Mozart on the Misery Stick

I was with the Murrumbeena High School Band from 1985 to 1988, from year 7 to year 10. IT GOT ME OUT OF PE. Which I hated, being asthmatic and blind and with an astigmatism (therefore I was TOTAL crap at both ball sports and running, which seems to be what high school physical education consisted of when i was there)

MHS does not exist any more – it was Jeffed (slang term referring to what the Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennet, did to rather a lot of government services like schools, ambulances, hospitals, homes for the disabled – I am NOT a fan of his work!).

I was kind of terrible at the clarinet. A lack of being able to sight read (still can’t but at least I can point at the numerical dyslexia and say THAT IS WHY), not a lot of practice, fumbling fingers and not understanding that there is also a thing called ‘sounding good’ and not just ‘getting the fingering right’, was my issue.

I did a lot of ‘baby elephant walk’ and various other stuff.

Since high school I got out the misery stick every now and then and had a bit of a go. It was memory lane stuff. I never thought i’d ever give it a serious go again and try and get better, but a friend recently got into it and I decided to pick it up again and see what i could do.

Recently I’ve been overwhelmed by clarinets!  The high school plastic yamaha was in dire need of a service but they are costly and it was never a good instrument, so i decided to upgrade.


Two Hanson clarinets, and my old school yamaha (the shiny one).  And Ganesha there in the background, of course, which is kind of apt as he’s helpful in new ventures! (plus a replica velociraptor skull  which is way less useful in new ventures than the blessing of a Hindu God).

The saga of getting my Hanson clarinet is long and not really pretty – lets just say that the first one was actually broken when it arrived, i sent it back (to the UK), they sent me a replacement but had not told me to keep the mouthpiece from the first one and assumed they had –  and thus the new one arrived without one…they had to send  a mouthpiece separately and it all took forever and must have cost them a fortune – however the one i ended up with is really nice to play on….

I’m still pretty crap but getting a little better. I need lessons on how to hold my actual mouth so it does not sound like a distressed koala honking away.

Been working on one of the Mozart Duets, so that inspired this water colour.  Mabye we’d do better if we looked at the actual music! heh.


Clarinets are kind of hard to draw accurately but easy to draw so they are recognizable!