The following was transcribed from an interview between the informant and the interviewer.
“My band teacher when I was in middle school, or elementary, told us a story about a clarinet player who ate candy before she played everyday. And then one day, after the weekend, she opened her clarinet box, and it was full of ants.”
I collected this piece of folklore during an interview with my informant. My informant, my brother, grew up in California where he went to school. My informant told me that he believed his music teacher when he told this story.
My informant explained that this story was used to discourage kids from eating, or at least eating without rinsing their mouth, before playing. The topic of eating before playing is a common one in the music community, so anyone in a music group that plays an instrument that goes in their mouth would be familiar with being taught or told the dangers of eating before playing. In fact, other music teachers have told similar stories to their students to discourage them from eating.