The VibraKids Chapter 7 – Ed’s Exciting Experiences

(My part in this tale is that of Carol and the preschools – the last of Ed’s experiences. I was Carol and it was a great time playing in the preschools – I loved it.)

The music store was dark and chilly. Those who worked there were leaving for the day.

“Did you turn down the heat?” Ken the owner asked Ted the sales clerk.

“Yeah, and I’ll turn out the rest of the lights,” Ted replied.

“Don’t turn out the neon sign in the window,” Ken said. “I leave that on all night.” The sign flashed a bright green all night. It was advertising guitars for sale.

There were many guitars in the store, all different makes and models, some small, some big, some acoustic, some electric. It was no wonder Ed sometimes got depressed. It was so boring – just hanging here on the wall of the music store where he’d come after entering the guitar at the Junction Musical Instrument Factory.

He had thought this was just the instrument for him. It was capable of being played in many different styles and Ed thought there would be a lot of variety in his life, but this didn’t seem to be happening.

When friends of his were brought back into the store for repair work Ed always took the time to talk to them. He wanted to hear all about the very exciting, ever-changing experiences they had after being bought by someone and going home with them. But alas, they never had these exciting adventures. When he asked his friend Dick, who was in for repairs, Dick said, “My owner only picks me up once in a while and he always plays the same thing when he does play. He plays the same chords or the same melodies over and over until they’re perfect. Once in a while maybe he’ll learn a new song or a new chord.”

Ed was getting very discouraged. He was wishing he had chosen a different instrument to experience all the many different kinds of music there was. He was stuck inside this guitar now and all he could do was hope that someone would buy him and take him home so he could get down off of this wall.

A couple of weeks later he overheard Ken, the owner of the store, talking about starting an instrument rental plan where a customer could rent a instrument for trial before buying it.

“I think that would be a terrible way to live,” Ed said to Dick, who was still there being repaired. “You would never belong to anyone and never have a feeling of being safe and secure.”

“Yeah,” Dick answered, “You wouldn’t know how long you would be with the person who rented you.”

“I certainly hope they don’t do that to me,” Ed said. “I can’t imagine a more horrible way of life than moving from one place to another for uncertain periods of time.”

“How could anyone stand that?” Dick replied.

Wouldn’t you know it Ed was the first guitar chosen to be used as a rental instrument? He’d been chosen partly because of his size, he had a nice medium build, and partly because of the ease of playing him. His strings were set just the right distance from the neck and were easy to press down to get good tones. The next thing Ed knew he was being packed into a case along with a couple of picks and a polishing cloth to be used to wipe him off. He was put under the counter but only stayed there for a day. The minute the store owner had advertised a rental plan Buck and Betty came in and wanted to rent a guitar for their little boy, Nelson. The child was only eight years old and they signed him up for lessons with a teacher at the store.

When Buck and Betty weren’t around Nelson would take Ed out of the case and take a pick and pretend he was playing chords. He got very rough and Ed was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to stand it much longer.

One day Buck and Betty came home and found that the baby-sitter had ignored Nelson. He was sitting on the floor with the guitar in front of him and treating it terribly. He was mad because he couldn’t make pretty sounds and was even kicking the guitar. Buck and Betty immediately took Ed back to the music store and turned him in. He was fixed up and given new strings and put back into the case to await another rental.

The next person that rented him was an older boy, a teenager name Mike. Mike already knew a few chords and didn’t want lessons, just a book showing him how to make more chords. He learned quite a lot on his own and started jamming with some friends. They played rock music and Ed was quite happy to at last be able to make music that sounded like something.

The teens decided to start their own band. After the first few months of earning money from playing, Mike who was renting him decided to buy his own guitar. Ed was quite happy that at last he would belong to someone permanently. But when Mike took him to the music store, another guitar hanging on the wall caught his eye. He tried it and decided he liked it better and bought that one instead of Ed.Ed went back under the counter again until a woman named Nancy came in and rented him. She knew how to play already but had gone through a bad time financially and couldn’t afford to buy a guitar at that time. Still Nancy wanted to keep in practice so she wouldn’t forget all she had learned. She had a beautiful singing voice and played finger picking style without using picks. She really got a very pretty flowing sound out of the guitar to accompany her voice. She sang around at different events and finally was offered a job singing four nights a week at a coffee house near the college campus. After working for a while, Nancy decided to purchase a guitar. Again Ed got his hopes up, but she also decided on a different model, one that had nylon strings and was easier on her fingers. Ed found himself back at the store again.

While resting under the counter he had time to think about his experiences so far. “MAYBE THIS LIFE AS A RENTAL GUITAR ISN’T SO BAD. AFTER ALL, I’M CERTAINLY NOT BORED,” he thought. “I’VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF MUSIC AND TO GO INTO MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF HOMES.”

On his next excursion out into the world Ed got to travel. John who rented him was retired and spent most of his time traveling in an old camper. At night in the campgrounds he would build a campfire and sit under the stars softly strumming his guitar and humming tunes. John never spent more than one night in the same place and he left Ed on the couch in the camper so he could pick him up anytime he wanted. There was no room to store the case so he didn’t take it with him. Ed got to see many natural wonders of the state and many other beautiful areas including the ocean, the desert and the mountains. John never traveled too far from his home and there were times when they would return there, especially if he didn’t feel good. This started happening more and more often and then one day John passed away. His children took Ed back to the store and got a return on the rental money the man had paid in advance. Poor Ed! He was back under the counter again awaiting his next assignment.

Carol came into the store one day looking for a guitar to buy. She couldn’t afford a new one and didn’t like any of the used ones the store owner showed her. Then he remembered Ed under the counter. Ken knew that Ed had been used quite a lot and had not always been treated well. He was getting past the time when he would make a good rental instrumental. Ken could sell him for less than anything else he had in the store because he had been used so hard.

He showed Ed to Carol and she fell in love with the guitar. It played so easily and sounded very good. It already had marks and scratches on it so she wouldn’t hesitate to take it into the preschools where she worked with children. There wouldn’t be much more they could do to it than had already been done, as far as marks and scratches. Carol bought Ed and took him home with her.

The next day Ed started his new life with Carol. They traveled from one preschool to another, spending maybe an hour or two in each school. The woman would sit on a little child’s chair with the guitar in her lap. The children would sit on a rug in front of her and sing songs. Sometimes they would stand and clap their hands in rhythm or march around the room. Other times they would take journeys to far off places using their imagination while Carol played the guitar and sang, teaching them the words as they went along. At the end of the session, if the children had been good, Carol would let each one of them come up and pluck the strings of the guitar. She loved to see their eyes light up as they heard the sound their fingers made on strings. They were very gentle and Ed really enjoyed all of it.

Carol would spend maybe twenty to thirty minutes with each class in the school and then move on to the next class. Babies still wearing diapers learned to clap and march in time with the music. She began going into kindergarten and elementary classes also and taught these older children to square dance using the guitar to keep the beat while she sang out the moves to them.

The children always looked forward to Carol’s day with them. She helped them learn many things but especially how to look for the good in other children and in their family. She gave them hope of a better world through song and dance. She taught them history through the words to the songs and she encouraged them to feel the rhythm with their bodies. Even the teachers in the preschools said she brightened the place up when she came and said that the moment she left the children began asking when she would come again.

Carol and Ed served the children and the schools in the valley through the trying times of riots, fires, floods and earthquakes. During a riot, all the children and the teachers were gathered into one building, the doors locked and the blinds drawn. Carol sat in the middle of the room with Ed and sang and played for hours while rioting in the streets reached within two blocks of the school.

Another time a building at one school was totally destroyed by a devastating earthquake. Carol and Ed served in the single building that was left, doing double classes and even outdoor classes for lack of room indoors. Such interesting times these were, such excitement, the kind Ed had been longing for. All the time he knew they were helping the children by taking their mind off of the troubles taking place in the city at that particular time.

At one school, they put all the classes together, perhaps fifty children and did a longer session. At the end of the session the children would all rush to Carol trying to hug and kiss her. Some weeks she was hugged and kissed by more than 500 children. One day the children in this large class overwhelmed her and knocked the guitar from her. Ed went flying across the room. In their willingness to help they all rushed for him to pick him up but ran into with each other and landed on top on him. The body of the guitar was broken and it collapsed causing the strings to come flying loose.

Ed knew there would be no repairing him this time and realized that he must leave this broken body. He was very satisfied with the accomplishments of his life. He had brought joy to many people as a rental instrument but he didn’t find his true calling until he went into the preschools with Carol. They brought much excitement and joy to the children and influenced their lives for the good in many ways. After all, isn’t this the goal of leading a productive, happy and satisfying life – by influencing others for the good and bringing joy to their lives? He was content and decided that the next time he entered the body of an instrument he would once again seek out the same kind of instrument, a guitar. He liked the way it could be played in many styles and also the opportunities it provided to serve his fellow man.

The VibraKids Chapter 7 – Ed's Exciting Experiences

(My part in this tale is that of Carol and the preschools – the last of Ed’s experiences. I was Carol and it was a great time playing in the preschools – I loved it.)

The music store was dark and chilly. Those who worked there were leaving for the day.

“Did you turn down the heat?” Ken the owner asked Ted the sales clerk.

“Yeah, and I’ll turn out the rest of the lights,” Ted replied.

“Don’t turn out the neon sign in the window,” Ken said. “I leave that on all night.” The sign flashed a bright green all night. It was advertising guitars for sale.

There were many guitars in the store, all different makes and models, some small, some big, some acoustic, some electric. It was no wonder Ed sometimes got depressed. It was so boring – just hanging here on the wall of the music store where he’d come after entering the guitar at the Junction Musical Instrument Factory.

He had thought this was just the instrument for him. It was capable of being played in many different styles and Ed thought there would be a lot of variety in his life, but this didn’t seem to be happening.

When friends of his were brought back into the store for repair work Ed always took the time to talk to them. He wanted to hear all about the very exciting, ever-changing experiences they had after being bought by someone and going home with them. But alas, they never had these exciting adventures. When he asked his friend Dick, who was in for repairs, Dick said, “My owner only picks me up once in a while and he always plays the same thing when he does play. He plays the same chords or the same melodies over and over until they’re perfect. Once in a while maybe he’ll learn a new song or a new chord.”

Ed was getting very discouraged. He was wishing he had chosen a different instrument to experience all the many different kinds of music there was. He was stuck inside this guitar now and all he could do was hope that someone would buy him and take him home so he could get down off of this wall.

A couple of weeks later he overheard Ken, the owner of the store, talking about starting an instrument rental plan where a customer could rent a instrument for trial before buying it.

“I think that would be a terrible way to live,” Ed said to Dick, who was still there being repaired. “You would never belong to anyone and never have a feeling of being safe and secure.”

“Yeah,” Dick answered, “You wouldn’t know how long you would be with the person who rented you.”

“I certainly hope they don’t do that to me,” Ed said. “I can’t imagine a more horrible way of life than moving from one place to another for uncertain periods of time.”

“How could anyone stand that?” Dick replied.

Wouldn’t you know it Ed was the first guitar chosen to be used as a rental instrument? He’d been chosen partly because of his size, he had a nice medium build, and partly because of the ease of playing him. His strings were set just the right distance from the neck and were easy to press down to get good tones. The next thing Ed knew he was being packed into a case along with a couple of picks and a polishing cloth to be used to wipe him off. He was put under the counter but only stayed there for a day. The minute the store owner had advertised a rental plan Buck and Betty came in and wanted to rent a guitar for their little boy, Nelson. The child was only eight years old and they signed him up for lessons with a teacher at the store.

