Angi Aymond

Growing in wisdom. Walking in grace.

Lessons From The Band Room

“Hey, Baby. Don’t play so loud.”

Yes. Words from the lips of my seventeen-year-old trumpet playing boyfriend. To me, third chair trumpet player. Mostly trumpet carrying sixteen-year-old.

I couldn’t really blame him. You see, he’d been playing his horn for quite some time. And he played it well. I, on the other hand, chose my ‘borrowed from the band’ cornet as a means to an end. I wanted to be part of the Marching One Hundred, the scheme dream of our beloved band director, Mr. Ed Merrill. Never mind I’d just be a part of a group of girls in cute outfits, marking time and hitting hash marks on a Friday night football field, occasionally dancing my way through some tunes. But, to do that, I had to pick up an instrument.

So, I picked up a borrowed and bruised cornet.

I learned. I practiced. And practiced some more. But my tone was never crisp. It was muddy. By my junior year,  the cute outfit was replaced by a uniform that flattered no one. I joined the section of trumpets, third chair, murky tone and all. Thus the endearing words, “Hey, Baby, don’t play so loud.”

But my years spent playing third-chair-trumpet were ripe with opportunity. I developed a greater appreciation of music. I learned to harmonize. And, I learned that staying in tune with other instruments requires listening to yourself, listening to others around you, and often spitting out excess. Literally. Staying in tune requires regular emptying of a spit valve!


Oh, how my heart requires an emptying as well. An emptying of the yuck that sneaks in uninvited. Truth be told, I invite the yuck more often than I think. By not guarding my heart as intentionally as I should. Lingering in a place I know isn’t best. Forgetting to practice gratitude. Letting lies dance around in my head.

Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace.

Theologian, Robert Robinson, 1757.

My heart needs frequent tuning. Many times a day. Life in this broken world too often tempts me to tune my heart to everything but God. Suddenly my heart becomes sharp; my words cut deep. The music is way off. Out of tune. Dissonant.

My heart can play some ugly tunes!

And when that happens, I must be faithful to turn back to the One who tunes my heart to His. Surrendering my sharp. Spitting out the yuck. Allowing Him to adjust the tuning slides of my heart so that His grace is its melody.

What about you? What tunes is your heart playing today?

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

PSALM 51:10

2 responses to “Lessons From The Band Room”

  1. I must say, I have not heard, said, or even thought of the words, spit valve, in dozens of years!
    Several years ago, my grandson, Gabe had a short solo in our church’s children’s musical. The song was titled, “ You Better Taste Your Words Before You Spit Them Out!” So much wisdom in that song and your “emptying you spit valve”
    Thanks for sharing! I am enjoying your morning thoughts that get me thinking too!


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