny G - they are doing precisely that, I'm still hoping it turns up.

Sarah - apparently when she was warming up for the exam she discovered one of the keys had bent over another and the clarinet wouldn't play - luckily the head of music stepped in and fixed it for her - I just hope she played well enough to pass after all the trauma.