When Buck and Betty weren’t around Nelson would take Ed out of the case and take a pick and pretend he was playing chords. He got very rough and Ed was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to stand it much longer.

One day Buck and Betty came home and found that the baby-sitter had ignored Nelson. He was sitting on the floor with the guitar in front of him and treating it terribly. He was mad because he couldn’t make pretty sounds and was even kicking the guitar. Buck and Betty immediately took Ed back to the music store and turned him in. He was fixed up and given new strings and put back into the case to await another rental.

The next person that rented him was an older boy, a teenager name Mike. Mike already knew a few chords and didn’t want lessons, just a book showing him how to make more chords. He learned quite a lot on his own and started jamming with some friends. They played rock music and Ed was quite happy to at last be able to make music that sounded like something.

The teens decided to start their own band. After the first few months of earning money from playing, Mike who was renting him decided to buy his own guitar. Ed was quite happy that at last he would belong to someone permanently. But when Mike took him to the music store, another guitar hanging on the wall caught his eye. He tried it and decided he liked it better and bought that one instead of Ed.Ed went back under the counter again until a woman named Nancy came in and rented him. She knew how to play already but had gone through a bad time financially and couldn’t afford to buy a guitar at that time. Still Nancy wanted to keep in practice so she wouldn’t forget all she had learned. She had a beautiful singing voice and played finger picking style without using picks. She really got a very pretty flowing sound out of the guitar to accompany her voice. She sang around at different events and finally was offered a job singing four nights a week at a coffee house near the college campus. After working for a while, Nancy decided to purchase a guitar. Again Ed got his hopes up, but she also decided on a different model, one that had nylon strings and was easier on her fingers. Ed found himself back at the store again.

While resting under the counter he had time to think about his experiences so far. “MAYBE THIS LIFE AS A RENTAL GUITAR ISN’T SO BAD. AFTER ALL, I’M CERTAINLY NOT BORED,” he thought. “I’VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF MUSIC AND TO GO INTO MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF HOMES.”

On his next excursion out into the world Ed got to travel. John who rented him was retired and spent most of his time traveling in an old camper. At night in the campgrounds he would build a campfire and sit under the stars softly strumming his guitar and humming tunes. John never spent more than one night in the same place and he left Ed on the couch in the camper so he could pick him up anytime he wanted. There was no room to store the case so he didn’t take it with him. Ed got to see many natural wonders of the state and many other beautiful areas including the ocean, the desert and the mountains. John never traveled too far from his home and there were times when they would return there, especially if he didn’t feel good. This started happening more and more often and then one day John passed away. His children took Ed back to the store and got a return on the rental money the man had paid in advance. Poor Ed! He was back under the counter again awaiting his next assignment.

Carol came into the store one day looking for a guitar to buy. She couldn’t afford a new one and didn’t like any of the used ones the store owner showed her. Then he remembered Ed under the counter. Ken knew that Ed had been used quite a lot and had not always been treated well. He was getting past the time when he would make a good rental instrumental. Ken could sell him for less than anything else he had in the store because he had been used so hard.

He showed Ed to Carol and she fell in love with the guitar. It played so easily and sounded very good. It already had marks and scratches on it so she wouldn’t hesitate to take it into the preschools where she worked with children. There wouldn’t be much more they could do to it than had already been done, as far as marks and scratches. Carol bought Ed and took him home with her.

The next day Ed started his new life with Carol. They traveled from one preschool to another, spending maybe an hour or two in each school. The woman would sit on a little child’s chair with the guitar in her lap. The children would sit on a rug in front of her and sing songs. Sometimes they would stand and clap their hands in rhythm or march around the room. Other times they would take journeys to far off places using their imagination while Carol played the guitar and sang, teaching them the words as they went along. At the end of the session, if the children had been good, Carol would let each one of them come up and pluck the strings of the guitar. She loved to see their eyes light up as they heard the sound their fingers made on strings. They were very gentle and Ed really enjoyed all of it.

Carol would spend maybe twenty to thirty minutes with each class in the school and then move on to the next class. Babies still wearing diapers learned to clap and march in time with the music. She began going into kindergarten and elementary classes also and taught these older children to square dance using the guitar to keep the beat while she sang out the moves to them.

The children always looked forward to Carol’s day with them. She helped them learn many things but especially how to look for the good in other children and in their family. She gave them hope of a better world through song and dance. She taught them history through the words to the songs and she encouraged them to feel the rhythm with their bodies. Even the teachers in the preschools said she brightened the place up when she came and said that the moment she left the children began asking when she would come again.

Carol and Ed served the children and the schools in the valley through the trying times of riots, fires, floods and earthquakes. During a riot, all the children and the teachers were gathered into one building, the doors locked and the blinds drawn. Carol sat in the middle of the room with Ed and sang and played for hours while rioting in the streets reached within two blocks of the school.

Another time a building at one school was totally destroyed by a devastating earthquake. Carol and Ed served in the single building that was left, doing double classes and even outdoor classes for lack of room indoors. Such interesting times these were, such excitement, the kind Ed had been longing for. All the time he knew they were helping the children by taking their mind off of the troubles taking place in the city at that particular time.

At one school, they put all the classes together, perhaps fifty children and did a longer session. At the end of the session the children would all rush to Carol trying to hug and kiss her. Some weeks she was hugged and kissed by more than 500 children. One day the children in this large class overwhelmed her and knocked the guitar from her. Ed went flying across the room. In their willingness to help they all rushed for him to pick him up but ran into with each other and landed on top on him. The body of the guitar was broken and it collapsed causing the strings to come flying loose.

Ed knew there would be no repairing him this time and realized that he must leave this broken body. He was very satisfied with the accomplishments of his life. He had brought joy to many people as a rental instrument but he didn’t find his true calling until he went into the preschools with Carol. They brought much excitement and joy to the children and influenced their lives for the good in many ways. After all, isn’t this the goal of leading a productive, happy and satisfying life – by influencing others for the good and bringing joy to their lives? He was content and decided that the next time he entered the body of an instrument he would once again seek out the same kind of instrument, a guitar. He liked the way it could be played in many styles and also the opportunities it provided to serve his fellow man.

The VibraKids Chapter 6 – Heather’s Heartbreak

The sun was very warm on the big crate as it sat in the back of the delivery truck. Heather didn’t think she could stand it another minute when finally the delivery drivers came back to unload her.

She knew that all this heat was not good for her beautiful finish or for the rest of the piano that she was a part of. She had always wanted to live in the desert and here she was in Phoenix, but it was the middle of the summer and temperatures were over 100 degrees during the day.

With much effort and extra help and dollies and pulleys and a “come along” Charlie and George finally got Heather into the large living room of the beautiful southwest territorial style house. The house was a soft muted adobe color with a red tile roof and graceful palms shading it. There was a sparkling pool in the back yard and the patio overlooking the pool had misters running all day long cooling the patio so Heather’s owners could enjoy their beautiful back yard.

“Let’s get the crate off of this piano so it can start cooling down,” Charlie said. “Boy it sure is a fine looking instrument.” he said as he took the crate off.

“It looks as though it belongs in this desert southwest home,” said George. It was a light colored wood that matched the other territorial style furniture.

“Yeah, look at the carvings on the case. They look like Indian symbols, don’t they?” Charlie responded.

“And the music rack – look at that music rack. With those cutouts it looks like the rays of the sun fanning out across it,” George said excitedly.

Heather was owned by Maria and Antonio Hernandez, a couple who both played the piano and toured the country giving duo piano concerts. They let the piano sit for about a week getting used to the temperature inside the house that was cooled by two large air conditioner units. Heather breathed a sigh of relief as the internal parts of the piano started to cool off. The metal of the sound board was extremely hot when it was finally taken from the truck and so were the wire strings.

Maria and Tony decided that maybe it would be better to wait two weeks instead of one to let the piano adjust. This was fine with Heather. She was tired after the long trip from the showroom back east and the bumpy ride on some of the roads they had to take. Most of the trip was on freeways but there still had been some rough roads in places. When the two weeks were up Tony called in the piano tuner. The tuner had to make a total of three trips before the strings would hold their pitch. Then he came back once more and installed a climate control system inside the piano. Heather loved this.

Heather was very comfortable at all times now staying at a constant temperature and humidity inside the cabinet. Maria lovingly polished her cabinet and cleaned the keys and the beautiful piano was all ready to be played. So far no one had touched her for fear of harming the strings or action that needed to adjust to the difference in the climate, but now it was ready.

Maria sat down first and gently tried a few scales and then some beautiful melodic pieces. “Listen to this tone,” she said to Tony who was impatiently waiting for his turn to try it. She played one more song, a little livelier tune this time and then let Tony sit down. He also ran through a few warm up scales and then proceeded to play a Beethoven sonata with great passion.

“It’s perfect and the response of the keys is just right,” Tony said. “I’m really very happy with it,” he continued. “Let’s have a party next week to show the piano off to our friends in the music world.”

Heather was very excited. Maria and Tony planned on giving a short recital at the party to demonstrate the quality of sound their new instrument had.

The piano had actually been made in Europe, in Germany to be exact and had been shipped to the United States by sea. The final adjustments and tempering were not done until it reached New York City. This was where Heather had met up with it, fell in love with it and decided to make it her home. She entered the body of the piano before the final adjustments were made and was an intricate part of the final tuning of the piano before it started its long trip west.

Tony and Maria had seen pianos like it at a musical instrument show in Los Angeles two years earlier and had spotted this particular model in a brochure. They were in the process of building their southwest home and had decided that it was the perfect model for their new house. They were impressed with the quality of workmanship and the action and sound of the other models made by the same company, so they ordered this one to be delivered after their house was finished.

Now here Heather was in the desert southwest where she had wanted to be for a long time. “I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M REALLY HERE,” thought Heather. “NOW THAT I’M INSIDE THIS BEAUTIFUL INSTRUMENT I CAN EXPRESS THE BEAUTY OF THE DESERT AND MOUNTAINS ALL AROUND. I DO SO ENJOY THE TREES AND FLOWERS; ESPECIALLY THE CACTUS FLOWERS THAT GROW HERE AND I LOVE ALL THE DIFFERENT BIRDS INCLUDING THE ROADRUNNERS.”

Heather loved Indian folklore. Maria and Tony composed their own music on her that sounded like some of the Indian rituals and dances and also the sounds of their chanting. She was so very happy. In fact, she couldn’t be happier. She thought she couldn’t contain her happiness. Everything was so perfect.
The night of the party finally got there. The guests arrived, took seats in the large living room and the recital began. First Maria played several songs including one of her own compositions that reminded Heather of the birds singing in the trees and the sound of a small stream rushing nearby. Heather put her heart and soul into this piece because she loved it.

Then it was Tony’s turn. He played several pieces and also ended with one of his own compositions. His piece was more like an Indian war dance and took a lot of hard work on Heather’s part to keep up the pace and volume the piece required.

Tony and Maria’s friends were very impressed and there was much lively talk about the piano after the recital. Others sat down and tried a few notes on it. Some people looked inside, some inspected her climate control system and others just stroked her beautiful finish. Pictures were taken of the beautiful music rack and the carvings on the front. Then everyone went off to the dining room where they enjoyed a delicious dinner and eventually went home.

“Wasn’t the party fun?” Maria asked as they cleaned up afterwards.

“It sure was,” Tony replied. “I think everyone was really impressed with our beautiful new piano and even a little envious of us for having it,” Tony replied.

They finally went to bed and the house was dark and quiet. Heather was tired and was almost asleep herself when she felt the first sensation of heat. She was very hot, she realized, and was getting hotter. She wondered if the electricity had gone off and the air conditioners weren’t working.

