nature, nurture, and 5th grade band

i went to the nevada 6th/7th/8th grade band concert tuesday. i'm the parent that sits in the gymnasium bleachers, takes picture after picture of my kid, and dishes out dirty looks to parents who are yapping while my son is subdividing.

from the day that simon was born, a bunch of people kept asking me "is he gonna play saxophone when he gets older?" and "are you gonna make him be in band?" and "don't let him join choir, man".  i never really thought that much about it all, because i was still in graduate school and i considered getting him to eat food and not his toys a miniature victory.  

every parent will tell you that time flies with kids.  low and behold, his musical debut happened last year.  sonja and jennifer and i went to the 5th grade band meeting.  mrs. lekwa was breaking it down for all of the parents.  she let us know which instruments she thought our kids would be best suited to play yet leaving the decision up to each family.  the day before simon had to decide, i asked him what he was going to do.  he told me "well, i suppose i'm gonna play the saxophone".  i asked him why he thought that was the way to go, and he told me that "i figured i had to since you play it."  i told him that he didn't need to do that at all, to which he ecstatically burst "i really want to play drums!!!"

get us some gigs

this year, kale stepped into those same shoes.  he was debating between clarinet, drums, and trumpet.  he was leaning towards clarinet for a long time, and then opted to go with trumpet.  we weren't nuts about his choice, and let it slip that a lot of the trumpeters we knew were jerks.  he paused, and quickly switched ships - back to clarinet.  when asked why he gave up on the trumpet, and he told us "i don't want to be a jerk", which got me thinking...

what type of characteristics are trademarks of certain instrumentalists?  and, are they directly related to the instrument itself OR do a bunch of players of said instrument collectively define those characteristics OR do people of that ilk choose those instruments because of that correlation to their personality?  trombonists i know are easy going people, but is that because they play trombone?  flutists are often organized and high strung, while clarinetists are usually mild mannered and hard working.  trumpeters are generally pretty arrogant and pianists are loaners.  drummers are cool and saxophonists are witty, gifted, and irresistibly sexy.  

simon did a nice job with his pieces, but he really wants to quit band.  kale is digging band, probably because it's still new and exciting.  i don't care if these guys end up doing music later in life.  i just really want them to find something passionate in their own lives, to the same extent that sonja and i have found in music.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for not mentioning the oboist's personality... no good could come from it. :)