I stumbled upon School of HONK thanks to a friend whose daughter was invited to play during the 2015 HONK! Festival. She asked if my son, Julien, wanted to join too. He was game, so we used markers, scissors, and masking tape and dotted up a t-shirt and off he went. We mostly spectated that weekend, but I started taking him to Sunday practices regularly. Watching and listening to the group play music filled me with so much joy and excitement, I simply could not resist picking up an instrument and playing myself. I don’t know who I thought I was. I had never played an instrument in my life! I knew nothing about reading music or what notes were being played or playing scales. But… I. Could. Not. Help. Myself!!
At that time, my eldest was 7 and we had another 3-year-old who spent those Sunday afternoons at home with my husband. Parenting is hard, man, and in the haze and demands of it, I had sort of forgotten the parts of me that were not just about being a mom. There were so many hours spent at the karate studio, soccer fields, school potlucks, birthday parties, playdates, racing to pickups and dropoffs. It’s easy to get lost in all that. But, quite unexpectedly, here we were, me and my eldest, getting to do this amazing, challenging, fun, creative thing TOGETHER, and enjoying it EQUALLY. This experience, which really started out as a fun activity for him, turned out, to my surprise, to be a fun activity for me too. And so, the first gift School of HONK gave me was quality time with my son making joyful music.
Over the years, School of HONK has continued to give us many gifts. My son and I have learned to play our instruments competently. I play trumpet and he plays trombone. We have made so many friends, we’ve traveled together to two HONK! TX festivals, my son has trusted, adult role models in his life that have become dear friends, and we’ve created memories that will last a lifetime. Most importantly, we have fun, and most of the time, we still don’t worry about playing wrong notes.