She realized that she was on fire! “OH NO,” she thought, “HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED?” She wanted to scream and finally did when her strings started breaking and flying up and hitting the sounding board. They made a terrible sound.

“What was that noise?” Maria asked as she and Tony woke up.

Smelling the smoke he hollered, “The house is on fire,” and called the fire department. “Let’s get out of here fast,” he said. They left the house that was all ablaze by this time. He said to Maria, “Do you realize that the sound of the strings breaking on the piano is what woke us up and actually saved our life?”

Heather realized that she too must leave. She was so sad to have to leave the body of this piano she loved so much, but she couldn’t stay in it anymore. It was being destroyed right in front of her eyes. She had loved it so her heart was breaking in pieces. She waited until the last minute before rising up out of the piano and fleeing outside, hovering over the scene while the fire department arrived and eventually put out the fire.

Hours later Heather allowed herself to enter the burned house to see her beloved instrument. “WHAT A MESS,” she thought. “IT LOOKS SO DESOLATE AND FORLORN AND IT’S BURNED ALMOST BEYOND KNOWING WHAT IT WAS,” she thought. Of course the metal parts had not burned and that was about all that was left. Heather’s heart was broken. “I WAITED SO LONG TO FIND JUST THE PERFECT, BEAUTIFUL PIANO TO BE IN AND ONE THAT WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO THE PLACE WHERE I WANTED TO LIVE. IT HAD ALL BEEN SO RIGHT,” she thought. She was so sad and felt that never again would she have everything she had wanted, such as a beautiful body, loving family and a great home in the area of her choice. “HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED?” she asked herself again.

Tony and Maria were asking this very same question and so was the fire inspector when he came. The inspector eventually discovered that the fire had actually started inside the piano with the climate control system.

Tony said to the inspector, “Some of the guests at our party had been looking at the climate control system.”

The inspector answered. “Someone must have rearranged the way the wires were plugged in and without meaning to, had caused the electrical unit to short out. This started the fire that climbed up the leg of the piano until it reached the body. The finish on the piano that had given it such a deep shine was actually very flammable. This caused the flames to spread through the piano very fast until finally catching the furniture on fire,” the inspector continued.

Heather didn’t know what she was going to do now. She was so very sad. She stayed around the area for a while, but Maria and Tony, the couple who had owned her, had to move because their house was destroyed. They couldn’t build a new one until the insurance claim was settled so they moved to Los Angeles. Heather didn’t especially want to live in Los Angeles so she joined some of her friends who were floating around because they didn’t want to enter an instrument just now. Heather kept watching and searching for another set of circumstances that could put her back in the same area. After many years of waiting, she finally decided that she never would find a situation so perfect and so beautiful again. She had to overcome her sadness and her heartbreak. Her friends helped her with this. They advised her that she really needed to use her talents in a way that she couldn’t use them while floating around in the sky.

Heather finally settled on a piano that was sitting in a music store in Phoenix, in the used piano section. It was not anywhere near as glorious or beautiful as the last one she had been in. This one had just been purchased by a school that was far removed from the city and had mostly Indian children attending it. She had decided that perhaps it would be better to serve in a position of helping less fortunate people this time around. She had been so wrapped up in the beauty of the last instrument that she actually didn’t feel like she had accomplished much in the way of helping anyone. She had been in an atmosphere of content and beauty and uselessness. She had been serving as a pet for the ego of her owners. Her friends helped her to see that she would be serving a much more useful purpose if she entered the piano going to the school where little Indian children could learn about the glories of music.

After drying her tears and willing herself to forget how beautiful she had been, she finally entered the ugly little brown spinet piano on the day it was being delivered to the Indian school. Once at the school she was immediately besieged by children. Marty started trying to play on the piano with her clumsy hands. Tom and Fred even used their fists on the keyboard. At last Mr. Wilson the teacher got control of them and got them to leave her alone.


Mr. Wilson finally had to put a lock on Heather’s cabinet to keep her from being destroyed. Then a new teacher, Mr. Johnson, appeared at the school, one who played the piano very well. He began giving lessons to the children after school. They couldn’t afford to pay him, but he did it because he loved music and he loved the Indian children. He taught them to respect the instrument and to take care of it and showed them that they could get it to obey their every thought if they treated it right.

It took Heather quite awhile to adjust to her new circumstances. Because of the kindly new teacher, she really started enjoying helping the Indian children learn about music and learn how to play nicely on the keyboard. She served at this school until they finally closed it and the children were bussed to a new, bigger school. Those in charge decided the old piano wouldn’t fit into the new school and wasn’t needed, so they had it destroyed. Heather was once again without an instrument to express through, but this time she was very satisfied with herself for what she had accomplished. She was at ease with herself and took a long rest before looking for another piano in which she could become involved again in the world of music.

The VibraKids Chapter 6 – Heather's Heartbreak

The sun was very warm on the big crate as it sat in the back of the delivery truck. Heather didn’t think she could stand it another minute when finally the delivery drivers came back to unload her.

She knew that all this heat was not good for her beautiful finish or for the rest of the piano that she was a part of. She had always wanted to live in the desert and here she was in Phoenix, but it was the middle of the summer and temperatures were over 100 degrees during the day.

With much effort and extra help and dollies and pulleys and a “come along” Charlie and George finally got Heather into the large living room of the beautiful southwest territorial style house. The house was a soft muted adobe color with a red tile roof and graceful palms shading it. There was a sparkling pool in the back yard and the patio overlooking the pool had misters running all day long cooling the patio so Heather’s owners could enjoy their beautiful back yard.

“Let’s get the crate off of this piano so it can start cooling down,” Charlie said. “Boy it sure is a fine looking instrument.” he said as he took the crate off.

“It looks as though it belongs in this desert southwest home,” said George. It was a light colored wood that matched the other territorial style furniture.

“Yeah, look at the carvings on the case. They look like Indian symbols, don’t they?” Charlie responded.

“And the music rack – look at that music rack. With those cutouts it looks like the rays of the sun fanning out across it,” George said excitedly.

Heather was owned by Maria and Antonio Hernandez, a couple who both played the piano and toured the country giving duo piano concerts. They let the piano sit for about a week getting used to the temperature inside the house that was cooled by two large air conditioner units. Heather breathed a sigh of relief as the internal parts of the piano started to cool off. The metal of the sound board was extremely hot when it was finally taken from the truck and so were the wire strings.

Maria and Tony decided that maybe it would be better to wait two weeks instead of one to let the piano adjust. This was fine with Heather. She was tired after the long trip from the showroom back east and the bumpy ride on some of the roads they had to take. Most of the trip was on freeways but there still had been some rough roads in places. When the two weeks were up Tony called in the piano tuner. The tuner had to make a total of three trips before the strings would hold their pitch. Then he came back once more and installed a climate control system inside the piano. Heather loved this.

Heather was very comfortable at all times now staying at a constant temperature and humidity inside the cabinet. Maria lovingly polished her cabinet and cleaned the keys and the beautiful piano was all ready to be played. So far no one had touched her for fear of harming the strings or action that needed to adjust to the difference in the climate, but now it was ready.

Maria sat down first and gently tried a few scales and then some beautiful melodic pieces. “Listen to this tone,” she said to Tony who was impatiently waiting for his turn to try it. She played one more song, a little livelier tune this time and then let Tony sit down. He also ran through a few warm up scales and then proceeded to play a Beethoven sonata with great passion.

“It’s perfect and the response of the keys is just right,” Tony said. “I’m really very happy with it,” he continued. “Let’s have a party next week to show the piano off to our friends in the music world.”

Heather was very excited. Maria and Tony planned on giving a short recital at the party to demonstrate the quality of sound their new instrument had.

The piano had actually been made in Europe, in Germany to be exact and had been shipped to the United States by sea. The final adjustments and tempering were not done until it reached New York City. This was where Heather had met up with it, fell in love with it and decided to make it her home. She entered the body of the piano before the final adjustments were made and was an intricate part of the final tuning of the piano before it started its long trip west.

Tony and Maria had seen pianos like it at a musical instrument show in Los Angeles two years earlier and had spotted this particular model in a brochure. They were in the process of building their southwest home and had decided that it was the perfect model for their new house. They were impressed with the quality of workmanship and the action and sound of the other models made by the same company, so they ordered this one to be delivered after their house was finished.

Now here Heather was in the desert southwest where she had wanted to be for a long time. “I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M REALLY HERE,” thought Heather. “NOW THAT I’M INSIDE THIS BEAUTIFUL INSTRUMENT I CAN EXPRESS THE BEAUTY OF THE DESERT AND MOUNTAINS ALL AROUND. I DO SO ENJOY THE TREES AND FLOWERS; ESPECIALLY THE CACTUS FLOWERS THAT GROW HERE AND I LOVE ALL THE DIFFERENT BIRDS INCLUDING THE ROADRUNNERS.”

Heather loved Indian folklore. Maria and Tony composed their own music on her that sounded like some of the Indian rituals and dances and also the sounds of their chanting. She was so very happy. In fact, she couldn’t be happier. She thought she couldn’t contain her happiness. Everything was so perfect.
The night of the party finally got there. The guests arrived, took seats in the large living room and the recital began. First Maria played several songs including one of her own compositions that reminded Heather of the birds singing in the trees and the sound of a small stream rushing nearby. Heather put her heart and soul into this piece because she loved it.

Then it was Tony’s turn. He played several pieces and also ended with one of his own compositions. His piece was more like an Indian war dance and took a lot of hard work on Heather’s part to keep up the pace and volume the piece required.

Tony and Maria’s friends were very impressed and there was much lively talk about the piano after the recital. Others sat down and tried a few notes on it. Some people looked inside, some inspected her climate control system and others just stroked her beautiful finish. Pictures were taken of the beautiful music rack and the carvings on the front. Then everyone went off to the dining room where they enjoyed a delicious dinner and eventually went home.

“Wasn’t the party fun?” Maria asked as they cleaned up afterwards.

“It sure was,” Tony replied. “I think everyone was really impressed with our beautiful new piano and even a little envious of us for having it,” Tony replied.

They finally went to bed and the house was dark and quiet. Heather was tired and was almost asleep herself when she felt the first sensation of heat. She was very hot, she realized, and was getting hotter. She wondered if the electricity had gone off and the air conditioners weren’t working.

She realized that she was on fire! “OH NO,” she thought, “HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED?” She wanted to scream and finally did when her strings started breaking and flying up and hitting the sounding board. They made a terrible sound.

“What was that noise?” Maria asked as she and Tony woke up.

Smelling the smoke he hollered, “The house is on fire,” and called the fire department. “Let’s get out of here fast,” he said. They left the house that was all ablaze by this time. He said to Maria, “Do you realize that the sound of the strings breaking on the piano is what woke us up and actually saved our life?”

Heather realized that she too must leave. She was so sad to have to leave the body of this piano she loved so much, but she couldn’t stay in it anymore. It was being destroyed right in front of her eyes. She had loved it so her heart was breaking in pieces. She waited until the last minute before rising up out of the piano and fleeing outside, hovering over the scene while the fire department arrived and eventually put out the fire.

Hours later Heather allowed herself to enter the burned house to see her beloved instrument. “WHAT A MESS,” she thought. “IT LOOKS SO DESOLATE AND FORLORN AND IT’S BURNED ALMOST BEYOND KNOWING WHAT IT WAS,” she thought. Of course the metal parts had not burned and that was about all that was left. Heather’s heart was broken. “I WAITED SO LONG TO FIND JUST THE PERFECT, BEAUTIFUL PIANO TO BE IN AND ONE THAT WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO THE PLACE WHERE I WANTED TO LIVE. IT HAD ALL BEEN SO RIGHT,” she thought. She was so sad and felt that never again would she have everything she had wanted, such as a beautiful body, loving family and a great home in the area of her choice. “HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED?” she asked herself again.

