Clarinet Crafts: How to Make a Reed Graveyard

As clarinetists, we spend a lot of our time with reeds. Buying reeds, testing reeds, adjusting reeds, rotating reeds, chipping reeds, warping reeds, crying over reeds…it only seems fitting that we give our reeds the proper burial that they so deserve.

I got the inspiration for this idea from my student Julia, who created a reed graveyard for her dearly departed reeds several years ago. If you’re looking to honor the life and legacy of your favorite reeds, here’s how you can make your very own reed graveyard.

What you’ll need:

  • Shallow box, box lid, or other container (I used a baking tray)
  • Styrofoam, sand, rocks or other surface to stick reeds into
  • Tombstones. You can buy pre-made Halloween decorations or get creative and make your own.
  • Other graveyard decorations. Rocks, fake spiders, fake cobwebs, lights, reed wrappers – your imagination’s the limit here!
  • Dead reeds

Instructions:

  1. Create the ground of your graveyard. Fill your box with sand or rocks, or cut and size the styrofoam to fit the dimensions of your graveyard.
  2. Bury your dead reeds. Bury your dead reeds by arranging them in the ground/styrofoam, leaving enough room for tombstones. Hold a proper funeral, make peace or amends, or follow your own burial ritual – no judgement here.
  3. Make the tombstones. Write the dates, names, numbers, cause of death, or whatever you want on the tombstones. Place the tombstone behind the reed. You can use toothpicks or popsicle sticks for added support and stability.
  4. Get creative. Add anything else you’d like to your reed graveyard – skeletons, miniature clarinets, decorative bones, etc.
  5. Share your graveyard. Take a picture of your reed graveyard and share it! Use #reedgraveyard or #ripreeds, or send me your photos.

Happy Halloween!

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