Helaine Denenberg
Helaine Denenberg

A little trumpet in Jerusalem

When our family made the decision to spend 4 weeks in Jerusalem this summer, one of the first questions our middle son asked was: “How will I practice my trumpet?”

Our boy has been playing the trumpet for nearly two years. He’s pretty good for an 11-year- old child–and I’m not saying that just because I’m his mother. He’s very lucky to have teachers who get kids excited about music. In his mind, going 4 weeks without playing wasn’t an option. Thankfully, this is precisely the kind of puzzle I love to solve for my kids, and I couldn’t wait to figure it out.

My first thought was that we’d just bring our son’s rental trumpet along with us. Unfortunately, the insurance policy through the rental company doesn’t cover air travel. The instrument is worth several hundred dollars and doesn’t belong to us. Plus, the horn and case are heavy to schlep. As a family of 5, we’d have enough schlepping to do, even without the trumpet. We needed a Plan B.

I posted the following on Facebook: “Friends in Israel… Anyone know how to go about renting a trumpet for a month, in the summertime? Boy #2 will be lost if he can’t play for 4 weeks straight. Thanks!” I was sure I’d find a solution.

As can be expected in the small Jewish world, several people told me they’d look into it. An Israeli friend connected me with the music school that she used to do grantwriting for. The school couldn’t help, but they passed along some suggestions of music stores that might rent instruments. Other friends asked around, too–particularly those with musical connections. Sadly, all the leads came up dry. Seems that it’s easy to rent in Tel Aviv, but not in Jerusalem. Renting a trumpet in Tel Aviv (particularly, without a car) was more trouble than it was worth. Onto Plan C.

My husband remembered reading about miniature trumpets in an article many years ago. So he looked online and found a cheap “pocket trumpet” with great reviews. Fits in a mini case, is often used for travel, and weighs significantly less than a standard B-flat horn. Our son’s instructor thought it would be a sensible option for him.

This cute little trumpet may look more like a toy than an instrument, but it sounds pretty good in the hands of our boy. We even received permission from the apartment rental agency for him to practice during daylight hours. The puzzle seems to be solved.

So if you happen to be in the German Colony this summer, listen closely. You may just hear the sounds of our budding young musician–playing his little trumpet.

About the Author
Helaine Denenberg works in suburban Boston public schools and is a committed volunteer in her community. She, her husband, and three sons are active members of their synagogue.
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