Tony and Maria were asking this very same question and so was the fire inspector when he came. The inspector eventually discovered that the fire had actually started inside the piano with the climate control system.

Tony said to the inspector, “Some of the guests at our party had been looking at the climate control system.”

The inspector answered. “Someone must have rearranged the way the wires were plugged in and without meaning to, had caused the electrical unit to short out. This started the fire that climbed up the leg of the piano until it reached the body. The finish on the piano that had given it such a deep shine was actually very flammable. This caused the flames to spread through the piano very fast until finally catching the furniture on fire,” the inspector continued.

Heather didn’t know what she was going to do now. She was so very sad. She stayed around the area for a while, but Maria and Tony, the couple who had owned her, had to move because their house was destroyed. They couldn’t build a new one until the insurance claim was settled so they moved to Los Angeles. Heather didn’t especially want to live in Los Angeles so she joined some of her friends who were floating around because they didn’t want to enter an instrument just now. Heather kept watching and searching for another set of circumstances that could put her back in the same area. After many years of waiting, she finally decided that she never would find a situation so perfect and so beautiful again. She had to overcome her sadness and her heartbreak. Her friends helped her with this. They advised her that she really needed to use her talents in a way that she couldn’t use them while floating around in the sky.

Heather finally settled on a piano that was sitting in a music store in Phoenix, in the used piano section. It was not anywhere near as glorious or beautiful as the last one she had been in. This one had just been purchased by a school that was far removed from the city and had mostly Indian children attending it. She had decided that perhaps it would be better to serve in a position of helping less fortunate people this time around. She had been so wrapped up in the beauty of the last instrument that she actually didn’t feel like she had accomplished much in the way of helping anyone. She had been in an atmosphere of content and beauty and uselessness. She had been serving as a pet for the ego of her owners. Her friends helped her to see that she would be serving a much more useful purpose if she entered the piano going to the school where little Indian children could learn about the glories of music.

After drying her tears and willing herself to forget how beautiful she had been, she finally entered the ugly little brown spinet piano on the day it was being delivered to the Indian school. Once at the school she was immediately besieged by children. Marty started trying to play on the piano with her clumsy hands. Tom and Fred even used their fists on the keyboard. At last Mr. Wilson the teacher got control of them and got them to leave her alone.


Mr. Wilson finally had to put a lock on Heather’s cabinet to keep her from being destroyed. Then a new teacher, Mr. Johnson, appeared at the school, one who played the piano very well. He began giving lessons to the children after school. They couldn’t afford to pay him, but he did it because he loved music and he loved the Indian children. He taught them to respect the instrument and to take care of it and showed them that they could get it to obey their every thought if they treated it right.

It took Heather quite awhile to adjust to her new circumstances. Because of the kindly new teacher, she really started enjoying helping the Indian children learn about music and learn how to play nicely on the keyboard. She served at this school until they finally closed it and the children were bussed to a new, bigger school. Those in charge decided the old piano wouldn’t fit into the new school and wasn’t needed, so they had it destroyed. Heather was once again without an instrument to express through, but this time she was very satisfied with herself for what she had accomplished. She was at ease with herself and took a long rest before looking for another piano in which she could become involved again in the world of music.

The VibraKids Chapter 5 – Fanny the Fancy Flute

Fanny the Fancy Flute teaches that it is better to be an active member of society rather than an item of beauty collecting dust on a shelf.

The people attending the auction were getting tired of sitting in chairs. Arthur the auctioneer called for a fifteen minute intermission before continuing the auction. While the people were standing and stretching their legs, the helpers of the auction were busy lining up the next articles to be offered.

The sale was being held to settle the estate of a very rich couple who had been patrons of the arts in their home town in upstate New York. The estate was situated overlooking the Hudson River and had lavish grounds and beautiful gardens. This couple had recently passed away within months of each other. Their children were holding the auction to settle up the estate. There were many beautiful works of art and also several musical instruments of great value. One of these was an antique flute. It was decorated with fancy engraving that looked like diamonds.

The owners had kept it sitting on a shelf where it caught the light and sparkled at most times of the day and night. They got much pleasure out of looking at this work of art. They had researched its origins and had a short history typed up about it that was kept in the flute’s case under the shelf. This flute was Fanny’s home. She had entered it after the explosion of the mighty organ ALL. She had floated around for many years before finding the instrument she wanted to enter. She knew she was meant to be in a flute.

The capabilities of the great organ ALL were of many different flute sounds. Fanny felt she was one of the special flute sounds and needed an instrument that was special too. One day she spotted the lady of the house, Mrs. Miller polishing her flute and then replacing it on the shelf where she could admire it. Fanny knew at once that it was a beautiful instrument and she made it her home. What she didn’t realize was that neither Mr. nor Mrs. Miller could play a note of music. They knew nothing about how to even get a sound out of the flute. They both loved music and gave a lot of money to musical organizations. They also attended concerts and fundraising parties and balls but, alas, they were not able to play the flute themselves or any of the other musical instruments they had.

So Fanny had sat on the shelf for years, very lonely and sad that she had ended up in a beautiful but useless instrument. When the windows were open in the summertime she could hear the songs of the birds in the woods from the shelf where she sat. “I’D LOVE TO MAKE BEAUTIFUL SOUNDS LIKE,” she thought. She would pretend that it was she, herself, making the beautiful music. Pretending like this helped but still she was very lonely.

Even when Mrs. Miller took her down and polished her she was not happy because she felt so useless. “I’M LIVING A USELESS LIFE AS A WORK OF ART FOR PEOPLE TOLOOK AT, NOT AS A WORK OF ART THAT COULD BE HEARD MAKING BEAUTIFUL MUSIC,” she thought. “THAT MAKES ME VERY SAD.”

When Fanny heard that she and all the other objects of art were going to be sold at an auction she became very excited. She felt bad that Mr. and Mrs. Miller had passed away, but couldn’t help feeling a sense of hope that now her real purpose in life could begin.

Arthur the auctioneer was calling people back to their seats, ready to begin the auction once again. Several paintings were put on the block and sold and then suddenly it was Fanny’s turn. Arthur opened the case, took out the flute and read the note attached to it as to its history. He pointed out the beautiful engraving and turned it back and forth so the light would cause the flute to gleam like diamonds.

“It’s like magic,” cried a little girl with long blond hair who was sitting in the first row of chairs. She became excited about the flute the minute the auctioneer had taken it from the case. “Look how pretty it is. It sparkles like jewels,” she said to her parents. Her eyes opened wide and she started tugging at their arms. “Please, Mommy and Daddy, can I have it?” she begged.

One look at his daughter’s face was enough to convince her father Carl that Megan was serious. She had expressed a desire to play the flute some time back but Carl and his wife Helen didn’t think she was old enough. They had decided that next fall when school began they would get her a flute and start her on lessons so she could be in the band at school. Megan just kept tugging at their arms, her eyes big and round, her face shining with joy. She couldn’t take her eyes off of the flute.

The bidding was lively and was getting dangerously close to where Carl and Helen didn’t think they could go much higher. Then suddenly everyone else stopped bidding. It was theirs! Megan was jumping up and down with joy! “I can’t wait to hold it and try to play it,” she said.

After the auction was over, Carl and Helen went to settle up what they owed and Megan carried the flute to the car. Here she opened the case and held the flute and rubbed it to make it shine and admired it all the way home.

Fanny was excited too. She had seen the look on the little blond girl’s face and had hoped against hope that her parents would be the ones to buy the flute. She was very happy when it turned out that they were the high bidders. She also was relieved that the auction was over. After all, it was not much fun to be held up and displayed and talked about and bid on by a lot of people. She was happy now because the little girl would learn to play and allow Fanny to fulfill her destiny of making beautiful music.

When they got home with the new flute, Megan was so excited that she took Fanny to bed with her that night. The next day she tried and tried to play the flute but she really didn’t have the slightest idea how to get any sound out of it. She kept putting her whole mouth on it and blowing in, which is of course, not the way to play a flute. Carl and Helen saw Megan’s frustration and decided to start her on lessons immediately. From the minute she began her first lesson there developed a love affair between Fanny and Megan. Even her music teacher Miss Edith was amazed at the quality of tone the little girl could get from the instrument almost from the first day. When Megan started school that fall she was able to be in the band and also the
orchestra the school had just started up.

Fanny got to know some of the other instruments that were owned by the school. A lot of the children had their own instruments, but many did not and they used those that belonged to the school. These instruments were in sad need of repair. They could hardly operate anymore. They just didn’t get the care they needed. No one at the school had time to look after these instruments and the children who used them were not taught how to properly care for them. They were in a real sad state.

The other instruments loved it when Fanny got to spend some time in the room with them between Megan’s band and orchestra and her private lesson classes. Fanny would tell the other instruments tales about the big organ ALL. They learned that the flutes were a very important part of the big organ, not only by themselves but also in combination with many other instruments. She told them about the VibraKids and that many of them were looking for good homes.

Fanny described her life in the home of the rich Mr. and Mrs. Miller in upstate New York. “You were all quite lucky to have been able to be part of the active musical life of the school,” she told them. “I spent so much time sitting on a shelf and being admired that I envy the excitement you’ve all had in your lives. You’ve been able to go into many different children’s homes and be part of each family as long as the child stayed in the band or orchestra,” she said. “When no one was using you during the summer, you at least had each
other to talk to. You were never lonely like I had been.”

The school instruments were a little envious of Fanny also because, for one thing, she was not only beautiful to look at, but also beautiful to listen to. They compared the sounds she made to the song of the birds, just like she had imagined all the while she sat on the shelf. Because she made such pretty sounds, interest in music at the school picked up. More money was given to the music program to fix up all the instruments and to hire an extra music teacher.This meant that there would be someone who would have time to take care of the flutes. Also, there would be time now to teach the children how to care for the instruments at the same time they were being taught to play them.

In time, Fanny was able to convince some of her friends among the VibraKids to try some of the instruments at her school. She said to them, “If you don’t like it you can always try something different when your particular instrument can no longer continue to be played. You see, many of these school instruments are quite old and don’t have too many years left in them. This would give you guys a chance to see if school is a place you like or not. You won’t have to spend too long a time here due to the age of the instruments and their lack of care in the past. Then, when it comes time to enter another instrument you’ll know if you want to continue in the school or find some other area to become involved with,” Fanny lectured them.

“One thing to be sure of is to choose an area of activity,” she continued. “Don’t pick one where you’ll be kept sitting on a shelf gathering dust and growing dim. Be sure to choose a life where you can help others. If you are kept sitting on a shelf you’ll soon be lost in the shuffle and never be able to make the glorious music you’re meant to make. It’s okay for people to admire your beauty but you need to be used so you can become all you can be. Rather than being kept on a shelf, it would be far better to be a part of an instrument that is melted down and its form changed into a new kind of instrument. Then you can start the process of being useful over again.”

Several of the VibraKids listened to Fanny’s tale of her life in upstate New York and hurried to enter the instruments at the school. They knew they didn’t want to be caught in the position of being useless and growing old and dingy. They wanted to be used for the good of others. They wanted to be in circulation in the world of music. They did not want to be kept on a shelf and admired for selfish purposes.

Both the band and the orchestra at Fanny’s school began to sound much better once some more of the VibraKids entered the instruments. This made Fanny very happy.

