Thursday, March 22, 2007

She played a mean trombone

There are more consequences to being 58 than just having an unreliable memory and the beginnings of hearing loss. We middle-aged folks also have to deal with the interesting results of having grown up in a different era.

I remember well how our Seder host, some twenty years ago, after having mentioned the words "dentist" and "she" in the same paragraph, took us aside and asked us not to act surprised that that her daughter’s dentist was a woman—she didn’t want her daughter to think that that was unusual (which it certainly was, in the mid-80’s). And I remember ever so nonchalantly pointing out to our son both the male and the female “motorworkers”—I refuse to call them motormen—beginning probably within a week of having seen a woman in the “driver’s” seat of a subway for the first time.

Which brings us, you may be surprised to know, to the reason for this post.

When I joined a college student organization, my mentor told me that she’d given up playing the trombone because it wasn’t an instrument for a woman.

Imagine, then, my pleasant surprise when the brass rock band—bass (?) sax, tenor (?) sax, trumpet, trombone, and drum set—that I heard playing in the subway tonight turned out to include the first female trombone player I’ve ever seen (to the best of my recollection).

So I listened to a couple of their songs and did a wee smidge of semi-discrete dancing on my way to an Israeli folk dance session. ‘Twas a most pleasant warm-up.

Call me silly and I’ll plead guilty as charged, but I still get a kick out of seeing women play musical instruments that "girls" just didn’t play when I was growing up because they weren’t consider appropriate for “girls” (which, in those days, included 90-year-olds)—electric bass, electric rock guitar (as opposed to acoustic folk guitar), trumpet, trombone, and drums (and maybe a few others that my so-called memory can’t remember).

Did I happen to mention that my son’s favorite physics teacher is a woman? We’ve come a long way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

and that's why it took me 8 years to get a drumkit... growing up in a russian immigrant family, when an 8 year old me asked my mom for a drum kit, she was horrified. "but girls don't play drums. girls play piano or violin." so i appeased her with 4 years of piano lessons. then at 16, i finally nudged her to the breaking point :-)

today (12 years later), i see so many teenage girls playing drums, it's almost taken for granted. but i remember being 17 and walking into a drum equipment store and asking for the sabian 17" AA crash and being asked "uh, is this for you?!" my answer was "nope. it's for my grandmother." i put up with a lot of odd looks but i'm def. gratified to see that drums are no longer "a boy's instrument."

btw - how can any religious person say that with a straight face? um, anyone ever read about the splitting of the Red Sea? it sure wasn't Moshe and Aharon rockin' da house with da beats...

Fri Mar 23, 09:45:00 AM 2007  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

We played at Subterranean over Channukah and one of the other acts was a Canadian band called Shtreimel which had a female trombone player.

Fri Mar 23, 10:24:00 AM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how great are Shtreiml, eh? love them.

Fri Mar 23, 10:36:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Julie, so nu, where can I hear *you* play?

"it sure wasn't Moshe and Aharon rockin' da house with da beats..." Yeah, Miriam had the market cornered. :)

Mark/PT and Julie, I'm sitting here listening to Shreimel on their website. Klezmer harmonica? Unexpected, but good. I Googled them and sent their URL to my youngest brother (the West Coast guy, not the Jerusalem guy). He plays a pretty mean harmonica himself.

Fri Mar 23, 06:40:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Er, Shtreiml.

Fri Mar 23, 06:45:00 PM 2007  
Blogger elizabeth! said...

Hello from the female trombone player in question! Thanks for listening and dancing last night!

Fri Mar 23, 07:53:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

y'know what, Shira? i'm actually hoping to arrange a trip to the US that coincides with a Girls NIght On event. i'm hoping to see some sisterly talent and maybe i'll even join the roster. don't know when that'll be, but i'll let you know.

despite being on hiatus now, i've been working on my own record for a while now. i do the drums on that (as well as guitar and vox) so whenever that actually gets done, i'll let you know. i have a whole entry in my blog about how difficult it is to juggle motherhood and making a record. btwn that and everything else i do, i'm hoping this'll get done before i'm a granma :-)

shavua metzuyan!

Sat Mar 24, 07:51:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Elizabeth, thanks for the music! I checked out your website--nice voice, too. And you've got some moves, as well? I've done a smidge of Israeli-folk-dance-style choreography (though nothing worthy of Broadway), which you can see me performing here.

Julie, you're drumbumj?! Hot sauce, far out, or whatever people are saying these days. :) (My son once complained that my slang was old. I told him, "Well, what do expect? *I'm* old! :) ). Nice to, er, meet you. Next time you're in NYC, maybe we can meet for real, especially if you make it to Girls' Night On. Meanwhile, nu, what's the URL to your blog?

Sat Mar 24, 11:51:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my GRANDMOTHER's favorite physics teacher was a woman. And my grandmother was a physics major in college.

Sun Mar 25, 01:20:00 AM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my myspace page *is* my blog URL. (the blog entries are the 5 headlines on the right hand side of the page.)

i'm confuzzed though - why is it cool that i'm drumbumj? and yes, i would love to meet fo' real in NYC. maybe i'll get to see you dance at GNO...

Sun Mar 25, 02:30:00 AM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here, maybe this'll help:

happy cleaning y'all,

Sun Mar 25, 02:35:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"my GRANDMOTHER's favorite physics teacher was a woman. And my grandmother was a physics major in college." I'm behind the times, evidently.

Oy, Julie, I'm clueless. I didn't spot the blog entries.

It's cool that you're drumbumj because you've either commented on my blog before and/or e-mailed me, but now I have a real name to put to the drumbumj version. :) I'm cheatin', of course, because neither Shira nor Salamone is my real name. Believe me, I've got good reasons for needing to stay undercover. Too bad I didn't think of a cooler Blogger name, but, for some stupid reason, I originally wanted readers to think that my Blogger name was my real name, so it had to sound like a real name.

Sun Mar 25, 02:58:00 AM 2007  

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