The Future of Miss Powers - Cover

The Future of Miss Powers

Copyright© 2021 by Lazlo Zalezac

Chapter 7

“I would have figured you for a clarinet player.”

“I didn’t like it at all,” Danny said, handing the instrument back to Mr. Peters.

The complicated hardware of the clarinet was kind of interesting. He did want to study the instrument and figure what everything did. From a physics perspective, he had the feeling that the reed instruments were the most complex in terms of how different sounds were produced.

“The trumpet?”

“It made my lips tingle. I didn’t like that,” Danny said.

“How about the drums?”

“Nope. I felt like an orangutang beating a log with a stick. It’s a lot of fun, but it doesn’t sound all that good.”

“The violin? You sounded pretty good on that. Most students sound like they are strangling a cat the first time they play the violin.”

“No. I know that Joshua Bell said, ‘The violin sings.’ Unfortunately, it doesn’t sing to me.”

“At least you tried it. You still like the flute the most.”

“Yes, I do.”

“One last question.”


Mr. Peters said, “You didn’t pick the flute because all of the other flute players are female, did you?”

“No,” Danny said looking away.

“Pity. It might serve as a good source of motivation for you.”

“Okay. It’s the girls.”

“Then the flute it shall be,” Mr. Peters said.

“You do know what James Galway said about everyone who plays the flute, don’t you?” Danny asked.

“Yes. Everyone who plays the flute should learn singing.”

“Should I learn singing?”



“Because you should know two instruments. Your voice is a handy one because you take it everywhere you go.”

“That’s reasonable.”

“Let’s start with your first real flute lesson,” Mr. Peters said.

Danny rubbed his hands together and said, “Where’s the sheet music for Vivaldi’s Flute Concerto in D Major?”

“It’ll be a couple years before you’re ready for that one,” Mr. Peters said.

“I was hoping to play it for my Dad tonight.”

“It’s a difficult piece and requires that you have a lot of skills before tackling it.”

“Next Friday.”

“We start with learning how to blow.”

The lesson began.

Despite being tall and skinny, Danny was very coordinated. Basketball and Aikido had come easily to him. Learning physical activities was easy. At least, it was until he came face to face with playing the flute.

After an hour, Mr. Peters said, “Take the headjoint with you. When you have a bit of spare time, just practice blowing.”

“Sure,” Danny said.

Mr. Peters was about to dismiss him when he had a thought and added, “Spare time does not include times when you are bored in your other classes.”

“Oh,” Danny said disappointedly.

Leaving the band hall, Danny ran into Steve Sharp. The young man was wearing his football jersey, since it was a game day. Wearing the jersey around the school was supposed to increase school spirit. He supposed it did. At least, a lot of kids came up and wished Steve luck in the game. That was always nice.

The football player looked at the flute headjoint and said, “So now you’re a member of the band.”

“Not yet. I’m still learning to blow,” Danny said looking down at the headjoint in his hand.

“You know that we can never be friends now. You’re a band person ... ugh! Football players are supposed to stuff band people in trashcans.”

Danny looked at him as if to say, “Are you crazy? We both know who will get stuffed in a trash can and it isn’t me.”

Steve burst out laughing and said, “You should see the look on your face.”

“You had me going there for a second,” Danny said with a wry smile.

“Why the flute?”

“All the other flute players are girls.”

“I definitely see the logic in that,” Steve said with a grin. “So how’s it going?”

Danny said, “Not so good. The first time he asked me to blow on it, it made a nice noise. So I figured, this is easy – you blow and it goes toot. Then he started working on technique and wind and ... it stopped going toot.”

“That doesn’t sound good.”

“This is going to be a whole lot harder than I thought,” Danny said.

Steve slapped him on the shoulder in a good-natured way. He said, “So you finally came up against something challenging. That’s good for you.”

Not exactly enjoying not picking it up right away, he asked, “Why?”

“Things come too easy for you. You need to learn how to deal with adversity.”

“You mean like what Walt Disney said?”

“What did he say?”

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

“That’s what I mean,” Steve said. “So what all do they have you taking, now?”

“Dancing, art, drama, music, and debate. I still have algebra and science.”

“That’s a pretty full load.”

“It’s mostly stuff I don’t feel comfortable doing,” Danny said.

“Why algebra and science?”

“Mr. McClellan and Mr. Chandler are helping with my college homework in calculus and physics.”

“That’s nice of them. So how are you doing in the other stuff?”

“Dance is okay.”

Steve said, “My mom taught me to dance. She said it was important for young men to know how to dance. It wasn’t just to be able to entertain young women, but to move with grace and direction. I sometimes wonder if those lessons don’t show up when I’m playing football.”

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