The VibraKids – Chapter 4 – Jennifer’s Journey

Jennifer woke up early with a start. The train whistle sounding in her ears was very loud and she also kept hearing a clickety, clack sound. It was a nice rhythm, but it bothered her. She had never heard it before. Then she realized that she was moving. “WHERE WAS SHE?” she thought. “WHAT IS HAPPENING?”

She was scared! Slowly she opened her eyes and looked around. She saw that she was actually on a train, in the baggage car. Then she remembered that she was being sent to a famous music school in the eastern part of the country where the best musicians went to study. She was proud that she was chosen to be the violin sent to that school. She began to relax and enjoy the rhythm of the train wheels on the track.

The Junction Musical Instrument Factory quite often would take some of their finest instruments and send them to a school like that to be tested. They were especially likely to do this if there was something different or unusual about the instrument. After Jennifer had taken up residence in the violin that day, it had been considered one of the finest instruments ever made in recent times. It was even compared to a famous violin made in the past. Therefore, the Junction Musical Instrument Factory wanted this violin tested and tried and heard by musicians at one of the most famous schools in the country, so they sent it on a trial basis for approval. They hoped the school would like it and order more of that model. Of course, what they didn’t realize was that there was only one Jennifer and she was what made the violin special.

The train was slowing down! “WE’RE HERE!” Jennifer thought. “WE’RE ALREADY IN THE CITY WHERE THE SCHOOL IS LOCATED.” She was so excited. How she longed to get out of the case that was protecting her on the ride and be able to look around and to smell the air in this new city. “HOW MUCH FUN IT WILL BE,” she thought, “TO BE GOING TO A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE MAKE MUSIC ALL DAY LONG AND PART OF THE NIGHT TOO.” She would have every chance to express herself through the many different musicians who would try the violin out.

She was taken out of the baggage car, loaded on a cart and taken inside the station where it was very noisy. She could hear people walking all around her and calling to each other. She heard the trains being announced as they arrived and departed and began to get scared again. Maybe she wasn’t where she was supposed to be yet. Maybe she had to get on another train and continue her journey. It sure was hard not knowing what was going on!

She waited there for quite a while still on the cart, before a young man and woman finally came to claim her.

“Hey Marcel,” Susan said. “Let’s get her off the cart.”

“Yeah and we need to wipe the dirt off of her,” Marcel answered.

After wiping her off, they went over to some chairs, sat down and opened the case. This was Jennifer’s first view and smell of her future home and she liked what she saw. She also liked the man and woman who were looking at her to be sure she hadn’t been damaged on the trip.

“I guess everything’s okay,” said Susan. “We’d better hurry and get back to school. I can’t wait try her out.”

She closed the case as Marcel went over to the counter to sign the papers. Soon they were in a car on their way to the school. When they arrived at the school they took the violin to the practice room, opened it up and tuned it.

“Gee, it really isn’t very far out of tune,” Susan said as she began to play the violin.

Jennifer was very glad to at last be fulfilling her purpose of making beautiful music. The tones that came out of her were absolutely heavenly.

“Hey, it’s my turn now,” said Marcel.

The violin responded the same way to his playing. It sounded so beautiful they were amazed. Other students and teachers going by in the hall heard the sound of the violin and came into the room to listen to the gorgeous music.

“What kind of violin is that?” asked Ben.

“Can I play it?” Donna asked.

Finally, after several others had taken a turn playing the violin, Marcel and Susan put it back in the case, but they were so excited they forgot to put the bow in with it. They also left the lid of the case open so the violin would become used to the temperature inside the room.

Later that same day while Jennifer was taking a nap, she was awakened by the sound of an argument. Two other violins in the room were fighting over her bow that had been accidentally left out of the case.

“Give me that!” Aaron yelled.

“No, it’s mine! I saw it first!” Peter cried as he pulled the bow out of Aaron’s hand.

“It’s a magic bow,” Peter said.

“I know it’s a magic bow,” answered Aaron. “That’s why I want it. Give it here!”

These two violins had been in the room when everyone was playing the new violin and they thought that the secret of the beautiful music coming out of it was due to the bow. Now they were fighting bitterly over it.

They each wanted it because they thought it would make them sound better. They were older and had been used for many years by students who couldn’t play well and didn’t know how to care for an instrument. Because of this they were afraid that the school was going to ship them off to the old violin’s home where they would never be used for making music again.

Jennifer watched as the fight became more intense. Finally she couldn’t stand it any longer. She went over to where the fight was going on and took the bow from Aaron and Peter.

She broke the bow in many pieces, divided the pieces into two piles and gave one pile to each of other two violins.

“There, now you can share the bow,” she said. The other violins looked at her inamazement. They couldn’t believe what she had done to the “magic” bow.

Jennifer said, “Now you two might as well be friends again because there’s nothing left to fight over any more. Isn’t it better to have a good friend and no “magic” bow, than to have no friend and no “magic” bow either? It isn’t the bow that makes the better sounds. It’s nothing used on the outside of the violin that makes it beautiful. The beauty comes from what is inside the violin”

Aaron and Peter were curious as to how she knew so much. Jennifer proceeded to tell them the story of the great organ, ALL which fascinated them.

She explained to them that the violins were very important to the total sound that ALL would have been able to make if lightning hadn’t hit him. She also told them about the VibraKids, the shattered parts of ALL’S mind. They immediately wanted to know how they could attract one of the VibraKids.

Jennifer said, “You guys were too quick to fight each other over what you think is a “magic” bow. You need to know that things used on the outside of the violin like the bow might make some difference, but not a big difference in the quality of sound. In order to improve your sound the work you need to do will have to be done on the inside. You will have to change the way you think about things and the way you treat other instruments instead of fighting with them.”

She also told them they would have to set goals for themselves. A certain amount of work on the body of their instruments would help. For instance a new finish would seal up any cracks in the wood that might be present and a new bridge to hold up the strings would also help.

“Your sound could also be helped by new strings and tuning pegs. But the best thing you can do will be to work on your attitudes of jealousy and one-upmanship. You both have a bad habit of always trying to be better than others; also you think you know more than thenext guy.”

When Marcel and Susan came into the practice room the next day, they couldn’t understand how the bow they had left lying on a table had been broken up.

“It was probably just vandalism by some of the younger students,” said Marcel.

“Maybe some visitors did it,” responded Susan. “Let’s go to the storeroom and get another bow so we can practice again on the new violin.”

The violin still made the same mellow, smooth tones that it had before. When Aaron and Peter who had been fighting over the bow heard them practicing they were amazed. They really had thought it was the bow that had made the “magical” sounds. By the demonstration of her “voice” (tonal quality), they knew now that everything Jennifer had told them was true. They were ready to listen and believe her when she talked about the great organ ALL. She told them of the potential he had and would have again for making beautiful harmony all within himself.


Peter and Aaron worked and worked on getting along with all the other violins. They even told a lot of the others about their new goal, which was to have a VibraKid take up residence in them so they could someday be a part of the great, glorious organ ALL.

Jennifer was always an example for the other violins who wanted to get the beautiful tones that she was capable of. The violin section of the school orchestra began to have a much better sound to it than the other sections. The conductor mentioned this several times to the rest of the group, daring them to improve themselves as much as the violin section had. Of course the violins had some help because Jennifer had made Marcel and Susan realize that the other instruments needed to be kept in as good a shape as possible. After Aaron and Peter, the two violins that had been fighting, had been all fixed up and made like new, they did have VibraKids enter them. By this time their attitudes had improved and they had raised their vibration enough that the Kids could reside in them.

When the school held its spring concert, these two violins, Aaron and Peter, were featured in a violin trio along with Jennifer. The audience was amazed at the absolutely beautiful sound the trio made. They played unaccompanied by any other instruments because there were no others who could blend with these three. These three had a heavenly sound to them. In contrast, there was always a totally different sound from the other instruments. The three soloists received a standing ovation and had to play an encore.

The teachers and students from other music schools in the area went backstage after the concert. They wanted to ask the conductor where these instruments had come from. He told them that Jennifer had been built by the Junction Musical Instrument Factory and that they had also fixed up the other two violins.

The sweet harmony of the violin section of the college orchestra began to win prizes and soon became famous throughout the musical world, as also did the Junction Musical Instrument Factory.

More and more of the violins learned about ALL. They started digging into their background; into the history of how violins came into being and they learned about the most famous violin itself, the Stradivarius. They debated a lot about what the secret of it’s powerful, but beautiful, mellow tones had been. Had it indeed been the finish that was used on it, as some people thought? Was it the aging of the wood it was made of or, perhaps, its shape, or the shape of its sound holes? Was the secret in the strings themselves?

Actually, it was all of these things and more. Jennifer, of course, knew the answer all along. She just waited for the others to figure it out for themselves. They finally came to realize that it was the spirit of the violin, the thoughts of the violin that allowed the beautiful voice to come out of that instrument. It was a beautiful coming together of all parts that made up the Stradivarius that enabled it to express such beauty.

 

The VibraKids – Chapter 4 – Jennifer's Journey

Jennifer woke up early with a start. The train whistle sounding in her ears was very loud and she also kept hearing a clickety, clack sound. It was a nice rhythm, but it bothered her. She had never heard it before. Then she realized that she was moving. “WHERE WAS SHE?” she thought. “WHAT IS HAPPENING?”

She was scared! Slowly she opened her eyes and looked around. She saw that she was actually on a train, in the baggage car. Then she remembered that she was being sent to a famous music school in the eastern part of the country where the best musicians went to study. She was proud that she was chosen to be the violin sent to that school. She began to relax and enjoy the rhythm of the train wheels on the track.

The Junction Musical Instrument Factory quite often would take some of their finest instruments and send them to a school like that to be tested. They were especially likely to do this if there was something different or unusual about the instrument. After Jennifer had taken up residence in the violin that day, it had been considered one of the finest instruments ever made in recent times. It was even compared to a famous violin made in the past. Therefore, the Junction Musical Instrument Factory wanted this violin tested and tried and heard by musicians at one of the most famous schools in the country, so they sent it on a trial basis for approval. They hoped the school would like it and order more of that model. Of course, what they didn’t realize was that there was only one Jennifer and she was what made the violin special.

The train was slowing down! “WE’RE HERE!” Jennifer thought. “WE’RE ALREADY IN THE CITY WHERE THE SCHOOL IS LOCATED.” She was so excited. How she longed to get out of the case that was protecting her on the ride and be able to look around and to smell the air in this new city. “HOW MUCH FUN IT WILL BE,” she thought, “TO BE GOING TO A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE MAKE MUSIC ALL DAY LONG AND PART OF THE NIGHT TOO.” She would have every chance to express herself through the many different musicians who would try the violin out.

She was taken out of the baggage car, loaded on a cart and taken inside the station where it was very noisy. She could hear people walking all around her and calling to each other. She heard the trains being announced as they arrived and departed and began to get scared again. Maybe she wasn’t where she was supposed to be yet. Maybe she had to get on another train and continue her journey. It sure was hard not knowing what was going on!

She waited there for quite a while still on the cart, before a young man and woman finally came to claim her.

“Hey Marcel,” Susan said. “Let’s get her off the cart.”

“Yeah and we need to wipe the dirt off of her,” Marcel answered.

After wiping her off, they went over to some chairs, sat down and opened the case. This was Jennifer’s first view and smell of her future home and she liked what she saw. She also liked the man and woman who were looking at her to be sure she hadn’t been damaged on the trip.

“I guess everything’s okay,” said Susan. “We’d better hurry and get back to school. I can’t wait try her out.”

She closed the case as Marcel went over to the counter to sign the papers. Soon they were in a car on their way to the school. When they arrived at the school they took the violin to the practice room, opened it up and tuned it.

