Middle School Band?????

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by yayita25, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. yayita25

    yayita25 New Member

    Hi everyone just picking your brain if you don't mind???
    My easy child will be given band (just started 6th grade) he has never played any instruments only 6 mos of piano classes but he was not too in to it... he was just going because difficult child was going and I could'nt leave him home alone. He told me on his 2nd day of middle school he was interested in band he says he wants to play drums I casually asked his counselor about the band counselor said there was no more availability that my easy child had to wait until next year... I thought O.K. then this will give me a chance to have easy child explore instruments and decide what his interest in instrument was!!! But friday night I got an Email from counselor that he got a spot for my easy child and he will expect easy child at his office early Monday to give him his new schedule!!!!!!

    My questions:

    Will easy child be tested on different instruments???
    Will he be required to have experience????
    What instrument (if your child was part of a school band) do you recommend????
    Take in consideration my son had a ahsma!!!

    Sorry I know these are questions I should have asked the counslor but I read his email late Friday and he is expecting my easy child on Monday Morning I emailed counslor but I have not gotton response it is the weekend.... Thanks in advance any Ideas or shared stories can really help
  2. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    When my kids were tested for band instruments the only experience they had were "song flutes" that were literally just those plastic tubes with holes. My daughter had taken piano lessons, but that only helped in reading music...... The idea is to see if there is any interest so I think they don't really expect to find any prodigies.... If your son has asthma then maybe a woodwind instrument isn't what he would want. My daughter played flute and it required her to develop very controlled breathing.... but that might even help asthma....... My son played drums, but that requires you have a strong sense of rhythm ..... there are many other instruments in the percussion group that aren't drums......, but usually you can rent to "try" instruments before you buy and many used ones from former students...... give it a shot......they don't expect you to have experience in sixth grade........
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My son started band last year (in 7th grade) and I had these same questions and conversations with him, even the one about him being sure he wanted to play drums, when we found out he'd be allowed to join. But as it turned out- none of this mattered. The band director spent the first week or so demonstrating how each instrument was played and what it sounded like. Then, he spent the time to work individually with each child, letting the student try holding and playing whichever instrument they wanted to try. The band director gave a little feedback ie- "you could really learn that one easily- it seems to come natural for you" or "does this one feel like a comfortable fit for you". Then, he let the kid choose one based on that. I had NO impact, but I'm glad I didn't- I think this was the best way to go about it. I'm not sure all band directors would go about it that way, though.

    My son and I discussed him playing drums, a woodwind, or a trombone. He came home with a piece of paper that said "TRUMPET". LOL!!

    Oh almost forgot- regarding asthma, I can't speak for middle school age but I suppose it would be the same- if the asthma isn't severe enough to be triggered by normal band practice often, I don't think it would be a problem. I was in band in high school and a person (I think she played flute) occassionally had an asthma attack. She would have to jump up and someone would help her leave the band room and sit with her, get her inhaler, help determine if parents needed to be called to come get her, if she needed transport to er, or if she would be ok without anything else. I think she always came back into the bandrooom, then would just listen and go thru the practice on her instrument without actually blowing into it for a while.

    That's a long way of saying that I doubt it would be anyone at sd saying he won't be allowed to do this, I think it would either be him saying he can't, or you saying you don't want him to due to health risk.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child started band in sixth grade and she was allowed to pick whatever instrument she wanted to play. There was no testing or prior experience required. I think drums are a great instrument to play in the band.

  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Band is a FOUR letter word..........WORK...and that's not the first one that comes to my mind as the WIDOW FRIEND of a girl who has her youngest in Marching Band, State, etc.

    Whent he kid was in 9th grade she started band, loved it and it gave her opportunities she may not have had otherwise.

    FOR ME? It meant unless I wanted to numb my behind sitting on endless hot, 100 degree metal bleachers and traveling at 4:00 AM across state in a car full of teenagers? I lost a friend.

