Did you play the recorder in your fourth grade music class? Or maybe your third grade class? I don’t know who decided that, but someone somewhere made the brilliant decision that all elementary school students in this great country would learn to play the recorder. Pure genius. Or pure masochism, maybe. And don't give me that look like you think you’re too cool for the recorder. Or like you don’t still have yours, treasured for all of time in a Skechers shoebox in the back of your closet. It’s one of those rites of passage that all American children must go through. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever talked to anyone (near my age) who didn’t learn to play the recorder in music class. It’s kind of bizarre if you think about it. Which I clearly have, because I’m writing this blog. That cheap little piece of plastic is as ubiquitous as apple pie and hot dogs, a truly vital thread in the American fabric.