“Gee, it really isn’t very far out of tune,” Susan said as she began to play the violin.

Jennifer was very glad to at last be fulfilling her purpose of making beautiful music. The tones that came out of her were absolutely heavenly.

“Hey, it’s my turn now,” said Marcel.

The violin responded the same way to his playing. It sounded so beautiful they were amazed. Other students and teachers going by in the hall heard the sound of the violin and came into the room to listen to the gorgeous music.

“What kind of violin is that?” asked Ben.

“Can I play it?” Donna asked.

Finally, after several others had taken a turn playing the violin, Marcel and Susan put it back in the case, but they were so excited they forgot to put the bow in with it. They also left the lid of the case open so the violin would become used to the temperature inside the room.

Later that same day while Jennifer was taking a nap, she was awakened by the sound of an argument. Two other violins in the room were fighting over her bow that had been accidentally left out of the case.

“Give me that!” Aaron yelled.

“No, it’s mine! I saw it first!” Peter cried as he pulled the bow out of Aaron’s hand.

“It’s a magic bow,” Peter said.

“I know it’s a magic bow,” answered Aaron. “That’s why I want it. Give it here!”

These two violins had been in the room when everyone was playing the new violin and they thought that the secret of the beautiful music coming out of it was due to the bow. Now they were fighting bitterly over it.

They each wanted it because they thought it would make them sound better. They were older and had been used for many years by students who couldn’t play well and didn’t know how to care for an instrument. Because of this they were afraid that the school was going to ship them off to the old violin’s home where they would never be used for making music again.

Jennifer watched as the fight became more intense. Finally she couldn’t stand it any longer. She went over to where the fight was going on and took the bow from Aaron and Peter.

She broke the bow in many pieces, divided the pieces into two piles and gave one pile to each of other two violins.

“There, now you can share the bow,” she said. The other violins looked at her inamazement. They couldn’t believe what she had done to the “magic” bow.

Jennifer said, “Now you two might as well be friends again because there’s nothing left to fight over any more. Isn’t it better to have a good friend and no “magic” bow, than to have no friend and no “magic” bow either? It isn’t the bow that makes the better sounds. It’s nothing used on the outside of the violin that makes it beautiful. The beauty comes from what is inside the violin”

Aaron and Peter were curious as to how she knew so much. Jennifer proceeded to tell them the story of the great organ, ALL which fascinated them.

She explained to them that the violins were very important to the total sound that ALL would have been able to make if lightning hadn’t hit him. She also told them about the VibraKids, the shattered parts of ALL’S mind. They immediately wanted to know how they could attract one of the VibraKids.

Jennifer said, “You guys were too quick to fight each other over what you think is a “magic” bow. You need to know that things used on the outside of the violin like the bow might make some difference, but not a big difference in the quality of sound. In order to improve your sound the work you need to do will have to be done on the inside. You will have to change the way you think about things and the way you treat other instruments instead of fighting with them.”

She also told them they would have to set goals for themselves. A certain amount of work on the body of their instruments would help. For instance a new finish would seal up any cracks in the wood that might be present and a new bridge to hold up the strings would also help.

“Your sound could also be helped by new strings and tuning pegs. But the best thing you can do will be to work on your attitudes of jealousy and one-upmanship. You both have a bad habit of always trying to be better than others; also you think you know more than thenext guy.”

When Marcel and Susan came into the practice room the next day, they couldn’t understand how the bow they had left lying on a table had been broken up.

“It was probably just vandalism by some of the younger students,” said Marcel.

“Maybe some visitors did it,” responded Susan. “Let’s go to the storeroom and get another bow so we can practice again on the new violin.”

The violin still made the same mellow, smooth tones that it had before. When Aaron and Peter who had been fighting over the bow heard them practicing they were amazed. They really had thought it was the bow that had made the “magical” sounds. By the demonstration of her “voice” (tonal quality), they knew now that everything Jennifer had told them was true. They were ready to listen and believe her when she talked about the great organ ALL. She told them of the potential he had and would have again for making beautiful harmony all within himself.


Peter and Aaron worked and worked on getting along with all the other violins. They even told a lot of the others about their new goal, which was to have a VibraKid take up residence in them so they could someday be a part of the great, glorious organ ALL.

Jennifer was always an example for the other violins who wanted to get the beautiful tones that she was capable of. The violin section of the school orchestra began to have a much better sound to it than the other sections. The conductor mentioned this several times to the rest of the group, daring them to improve themselves as much as the violin section had. Of course the violins had some help because Jennifer had made Marcel and Susan realize that the other instruments needed to be kept in as good a shape as possible. After Aaron and Peter, the two violins that had been fighting, had been all fixed up and made like new, they did have VibraKids enter them. By this time their attitudes had improved and they had raised their vibration enough that the Kids could reside in them.

When the school held its spring concert, these two violins, Aaron and Peter, were featured in a violin trio along with Jennifer. The audience was amazed at the absolutely beautiful sound the trio made. They played unaccompanied by any other instruments because there were no others who could blend with these three. These three had a heavenly sound to them. In contrast, there was always a totally different sound from the other instruments. The three soloists received a standing ovation and had to play an encore.

The teachers and students from other music schools in the area went backstage after the concert. They wanted to ask the conductor where these instruments had come from. He told them that Jennifer had been built by the Junction Musical Instrument Factory and that they had also fixed up the other two violins.

The sweet harmony of the violin section of the college orchestra began to win prizes and soon became famous throughout the musical world, as also did the Junction Musical Instrument Factory.

More and more of the violins learned about ALL. They started digging into their background; into the history of how violins came into being and they learned about the most famous violin itself, the Stradivarius. They debated a lot about what the secret of it’s powerful, but beautiful, mellow tones had been. Had it indeed been the finish that was used on it, as some people thought? Was it the aging of the wood it was made of or, perhaps, its shape, or the shape of its sound holes? Was the secret in the strings themselves?

Actually, it was all of these things and more. Jennifer, of course, knew the answer all along. She just waited for the others to figure it out for themselves. They finally came to realize that it was the spirit of the violin, the thoughts of the violin that allowed the beautiful voice to come out of that instrument. It was a beautiful coming together of all parts that made up the Stradivarius that enabled it to express such beauty.

Tags: fighting, fine, friends, instrument, know-it-all, one-upmanship, tuning

The VibraKids Chapter 3 – Tommy the Trumpet

Tommy the Trumpet woke up with a start. He didn’t know where he was. He looked around at the room he was in and then ran to the window and looked out.

“I MUST BE IN A DIFFERENT CITY,” he thought. “NOTHING IS FAMILIAR.” He was really scared now. He was no longer in the Junction Musical Instrument Factory where he had decided to explore and had entered the body of the trumpet.


“OH, NOW I REMEMBER,” he thought to himself. The sound of his tones was so pretty that those in charge at the musical instrument factory had decided to send him to a customer in a big city clear across the country. This man was famous for his trumpet playing and was the leader of a band that appeared weekly on a famous TV show.

The room Tommy was in now was part of the man’s house and seemed to be a music room. There were a few other instruments in the room along with a large piano and several music stands. There was a microphone setup and a wall lined with mirrors. On the opposite wall there were book shelves filled with books and magazines and sheet music of all kinds.

Tommy looked around his new home. He thought to himself, “I WAS USED TO BEING ABLE TO ROAM WHEREVER I WANTED BEFORE I GOT CAUGHT IN THIS TRUMPET.” Now that he couldn’t do whatever he wanted he didn’t know what to do with himself. He decided to explore the book shelves and found many books about trumpets, the people who played them and the uses they were put to.

“WOW,” he thought, “LOOK AT THIS BOOK. IT TELLS ALL ABOUT THE TRUMPET AND HAS PICTURES OF EARLY TRUMPETS.” He was curious to know how the body of the trumpet had come about, what it looked like in the beginning and what it had been used for in the past. He also wondered what it was mostly used for now and what would he could accomplish while he was inside the trumpet. He hoped he’d find some answers in the books on the shelves. Since he had nothing else to do, he settled down in a big easy chair in the corner and started to look through the book.

He was so excited he started talking to the piano in the room. “Miss Piano, did you know that in the beginning the trumpet started out as a piece of wood from an oak tree limb and was just a whistle that people would blow into? Then they carved holes in the long part of the whistle and placed their fingers over the holes to be able to get different sounds when they blew into it. Isn’t that exciting?” he asked Miss Piano. She had nothing to say. She yawned to show Tommy that she was bored by what he was saying.

“OH WELL,” he thought. “I’LL JUST KEEP READING AND LEARNING ABOUT IT BY MYSELF.”

The early trumpets didn’t have much use. Some farmers used them to call animals, but for the most part they were toys for children to play with. As the years passed, more people became interested in this toy and changed what it was made of. They started making it out of a bright shiny metal with a bell shape at one end. Then a flapper was made that would close over the sound holes so more tones could be made when someone blew into it. It grew to be an important instrument, especially for kings or queens when they wanted to talk to the people or use it to announce when they were arriving at a certain place. It was a very loud and brassy, bold and beautiful instrument. Eventually people discovered that it did have a softer sound that could be quite nice and they began to use it to play pretty pieces instead of always just having it bold, loud and showy.

All of this was fascinating to Tommy and he couldn’t wait to have the chance to try making the different sounds. No one had tried to get music out of him since he had left the factory. The man he had been sent to was away on a trip. Tommy couldn’t wait for him to get home. When the man did come home, he had company with him and didn’t pay much attention to Tommy until the company left. When he finally picked up his new trumpet and began playing it he was thrilled with the sounds he was able to get from it. Tommy was also happy about the sounds coming from him.


When the man played slow, sad songs, the trumpet had a beautiful, flowing, mellow sound. When the man wanted to be sassy and bold and naughty in his playing, the trumpet responded right away. The trumpet was very responsive to every thought, wish and desire of the man who was playing it. He had never before owned such a beautiful instrument. He couldn’t get over it and put it down to go call his friends and tell them about his new trumpet.

“Sam, you just won’t believe the beautiful sound I get from my new trumpet,” Don said. “I picked up my old trumpet and started playing it. It sounded dead. It didn’t have any life in the tones that came out of it. There was no heart and soul in that old horn so I put it back in its case and just sat there looking in amazement at my new instrument.”

“It sounds almost like magic,” Sam replied, “like the trumpet is alive. It’s hard to believe. I’ve heard of the Magic Flute that Mozart wrote about, but never a Magic Trumpet.”

“There’s probably no way I can make you believe that it’s not magic. It’s an ordinary trumpet. Why don’t you and Wayne and Alan come over tomorrow to hear for yourselves?” Don asked. Then he put the phone down and went back to the music room to play his beautiful, new trumpet some more.

Meanwhile, the man’s daughter Amy had come from school and had come into the music room to practice her piano lesson.

“THIS IS NOT A PRETTY SOUNDING PIANO,” thought Tommy. “IT CERTAINLY NEEDS SOME HELP.”

“Why do you sound so bad?” he asked Miss Piano when Amy had left the room. Miss Piano just looked at him with anger flashing out of her eyes, but had nothing to say.

Tommy wondered if he could get one of the VibraKids to enter this piano. He knew that if it were played at the same time he was playing it would make him sound bad. He wanted the other instruments he played with to make music that was just as pretty as his was.

The man’s friends came over the next day and Alan sat down at the piano to play along with the trumpet. Because of the bad shape the piano was in, Tommy got stubborn and decided not to help make the sounds anything special. It sounded just like any other trumpet.

