What I learned from getting a whistle stuck in my trumpet

Mistakes are opportunities to learn some of the most important lessons in life

Andrew Tow, JagWire photo editor

We were midway through my least favorite song, “Sir Duke” and a plastic whistle sat in my hand because there was a part in the song where we used the whistles for effect. Then I had an epiphany: What sound would my trumpet make if I put this whistle in it? I proceeded to drop the plastic whistle down the bell of my trumpet, not realizing the depth of the bell was deeper than I thought. The whistle fell down the bell and, inevitably, got stuck.

I began to panic. Admitting to my band director that I got a whistle stuck in my trumpet filled my stomach with nerves. There was no way I could admit to my band director that I had gotten a whistle stuck in my trumpet. What on earth could I do? I tried to get the whistle loose, but it wouldn’t budge. The people around me told me to, “Just fake playing,” but I knew that would be impossible, so I made the decision to admit my mistake.

Once I made it to the front of the room all I could say to Steiner was “Uhh, I messed up,” and I explained how I got the whistle stuck. A look of disappointment took over her face as she began to disassemble my trumpet.

While it was completely embarrassing admitting my mistake, I learned an important life lesson from this experience. Embarrassing myself showed me that it’s OK to make mistakes. I don’t know what made me admit my mistake rather than acting cowardly and trying to get the whistle unstuck at home, but I am glad that I decided to endure the embarrassment. Prior to this experience, I had always had a hard time admitting when I had messed up. Through this experience, I learned that it takes a strong individual to admit their mistakes and that we should not be timid when we make mistakes.

As I move forward in life I will certainly make more mistakes. Hopefully, they do not include getting something stuck in my trumpet, but even if they do, I will know how to face them. Getting a whistle stuck in my trumpet was not really that big of an issue, but it did help me develop as a person. I know now that it is OK to make mistakes, but facing those mistakes is what is important. Don’t be scared when you accidentally do something that gets you into trouble because we all make mistakes and there is no shame in admitting your mistake.

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