Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

United States


A Cello Of Her Own

alec vanderboom

I didn't get to play the cello when I was young. I played the Clarinet. My grandfather paid for my instrument and my lessons starting in the fifth grade. He was a former trombone player in the OSU Marching Band. It was considered a big gift that he paid for my clarinet even though "woodwinds don't play in the OSU Marching Band." Grandpa had the money. Grandpa picked the music program--Band over Orchestra. Even though I didn't want to play in Band, I wanted a cello.

I have no idea why I wasn't allowed to play the cello--or why at age 10, I thought it was so impossible to even ask out loud to play the cello. (My paternal grandmother played the cello, but I didn't learn about that fact until I was almost 20). All I can say is that musical instruments were a messy thing in my family. My maternal grandfather loved his college band. My maternal grandmother played the piano supposedly every day as an adult. Yet my Mother (their only child) was born with a small birth defect on one hand. According to family legend, because she could never play an instrument my grandmother put away her piano and never played again. She didn't want her daughter to feel left out. I don't know if this is true. I just know that my Dad told me that it was true.

So I don't know what really happened at age 10. I just remember being told by my best friend in the fourth grade that she started Orchestra class and I laid down in the gym locker room bench in despair. Orchestra had started without me. It was like this major train had started without me aboard. "How could I have missed it?"

The next year, in fifth grade, I started with Band. I chose the clarinet. I played until my senior year of high school. That was who I was, and I didn't like it.

I remember watching the boys unload their cellos outside of the middle school. Their parents drove them to a special entrance at the back of the school. I watched them gingerly remove their large black cases from the back of a car. "Oh, no one would ever trust me with a cello. They are too valuable." I thought.

I dated a guy who played the cello in seventh grade. I felt pain again when I moved to a new school my freshman year in high school. A new friend mentioned that he played in the Orchestra. "Maybe, I could join too?" I thought hopefully. "No, I already missed that chance. No one has beginner lessons in high school."

Orchestra was just something I missed. Either my parents didn't have money to buy a cello. Or I wasn't assertive enough to ask. Or --what I really thought--I was a klutzy kid who couldn't be trusted with a cello. Cellos are expensive. I'd probably break it--or run out of enthusiasm for it in a few weeks. I was a girl who couldn't be trusted with such a valuable instrument as a cello.

So it was totally, totally crazy that God and my husband got me a cello for Christmas in my 37 year. This was totally a "ship that had sailed." I missed my chance. Who possibly learns how to play a new instrument from scratch as an adult--with FIVE YOUNG CHILDREN in her house?

I remember telling my husband in a panic--what if we spend all this money and then I never use it. He told me with certainty "I trust you! I trust you with a cello." He confidence was a gift to my soul.

So here I am. Six weeks later. I play the cello. I play duets with my husband and I laugh. I make mistakes and I'm patient. I soothe myself after a hard day of mothering. I set a good example of practice and diligence for my children. And oh my goodness--is a musical instrument rental CHEAP. For heavens sake. For the price of  inexpensive dinner out--I feel like a Vanderbilt all month long.

I'm never to old to start up a new dream for God.