I played clarinet starting in 4th grade, continuing through 12th, which would be, uh, 1970-79. I went to public schools with strong music programs and got to be pretty good. Some time in 5th grade, my parents replaced my school-issued clarinet with a used Conn wood clarinet. Serial number is E22518, which, from some Internet research, appears to make it produced in 1964, which sounds about right. I always felt it was harder than it should be to move air through the instrument while playing. Somewhere along the line - maybe more than once - I had my music teacher test it out and they invariably declared it to be fine. Nevertheless, I remember once in high school trading instruments with my friend (he and I played first clarinet, first and second chairs) and my recollection is that he could barely get a sound out of my instrument and his was easy for me to play. Fast forward to now and my second son has started playing clarinet (son #1 plays alto sax and son #3 - second grader - has declared his intention to play trumpet ... and keeps nagging me to buy him one). Son #2 has just started 5th grade and began playing in 4th. He has been using my old Conn clarinet. Before he started, I took it to the shop where I bought son #1's alto sax and had them fix/replace whatever they deemed needed fixing and replacing. As best I could recall my childhood days, the refurbished clarinet did play more easily than when I played in grade school. But maybe that was just wishful thinking and, carrying memories of the "difficult to blow" clarinet from my youth, I am concerned about whether this clarinet is appropriate and sufficiently easy to play for my son to learn on. He seems to do OK with notes not requiring the octave key, but those requiring the octave key are very difficult for him to play (the music program at his school is not particularly rigorous and I have been completely derelict in getting him to practice, which no doubt impacts this). I know he dropped his instrument some time late last year, causing some damage that impaired it's playability; that got fixed, though I can't remember now whether I took it to the shop or was able to bend the damaged key(s) myself to make it playable again. I've been playing it recently. I imagine that it may be slightly harder to play than last year, but I may be wrong and, in any case, I'm pretty confident it's no harder than I remember as a kid. Not sure his maintenance and cleaning has been all that good either; don't know if that may have significant effect. I never got into equipment as a kid, and so know little about various makes of clarinet and their relative merits. I've been reading various threads on this forum (and other stuff elsewhere) trying to educate myself, but it's very much a work early in progress. Apart from any particular need for maintenance/repair, which I think is minimal or non-existent, is this an instrument that I should expect to be adequately easy for my son to learn on? Is that even a question on which anyone can opine without actually playing the instrument itself? Might changing the mouthpiece help (current mouthpiece is a Conn Precision)? Any thoughts appreciated. I just don't want my son to get turned off because he's playing an instrument that is harder to play than it should be and I'd like to do whatever makes sense to make sure that doesn't happen.