This may sound a little harsh, but I forced my daughter to be in band when she started middle school. I promise I’m not a mean mom. I have what I feel are good reasons for making her choose band. And I don’t regret it. And the best part is neither does she.
At the end of my daughter’s fifth grade year she had to make a choice between 3 year long electives. This is a pretty big decision because the idea is for the student to stick with that elective all 3 years of middle school. Her choices were band, art or chorus.
She knew she didn’t want to do chorus and she had her heart set on picking art. Now don’t get my wrong, my daughter is a wonderful artist and I encourage that creativity all of the time. But I wanted her to take a stab at band. Here are my reasons why.
You only get one shot at picking band
If she had picked art in the 6th grade and decided in the 7th grade that she wanted to try band she would have been out of luck. It’s important for all of the kids to learn the fundamentals of their instruments at the same time. If they picked up band in the 7th or 8th grade the band director would have to start from square one every year and devote extra time and attention to the beginners.
On the flip side if you pick band in the 6th grade and it’s absolutely not for you, you can change to chorus or art. I made the promise to my daughter that if she absolutely hated band she could switch to art the very next year. (She’s in the 8th grade and she’s still in band.)
Band comes with life long friendships
If you are in band and get really into and stay in band throughout high school you are guaranteed to make lifelong friendships. You are with these kids everyday for 7 years. You take long bus rides together, compete together, survive band camp together, go to football games together. The bond between band kids is so strong. I’m still friends with my band friends and I’m actually in the middle of planning a band reunion. Can you tell I’m a band geek?
Band teaches working as a team
Have you ever seen a marching band show? You may have noticed that every student is marching in step with the other students. They are working together to march seamlessly so that they make the perfect formations. They are playing in tune together to make the perfect sound. That is teamwork right there. The same holds true for concert band. The student have to play at just the right time and at just the right beat to stay together. These skills will carry on with the student throughout their entire lives.
Band produces successful students
Most band students tend to perform very well in their classes. These students tend to be in the more advanced classes and test higher on the ACT and SAT tests. This will carry on with them throughout college and through their careers.
Almost 3 years after forcing my daughter to be in band I’m happy to say she is not only still in band, but she is excelling in band and LOVES it. She loves band so much that she chose to go to a week long band camp this summer and was one of the middle school kids chosen to play with the honor’s high school band.
She has won band student of the year 2 years in a row for her hard work in band. And she is now taking weekly private lessons from a trombone instructor. Now you might be thinking in the back of your head that I force her to practice all the time. I mean that is the logical thing to think since I forced her into band. It’s actually quite the opposite.
When she got her trombone (the instrument that she chose against mind and her father’s advice), I just told her to give it her best shot and have fun. She doesn’t bring her instrument home everyday because she rides the bus and it’s a huge instrument for a tiny girl. She practices on the weekends and that’s about it. The more we keep it simple the more she enjoys playing.
So there you have it. The reasons I forced my daughter into band and how it has turned out so far.
Are you a band geek raising band geek children? Or are you letting your kids do their own thing?