Brass Girl


When I was very little, this record – !!Going Places!!, by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass – was one of my favorites.  According to my mother, I’d stand in the dining room (where our record player was) and dance my little two-year-old head off.  Pieces like “Tijuana Taxi” and “Zorba the Greek” – I can hear them so perfectly in my mind it’s like the record is playing.  Over and over.

Maybe because of that very early exposure, I’ve always loved the sound of brass. 

I know, and I married a classical guitarist.  We’ve probably committed some sort of sin in the music world.  Well, maybe not.  I’m not a musician, so it’s probably okay.

And while both our kids are learning to play guitar, and Alex played recorder last year and is learning violin this year, I think Julia is the one with the greater passion for music in general.  She loves to play the electric keyboard, she goes around singing little songs she makes up, she listens to Bill’s ipod (zeppelin, rush, journey and triumph…mental note:  I need to balance that out a bit), and when she was oh, two and a half, her favorite song to listen to – and sing along with – on the ride home after daycare was “Booful” by “Chrisageya.”  And a few weeks ago she told us that she asked her music teacher in school if she could sing “God Bless America” to the class.  And she did it.  A bit of struggling with the lyrics, but she just amazes me because I can’t EVER imagine doing something like that.  At seven, or at any other age. 

Which leads me to her newest love:


The trombone.

Bill’s got an assortment of band instruments – acquired years ago when he was originally being hired to teach band in middle school.  That was switched to chorus, but he kept all the instruments anyway.

The other day he got out the trombone for some reason…and Julia, I don’t know, sensed the change in the molecules in the air or something and just showed up while Bill was putting the trombone pieces together.

She asked if she could try.


And boy, she’s got some powerful lungs on her.


Bill taught her a bit about how her changing the way the air flows will change the sound she plays, and she caught on pretty quickly. 


All she’s got to do now is grow.  The trombone is a pretty big instrument, and you need decent arm length to fully extend the slide.  (I was going to write “thingy” but I think it’s a slide.)

It’s also kind of heavy.


But she’s a pretty determined little lady.

If she wants to keep playing, she will. 

And if she wants something a bit smaller, there’s always the trumpet.

Now…I wonder if I have that Tijuana Brass record around here somewhere….

5 thoughts on “Brass Girl

  1. Oh what a memory. Had to go to you tube and listen to a few.
    I played Lonely Bull till my Mom was ready to put me out to pasture along with the bull.
    Payback for my Mom having to put up with all that bull was me having a son in the band with…..yup! A trumpet. LOL

  2. I was a trumpet girl. Always loved brass instruments!
    Julia looks awesome playing that, too! haha, that last face she is making. How grand!

  3. It’s funny because she’s got the slide on the wrong side and is holding the slide with an iron-gripped fist… I hope someone teaches her technique ASAP before these habits stick! Especially that it is backwards. Why didn’t anyone correct her as soon as she picked it up. Her grip is wrong but I’m guessing it is because her hands are too small. She’s cute though. Try getting her an alto; it will fit her and teach her tons more theory at the same time.

  4. Caelie,

    Julias not really interested in playing the trombone. She liked the loud noise it makes, thats about it. Rest assured if she ever changes her mind, well have her take lessons from an actual trombone instructor. Im sorry you were so horrified by her incorrect hand positions and the fact that no one corrected her as soon as she picked it up, but this is a house of stringed instrument players. And she was just fooling around, making noise and having a bit of fun. I hope thats okay.

Leave a Reply