Thursday, June 17, 2010

Recorder vs. Tonette

After an informal poll at work, I discovered yet another pathetic anecdote about my childhood. If you are like the 100% of my coworkers, you probably played the Recorder at some point during elementary school.


But not me. Oh, no. Evidently, I lacked the emotional fortitude to handle such a complex instrument.

My school had the Tonette instead. It is a piece-of-junk plastic whistle with a few holes to change the notes. Basically, it is a glorified Kazoo.


To give you a better idea of how cheap this thing is, it has a bell shaped piece on the bottom, but it is just for show. Plus, about 95% of the kids in my class found their bells would fall off repeatedly. My mom had to wrap a few layers of tape over the end to hold it on.

So, my question is: Am I the only one who had the metaphorical "Pinto" of childhood musical instruments?

8 comments:

Carrot Jello said...

Well, we had to learn the harpsichord, but I think that's a step up from the Tonette. I can just imagine the girl it was named after.

politicchic6 said...

Sadly, in our school we were divided into two groups, those they considered talented enough to play the ukelele and those who played the recorder... I played the recorder.

Super Happy Girl said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!

Oh Nathan. Your cute childhood brings tears to my eyes :D

Carrie said...

I did get to play the Recorder as a child, but as a teenager, I drove a Pinto. A brown one, with an orange hood and yellow racing stripes.

Anonymous said...

Yep. Everyone in my 6th grade class. In 1972 had to play the Tonette. The fingering was precisely like a clarinette or soprano Saxophone. I agree that it was a cheap crappy plastic thing. The bell or the optional rounded knob were exactly as useless az you described. I never heard the term "recorder" until I was in college and met people from elsewhere who played the recorder instead. Not much difference really, in practical terms.

Omari Gill said...

I played the tonette in 5th grade, that description is spot on!

Michael Keropian said...

I think you are being a little hard on the tonette. Back in the 60' s we practiced with the tonette for just one summer. They were and still are cheap. I rented an Alto Sax after that and really never picked up the tonette for many years. I have this great talent for recalling many songs we played in the Elementary School band so i have been using the tonette to transcribe the songs I can no longer find. I have two 7 year olds and if I can get them to practice they may learn just enough to have more of an interest and to learn how to read music. Lately I have been thinking of getting a recorder. The tonette is limited to high D, are recorders also limited in their range of notes?

Wes said...

It had its place in an elementary school music program....to weed out kids with no talent or drive. I loved my little Tonette. Have kept it since 1969. Plan to take it camping this summer. But the recorder and penny whistle have a greater range and are now my go-to instruments.