Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Musical Stuff Yet Again

Can you believe the end of the school year is quickly closing in on us?  I overheard someone at pick up say that once spring break is over, it's something like seven weeks to the end of the year.  This has GOT to be the fastest moving school year yet.  Kind of unbelievable.

Andrew brought home his end of the year concert and marching band information.  There are a lot of small community parades listed as well as the big final concert with other districts.  Just last week we sat through his last school concert.  It was actually pretty cool - the difference in everyone's playing ability from the beginning of the year to now is noticeable.  My favorite part was watching, and listening, to the jazz band.  Some of the kids had solos and, while I am not sure if they used AKG microphones or not, the sound was incredible!  You can tell that they have been working hard - and I can tell that some of the kids have a real future in music, if they want it.

The time is quickly approaching when Kelton will need to make a decision for his schedule next year.  An instrument or choir?  Can I just say: I'm not really looking forward to either.  And I am conflicted - is it right to force a child to play an instrument?  Or to sing?  Singing would be tough for me because I don't like to sing in front of other people and playing the flute didn't go all that well either.  I never learned to read music so I would learn to play the notes and then write the letter above the corresponding note.  It was slow, painful work.  When the teacher said I could no longer do that, I was done.  Well - that and I was so afraid to make a mistake that for the concerts I just pretended to play and never really made a sound on my instrument.

So - I carry baggage when it comes to music.  And I am against forcing kids to do things they are not drawn naturally to do.  I have seen enough to know that with my kids, if they have an interest in something, it will come to the forefront and then we pursue it.  Forced activity though?  I'm against it.  Whole-heartedly.

1 comment:

Karen Burch said...

We are parents who are forcing our son to play trombone. He chose the instrument and we have made him continue through the past three years. He loved 5th grade band, but hated sixth grade band. At the end of 6th grade we asked him why he hated it and he said he felt lost and the teacher didn't give him enough instruction. It was a valid reason and so we addressed it. We secured private lessons through a program called In Home Music Teachers. His instructor comes to our house once a week and they do a half hour practice. It has made all the difference in the world in both his understanding and ability to play. He now loves playing the trombone and excels at school. He has advanced to the point where thinking about a scholarship for college is not out of the realm of possibility. The cost is $30 a week and we gladly gave up a meal out to be able to provide him both the support and instruction.

It's a good program if he ends in band.