Don couldn’t understand it. Sam, Wayne and Alan left after teasing him about being a little bit weird the night before when he had raved about the trumpet. Don decided to play the new trumpet some more. The house was all quiet now and there was no one there to play the piano so Tommy gave it his all and the beautiful music began coming out of the trumpet again. Don just didn’t understand it. He even began to be a little afraid because he couldn’t figure out what was going on. He wondered if it really was magic. Then he thought that maybe it was something inside him that made the difference in the sound. Puzzled, he finally packed Tommy away in his case for the night and went upstairs to bed himself.

“Miss Piano, you’ve got an attitude problem,” Tommy said to her the next morning. “True, you’re an older instrument and perhaps didn’t have good care in the past, but I still can’t understand why you can’t make pretty sounds. Is it just because you don’t care, or are you really unable to sound pretty? I’m going to have a big problem living in this house with you unless I can do something about the horrible sounds you make.”

Miss Piano was jealous of Tommy. “I really don’t like you,” she said. “I know that you don’t think that I’m very pretty. I know that you’re really a much better instrument than me, but why do you have to be so mean about it?” she said to Tommy.

She didn’t understand why he was a much better instrument and was really envious of him. “IT TICKLES ME THAT I HAVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF CONTROL OVER TOMMY,” she thought gleefully to herself. “HE WOULDN’T RESPOND TO THE MAN’S THOUGHTS WHEN ALAN WAS PLAYING ME ALONG WITH TOMMY.” This gave her a feeling of power, to know that as long as she made ugly sounds that Tommy would too.

But deep down inside, somehow this way of thinking didn’t seem right to her anymore. She really wanted to become like Tommy, not have him act like her and be mean, but she didn’t want to let him know it.

The next day when Tommy woke up, Miss Piano asked him, “How come you can make such beautiful sounds? Are you made out of different stuff than I am?”

Tommy replied, “Yes, because I’m younger, the material I’m made out of is a better quality metal than what your sounding board is made of. Mine has a higher vibration due to a new way of making the metal. But the biggest difference is because of ALL,” Tommy told her.

“What do you mean?” she asked immediately.

Tommy than began to tell her the story of ALL the Almighty Organ and the VibraKids.


“Oh,” she cried, “I want to have one of the VibraKids take up residence in me. I’d like to be able to make beautiful sounds like you do. I also want us to be able to make great music together. I don’t want you to stop playing beautiful sounds just because I’m an ugly duckling. How can I get one of the VibraKids to come live in me?” she asked.

Tommy thought about it for quite awhile. Finally, he told her, “You’ll have to work very hard on yourself. You’ll have to change a lot of your ways of thinking, especially your ‘I don’t care’ attitude as far as trying to make better sounds. You can help raise your own vibration you know, and this is what you will have to do before a VibraKid can live in you. The ones who live in pianos are those whose vibrations are higher than the others because they are a mixture. They’re the ones who stay up high because the bright lights and harsh sounds of the city bother them. You’ll really have to work hard to attract one of them to you.”

Miss Piano was quiet for a long time thinking about what Tommy had said. “How do you know that ALL knew everything there was to know about pianos?” she asked.

Tommy replied, “Because everything that makes up a piano was part of what made up ALL. He had the possibility of being any instrument he wanted because he was made up of all of them. There is no instrument that he couldn’t have become and still can become if a suitable body is found for the fragment of his mind that was the thought for that instrument.”

“You’ll just have to believe me because of my beautiful sound,” Tommy continued. “There is no other proof that I can give you because ALL is no longer in one piece. Besides, you can’t know what he’s like until you change your bad attitudes and start to raise your vibrations. Then you can attract a VibraKid to come live with you – one who will have past knowledge of your kinfolk. When this happens, you’ll know that you will forever after be one with the great organ called ALL”

Beginning at that time Miss Piano started working on herself. Soon Tommy could actually stand to stay in the room when Amy practiced each day. Previously he had tried to hide and cover up his ears. Now he was beginning to hear a prettier sound coming out of the piano.

“Dad, do you realize that this piano is starting to sound better.” Don’s daughter Amy said. “Did you have it tuned,” she asked?”

“No,” answered Don, “but that would be a good idea.” They had the piano tuner come in and give Miss Piano a check up. The tuner stretched the strings into the best tune he could. He fixed a few other problems such as certain keys that didn’t work.

Miss Piano listened real hard every time Don played his new trumpet and noticed how the different songs all came out sounding just like they should. The response of the trumpet was perfect for each different feeling that Don wanted to express.

Miss Piano kept hoping that Don’s friends would come back over so she could see if Tommy thought she had improved enough to play with. Before this could take place, Miss Piano had something strange happen to her one night. The next morning, full of excitement, she said to Tommy, “I felt a tingling and a feeling of really being alive enter my case and move along my strings and perk up my sound board. I know that something very important took place last night.”

Tommy cried, “Peggy? Is that you Peggy? Did you decide to come live with Miss Piano?”

“I most certainly did,” Peggy said. “It’s great to see you again Tommy. Now I don’t feel so lonely.”

“Same here,” responded Tommy. They began to talk a mile a minute about old times and what had happened to others that they both knew.

Later that day Don’s friends did come over again and when Alan sat down at the piano and started playing it sounded so beautiful that Tommy responded with his absolutely finest tones.

Don’s friends were amazed. “You were right all along,” said Wayne. “We just couldn’t hear the difference before but we sure can now.”

Sam asked, “Are you sure it’s not a Magic Trumpet? Where did you buy it and by the way, who fixed your piano?”

Don’s friends were inspired to go home and take out their own instruments and look inside them and see what they could do to improve the sounds they were getting out of them. What they realized now was that one instrument making beautiful sounds will make all the other instruments it comes in touch with want to do the same.

The VibraKids Chapter 2 – The Vivacious VibraKids

When ALL was struck with lightning and shattered, the wooden parts of his cabinet burned and the rest of him was a twisted pile of metal. What went flying out into the night through the huge hole in the ceiling were his thoughts. These were the thoughts that had led him to know that he was able to make beautiful music. His thoughts separated into many pieces. Those who were to be stringed instruments broke into many different sizes and strengths. The same thing took place with all the other sounds of instruments that were inside ALL. These partial bits of ALL’s thoughts are the “VibraKids.”

Now, floating outside the empty, dark auditorium with the storm still raging, the shattered pieces of his mind were all scared. The lightning was flashing and the thunder was terribly loud. The wind lifted them and they were soon spread throughout the whole darkened city. They were all alone, heavy with the dampness from the rain, wondering where they should go and what they should do next. The worst part of it was being separated from each other.

When the storm was over and the sun came out the next day, these little pieces of musical vibration all dried off. Soon they regained the strength of their own particular sound. This sound was the part of ALL’s vibration that they were left with along with the electricity of the lightning strike.

There were three main groups that the VibraKids divided into. These were the strings, the horns, and those Kids who were mixtures of sounds that were fused together at the time of the explosion. Some of them had almost exactly the same bit of electricity or vibration as other VibraKids and they soon began finding each other. How happy they were to meet another one that was vibrating at almost exactly the same tone that they were.

The horns were the bravest of all the VibraKids. They started looking around at all areas of the city. The strings were more shy and fearful, but they soon began following the horns and learning their way around.

The Kids who were mixtures of different sounds didn’t like the city at all. Because their vibration was higher and finer than the other two groups, the lights and sounds of the city made it painful for them to try and come down. They pretty much just stayed up in the air above the city, some of them higher than others. Besides, they could see more of what was going on in the whole city by staying up high. They called to the VibraKids as they tried to keep them all together.

Before long groups began forming in the different parts of the city that appealed to them. Some of the VibraKids liked the area around the lake at the southern edge of the city and they formed their own little city there in the branches of a large pine tree. Others liked the excitement they found out by the football and baseball fields and made their home under the grandstand. Still others liked to hang around the botanical gardens and settled in the attic of the butterfly house.

They finally ended up with seven different groups of VibraKids spread throughout the city. While exploring around the city one day, a few of the VibraKids from under the grandstand, the horns, discovered a musical instrument factory on the other side of town. They began hanging around the building and watching happily all the different musical instruments that were being made. There were two different parts of this factory. One part made instruments that used the wind to make sounds. The other part had sounds that were set into motion by the vibration of strings. This was fascinating.

This group of VibraKids began telling the other groups of what they had found and soon all the VibraKids were hanging out down by the Junction Musical Instrument Factory. Each VibraKid was a small bit of music but needed some way to express this music – a body of some kind to serve as an instrument. They also knew that to be able to make the sounds that ALL could make before the lightning struck him they would have to group together and be able to blend and mix.

The VibraKids floated around above the musical instrument factory and watched with great interest. They listened when the instruments were being tested for the sound of each one’s “voice.”

It was at this point that one of the VibraKids decided he wanted to experience what it would be like to be inside this newborn trumpet that had just come off the assembly line. He felt sorry for the horn and he decided that he would enter the trumpet. This way he would know what it felt like to make musical tones through the body of the trumpet and also the trumpet would no longer sound so bad.

It was Tommy who entered the trumpet. When this particular trumpet got to the room where the trumpets were being tested it had a sound that was far better than any of the other trumpets. It was sweet and clear as a bell and very easy to make beautiful music with.

Frank, one of the workers in the instrument factory, said, “Isn’t the sound coming out of this trumpet something special?”

“It sure is,” responded Clyde. “Let’s look it over and test it some more and see what makes it so good.”

By this time Tommy had had enough fun for the day. He decided to get back out of the trumpet so he could roam around with his buddies, free to go wherever he wanted. All the while he was in the trumpet he had to do trumpet things. He had no control over what happened to the trumpet, where it went, what it did, who played it or if it got played at all, or what kind of music was played on it. This wasn’t any fun like Tommy thought he would have while inside the trumpet. But what do you know? Tommy couldn’t get back out of the trumpet. He was stuck in it; he was caught between two valves and just couldn’t get loose. He tried to get the other VibraKid’s to notice him.

The other VibraKids didn’t listen to Tommy. After seeing what he did, many of them had gotten brave enough to try the same thing and before long all of them had found an instrument they liked and had entered it.

Fanny had chosen a flute because she thought it would show how she felt better than some of the others such as the trumpet that Tommy had entered. The trumpet was bold and daring which suited Tommy.

Martin chose the cello because he thought it was the prettiest sounding of them all. Trent, who was slightly overweight, had entered a tuba, a large horn; skinny little Sally was inside an oboe, a very slim instrument. Nathan was caught in a saxophone; Bill was enmeshed in the workings of a clarinet; Jennifer had chosen a violin and Bobby insisted on getting into the big bass viol. Matt picked a viola that Maxine wanted so she chose a slide trombone instead. It went on this way until they all found themselves inside an instrument. Once they were inside none of them could get back out of the body of the instrument they had entered.

By this time some of the VibraKids who had stayed up above the city because they were mixtures of different vibrations, had also found some instruments being made that appealed more to them because they were different. These VibraKids didn’t have pure sounds like the horns and strings and wouldn’t have been happy in those instruments. They felt they would be better able to fit into one of these other instruments. These were the accordion, guitar, mandolin, drums and the piano.

Paul entered a bass drum and Paula a snare drum, Heather and Linda both crawled into pianos, Mandy chose a mandolin, Frankie a banjo and Ed picked a guitar. At the last minute Annie decided to come down and join them when she saw what fun they were having and she entered the accordion. Judy followed her and chose the piccolo. Now they were all caught inside the instruments except the ones who had stayed up very high because they were so sensitive they couldn’t stand the sounds of the instruments.

