I had purchased a talking metronome, while I was attending a conference, in
New York, for music teachers. Before my son and I boarded our flight home, I
hefted my carry-on bag onto the security-check conveyor belt. The guard's
eyes widened as he watched the monitor. He asked what I had in the bag,
then slowly pulled out the six-by-three-inch black box covered with dials and
switches. Other travelers, sensing trouble, vacated the area.
"A metronome," I replied, weakly, as my son cringed in embarrassment. "It's
a talking metronome," I insisted. "Look, I'll show you." I took the box and
flipped a switch, realizing that I had no idea how it worked, "One ... two ...
three ... four," it said. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
As we gathered our belongings, my son whispered, "Aren't you glad it didn't
go 'four ... three ... two ... one ...'?"
The summer band class was just getting under way when a large insect flew
into the room. The sixth-graders, eager to play their shiny new instruments,
tried to ignore the buzzing intruder. But, eventually, one student, Tommy,
could stand it no more.
So, he rolled up his music book and swatted the insect. Then, he stomped
on it to ensure its fate. "Is it a bee?" another student asked.
"Nope," Tommy replied. "Bee flat."
A musical director was having a lot of trouble with a drummer. He talked,
several times, to the drummer. But, his performance just never improved.
One day, before the whole orchestra, the conductor said, "When a musician
can't play his instrument properly and doesn't improve when given help, they
take away the instrument and give him two sticks; and make him a drummer."
A whisper was heard from the percussion section, "And if he can't handle
even that, they take away one of his sticks and make him a conductor."
A piano teacher told a problem student, "If you don't behave, I'm going to
tell your parents you have real talent!"