    I support them and have put up more strawberries, wrapping paper, and made more cookies than I care to remember - so be prepared. Our band asks a LOT LOT LOT out of their parents, AND it's expensive. This years fees for camp were $500 - and band was $500. IF you missed camp you were an alternate, BUT your mom still has to pay $500 and you may or may NOT get to march.

    I actually was going to have a shirt printed that said
    I used to have a best friend -
    Now her kid is in band
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I checked with Miss KT, a marching band veteran, and she brought up several interesting points. If difficult child has braces, or will be getting braces, brass instruments will be very difficult. The oboe is a good instrument if difficult child loves music and plans to continue playing, many colleges give oboe scholarships because few people play it. Everybody plays the clarinet. If something like drum corps is an interest, go with percussion or brass. Tuba is another one that not many people play, so you're always needed in band.

    This is the first year I'm not a Bando Mommy, and I kind of miss it!
  7. yayita25

    yayita25 New Member

    Wow!!! You guys are great I feel much better about Monday now!!!! I will give my easy child some info now that you guys have given me all this info and I will keep you guys posted!!!!THANKS !!!!
  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I was in band all through middle school, high school and college. I've got a baritone player in high school band (including a very competitive marching band such as Star is talking about) and a middle schooler who is a percussionist. Here are some things to consider:

    1) Kids will do better on the instrument they like, so unless there's a real reason to counsel them away from an instrument, that's usually the best route to go.

    2) Some instruments are simply harder to get started on. Oboe and french horn are a lot tougher, whereas percussion has a lot more immediate gratification. If you have an easily frustrated kid, this is something to put high on your priority list.

    3) Talk through what kinds of bands he might be interested in playing--ie my oldest plays baritone which he can play in middle school jazz band but won't be acceptable in high school so he picked up bass guitar as a second instrument. Making a switch later on often requires private lessons.

    4) Gender--some instruments tend to draw a lot more of one gender than the other so if your kiddo is sensitive to that, some advance talk might be in order. No hard and fast rules of course but flutes generally attract almost only girls, low brass (especially tubas) more guys, clarinets mostly girls.

    5) Brass is generally harder for kids with braces, but still do-able. They used to shift kids with braces away from clarinet but they aren't doing that anymore.

    6) If the school doesn't provide instruments, take cost into consideration if your funds are limited. We initially set one kiddo up by purchasing a snare drum and bell set for under $200. The baritone cost $50 to rent so we were forking out $1400 to buy one only a few months down the road.

    Star, I have to lol on your take on the marching band. We're just starting this year and it's definitely a family commitment, as well as a 4 letter word WORK. My guy got out of school one Thursday in June and was back at rookie camp the following Tuesday. I'll spare you the details of the rest of the summer but it was big time hours and while I cranked a little about it along the way, now that he's started the school year I can really see the benfits. There's a lot to be said for walking into a large high school already having a place to hang your hat and an established community and a set of goals. I don't think I've ever seen him take so much pride in anything. Another bonus: he had to get his hair cut (off the shoulder, above the eyebrows, and above the ear) and I didn't have to say a word.

    No driving across the state line...so far...but I did chaperone the freshman bus on Saturday. Listened to kids belting out Queen songs and got soaking wet in the rain while fetching shoes for a color guard member who forgot them...and then didn't even get to see the band perform. It wasn't the best time I've ever had but it's still beats out the last two weeks of listening to my kids fight over the new drumset!
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    One more thing every new band parent needs to know: don't go buying one of those cheapie instruments from Sam's Club, KMart, etc. They're of such cheap quality and impossible to get parts for that the instrument repair shops won't touch them.
  10. yayita25

    yayita25 New Member

    Thanks SRL , reading your comment really made me feel that it was a good choice my son is soooo excited he will officially start band class tommorow.... I just hope he doesn't have any " AND ONE TIME IN BAND CAMP" (LOL) stories!!!!
  11. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    One P.S. on the braces:

    I played trombone in the jazz band in highschool. The orthodontist supplied me with wax (soft, pliable little wax strips) that I put on my braces before I played. It saved my lips!