Before ALL had been hit with lightning he wanted to be able to make beautiful music with all the different possibilities of sound inside him. Because of this the VibraKids felt right about being inside the instruments, but they didn’t like being at the “beck and call” of them. They wanted to be in control and be able to make the instruments respond to their thoughts. If they were sad they wanted to express it through the body of their instrument. If they were happy, they wanted to be able to get “happy” sounds out of their instruments. They soon began to see that they were in for a long period of learning about their chosen instruments and how they could improve their control of them.

The VibraKids all had a common goal that they wanted to reach. This was for all of them to join back together inside a cabinet like the one that ALL had been in. They wanted to make beautiful music together again as one instrument, a mighty organ. You see they were still ALL’S thoughts so they all had the same thoughts, goals and desires. They wanted so badly to be able to do this for ALL.

Those VibraKids who didn’t like the city and had risen up high above it saw what had happened to their friends. They were determined to stay up high and give their friends as much help as they could. They wanted to help them learn to control the instruments so they could all meet again and plan the new, improved model of the mighty organ that they had all started out together in.


Thus begins the journey of the VibraKids and their travels in the city and beyond. In some cases, the instruments they got inside of are harmed by being dropped or perhaps totally destroyed. When this happens they enter another instrument, maybe the same kind as the one that was destroyed or perhaps something totally different. This depends on how brave they are, what they feel they are ready for and what they need to learn. They know it will be a long time before they can all meet again. For that reason most of them decide to reenter another instrument and learn more about the music of life instead of just waiting above the city for the others.

 

The VibraKids Chapter 1 – The Almighty Organ Called “ALL”

Even though this is basically a book for youth  I think adults will enjoy it also and it may serve as a brush-up course on attitudes. I will post a new chapter for each of the next 12 weeks.

“The VibraKids” is an analogy of the “Big Bang” and the fact that the spirits enter the bodies of humans and all have a desire to join back into the body of our Creator. The “instruments” are an analogy for human bodies and the thoughts that enter them are spirits. The thoughts that stay up high and do not enter instruments are an analogy of guardian angels. Each chapter tells of the experiences of a different VibraKid and the instrument he or she has entered. Their experiences teach them about different aspects of life and how to get along with others. They draw on the wisdom of the original organ “ALL” and pass this wisdom on to others. All the VibraKids have a deep desire to someday be able to return to the body of the big organ “ALL” (return to our Creator) and be able to make beautiful music together again.

· Tommy the Trumpet demonstrates the importance of attitudes and their effect on
those around us.
· Jennifer, a violin, knows that the true inner spirit of a person will come through
without any help from “things” outside ourselves.
· Fanny the Fancy Flute teaches that it is better to be an active member of society
rather than an item of beauty collecting dust on a shelf.
· Heather, a piano, tells almost the same type of lesson – that it is far more satisfying
to be of use to many others, especially underprivileged children, than to be a
beautiful instrument only available to a few.
· Ed, a guitar, is looking for excitement and thinks he’ll find it by belonging to one
owner. He discovers his mistake when he ends up as a rental instrument with many
different experiences.
· Bobby, the Bass Viol, faces and accepts the fact that life moves on and that we must
adapt with the times or be left behind.
· Annie the Accordion, after overcoming feelings of envy, realizes that the way a
person dresses, the way he or she looks, is not as important as the ability to entertain
others and make them happy.
· Paul and Paula, a bass and snare drum set, help others realize that we can’t all be in
the limelight and that each one has a contribution to make to the whole.
· Mandy the Mandolin had to learn to overcome shyness in order to bring out the best
of her talents and express her individuality.
· Oliver the Electronic Organ wanted to emulate the almighty Organ “ALL,” but found
he couldn’t until he was in the right relationship with spiritual people. When this
came about he was able to heal others through his music and become closer to the
perfection of “ALL.”

Chapter One tells the story of an organ named “ALL” that is crated up and waiting inside an auditorium which is under construction. During a thunderstorm it is hit with lightning and explodes, sending all the musical instruments that it was made up of flying out into the night as “thoughts” of music. They spread out over the city floating around until they find a musical instrument factory. One of them gets brave enough to enter a horn as it comes off the production line. Once inside the horn he cannot get back out. The others all follow his lead and enter the bodies of different instruments. Some of the thoughts from the organ “ALL” do not enter instruments. They elect to stay up high above the city because the city noises hurt them. They help the ones who have entered instruments in any way they can.

Chapter 1 – THE ALMIGHTY ORGAN ALL

It was winter in the city. Temperatures were below zero and a fierce wind was blowing. The electricity had gone off and the streets were still and dark. Everything had come to a standstill because of an unexpected blizzard. There was a large new building under construction on the north side of the city. It would someday be a beautiful auditorium for the people of the city to use for many different purposes. Right now it didn’t look like much.

The cold wind whipped through openings in the unfinished building and filled the huge main room. This room had very high ceilings and, as yet, no seats in it. At the front of this room near the stage sat a big wooden crate. Inside this crate was a large pipe organ. It was silent now, but it was filled with sounds for people to enjoy when the auditorium was completed. For now the lonely, silent organ just sat there waiting inside its shell of a wooden cabinet. This organ’s name was “ALL” because of all the musical instruments that were inside him.

ALL wasn’t very happy. He was thinking, “WHAT AM I DOING, JUST SITTING HERE ALL ALONE INSIDE THIS BOX?” He tried and tried but he couldn’t remember anything that had taken place before waking up inside the box.

Speech bubble_01_crate

He was curious about where he came from, what was happening, why he was here and what he was supposed to do now. He thought about it some more and then it came to him! He was a musical instrument whose place in this world was to bring beauty, harmony, hope and inspiration to everyone. With this thought he began to feel better. At the same time he realized he was feeling warmer.

What ALL didn’t know was that the electricity was back on in the city and when the workers had come into the building to finish the construction, they had turned the heat on.

Boy is it ever cold in here,” said one of the workers named Joe. “I think we’d better turn some heat on for the sake of the organ.” He took off the wooden back of the case the organ was in and handed the plug to Dave who stood nearby watching and said, “Here, plug this into the wall outlet.”

“Okay,” Dave said as he plugged it in. “Now I’ll turn the power button to the on position. Let’s hope this small bit of electricity will keep the organ from being hurt from the cold,” Dave said.

ALL was feeling warmer and more powerful now since the workmen had plugged him in. He was feeling stronger and better all the time due to the vibration that the electrical current had set up inside him.

Speech bubble_02_crate

“WOW!” he thought, “SOMETIMES IT TICKLES; OTHER TIMES IT FEELS ITCHY. I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL I CAN START PLAYING MUSIC AGAIN.” He knew that he used to make people feel good by the looks on their faces as the music poured from him. He helped them experience a sense of togetherness with everything in the world.

It took several months to complete construction on the auditorium and the workers left the organ plugged in all the while they were finishing up. ALL just sat there growing more impatient and frustrated while waiting. There was no way the organ could be played yet because it was not hooked up to the mighty banks of pipes that stretched across the wall above the stage.

Soon it was spring and the building was almost completed. The workers were back. “Hey Joe,” said Jose, “Help me tear away the rest of the box from the organ.”

This exposed ALL to the colder air outside his cozy, warm box. He became very excited even though he was cold again without the protection of the box, but he soon adjusted to the temperature change.

All

“Come on over Dave and help. Let’s move it into position,” said Joe. “After we get it where it’s supposed to be we’ll be able to hook it up to the pipes.”

“Okay,” said Jose. “Then Mike can come in and test it to make sure it sounds are okay.”

After a short testing period, Mike said. “All the pipes are working and ready. I think everything’s going to be okay. Let’s go home now and enjoy our long holiday weekend.”

“Right,” said Joe. “But let’s leave the power to the organ on because we’re going to turn the heat down in the building and we don’t want the insides of the organ to get too cold.”

What they didn’t think of was that this would cause drops of moisture to form inside the organ.

ALL was alone again but very happy. “FINALLY,” he thought, “NOW ALL THE WAITING IS OVER. THINGS ARE BEGINNING TO HAPPEN.”

Speech bubble_03_All

That night after the workers left, another storm was blowing up outside the building. The wind started howling. Because of a mistake in the way the pipes were hooked up, some of the gusts of wind accidentally crept into the pipes of the organ and sounds began to come out of the different instruments. First came the sound of the strings, then a blare from the reeds, then the brass let loose with their sound.

ALL was entranced by the sounds he was making all by himself. He was amazed at the difference in tones coming from the different rows of pipes. He thought, “THERE’S A LOT MORE GOING ON INSIDE ME THAN WHEN THE WORKERS DID THEIR TESTING.”

What he didn’t realize was that the wind was causing the beautiful, gentle sounds coming out of him now. He was excited as he felt the small bit of electricity moving through his body.

As the storm grew worse, the wind that was accidentally blowing into the pipes increased. This caused the sounds made by the organ to get louder. All the banks of pipes were making sounds at the same time and it was getting louder and louder. Then the wind let up and slowly the pipes grew silent again.

“WHAT A LETDOWN,” ALL thought, and he started to feel alone and sad again. The storm had taken the electricity out once more and he was growing very cold. By the next morning he was shivering and the banks of pipes looked like rows of icicles to him.

Speech bubble_04_All

Eventually the electricity was fixed and the building started to warm up. ALL started to feel the electric current going through his body again.

“YES, YES,” he thought, “THAT’S MORE LIKE IT.” Then that night another storm came. It was even worse than the last storm. This storm was different from the one that had taken the electricity out when ALL was first moved to the auditorium. It was spring now and the outside air was warmer. This was a thunderstorm and had brilliant flashes of lightning and loud rumbles of thunder.

ALL was fascinated by what he was hearing outside the building. As the wind started getting stronger, the same thing happened as before. The wind was able to make sounds come out of the pipes on the organ. ALL heard the sounds coming out of him join in with the sound of the storm and it kept getting louder and louder.

“SOMETHING IS WRONG,” he thought. Instead of the soft, gentle sounds he heard during the last storm, these sounds were becoming harsh and discordant and even ugly and scary sometimes.

Speech bubble_05_All

What had happened was that the constant temperature changes inside the organ had caused drops of moisture to form and this was causing trouble with the passage of electricity through the organ. The volume kept building as the storm grew worse. The lightning flashed more often and the thunder rolled.

“WHAT A ‘CONCERT’ THIS IS,” ALL thought. He became more and more excited as the wind kept getting stronger, until all of a sudden he felt that he couldn’t contain himself anymore… and then it happened. He was hit with lightning!

The organ blew up; it exploded! It shattered into pieces. The wooden parts of it burned and the rest of it just fell apart into a pile of wires and pieces of metal. ALL’S thoughts shattered also and took on the forms of the different instruments that had been inside him. His thoughts were just “parts-of-ALL” now or “partial” pieces of the total design of the organ that had once been so big and powerful.

When ALL’S thoughts scattered from the explosion, a spark of the original current of electricity that had kept ALL warm throughout the long, cold winter, entered each of the partial pieces of All as a vibration that would become the sound of each instrument. This would be the way each of the different instruments could stay in touch with the rest of the parts-of-All.

All the thoughts of the different instruments were sent flying out into the large, empty auditorium. Because the roof of the building had been torn off by the lightning strike, there was nothing to stop the pieces-of-ALL and they went sailing right on out into the night. They were separated parts of ALL and didn’t exactly know what had happened to them. They were kind of scared and felt lost and alone with no one to guide them or tell them what to do. They were sent out into the world and would have to learn and experience and grow on their own.

They remembered ALL the Almighty Organ. They longed for ALL; for the comfort of being “safe” within the cabinet of the large organ. They longed to someday be able to return to that safe place inside the body of the mighty organ to make beautiful music again with all the other instruments. What would happen to them now? Faintly from afar, they heard beautiful music and then the voice of ALL saying:Speech bubble_06_All