Why I Forced My Daughter to be in Band

why i forced my daughter to be in band

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? 

29 thoughts on “Why I Forced My Daughter to be in Band”

  1. Sarah Harris | MakesMeWander.com – Chasing my teens while chasing down my center... #OMagInsiders #Blogger #MindfulMidlife #Korean #Adopted #KAD #Writer #selfcare

    So true! Our school district gets all kids playing an instrument and I loved every minute from the out of tune concerts to the ones where my kids really got into their instruments! It’s sad to me that they don’t keep playing now.

  2. Rikki Ridgeway – Hello world! Just a stay at home mom, trying to survive this motherhood life. I hope you enjoy my journey, and will follow along.

    I don’t have a child in middle school, my daughter is only 4 and at this point in our life, I don’t think I’d ever FORCE her to do anything she ultimately doesn’t want to do. She is her own person and needs to make her own choices, no matter if I agree with them or not.

  3. Flossie – USA – Mama of two who blogs about this crazy journey called parenthood at http://supermomhacks.com - parenting tips, tricks, and hacks to help you save time, save money, and preserve your sanity, mostly based on things I've had to learn the hard way :)

    Totally guilty. My daughter was SO excited to be in the beginners;’ band last year (4th grade where we live).

  4. The Half-Blood Princess

    I guess I disagree. I wouldn’t force my daughter to be in band if she didn’t want to do it. I chose to do band because my friends were doing it. I wish I had done strings, but by the time I realized that was an option I was in 5th grade! (strings start in 4th and apparently no one told me or I missed the memo). Band started in 5th grade.

    I disagree with the lifelong friendships as I’m still only friends with like 1 other person I was in band with. I think our experiences are all different.

    If my daughter decided she wanted to do an instrument later, then I would just opt for private lessons to help her catch up.

    1. I understand not every is going to agree with me on this. As a matter of fact I had friends tell me I was making a terrible mistake. I definitely took a risk. Luckily she is very thankful that I pushed her in this direction.

  5. That’s so cool how you make such tight bonds with your band mates! Sounds a lot like people who are in theatre as well! I think that was a really good option to push your child to do band.

  6. Deb B. – Hi! It's me - Deb from Sass & Smalls. I'm a Style chaser by day | Blogger by night | Mama 24/7. We're bringing big city sass to the island :: micro fashion + parenting hacks + creative ideas + giveaways. Come play with us! http://www.SassAndSmalls.com

    It’s so true that there are such benefits for joining the school band. I actually regret not being encouraged to join ours. I felt I wasn’t good enough at any one instrument. But that’s where learning a new skill would’ve helped my confidence.

  7. Tadpoles And Mud Puddles – United States – This boy mamma loves moving and grooving with her son. If you're tired of running and chasing your little one you've come to the right place. We're your one-stop-shop for fun ideas and little-friendly food and activities to wear out your active child. It's time to grab a coffee and read about our adventures. Find a few new ideas for your active little one. Enjoy!

    Music was a huge part of my life in school. Although I didn’t do band I completely understand your logic on this one. I hope to teach my son to love music like I do but I don’t plan to force anything. He’s athletic and smart at 4, I can see him be amazing at what ever he sets his mind to.

  8. I think that playing in a band is awesome and very helpful for kids. I played an instrument when I was younger and I feel like it has really helped me improve my math skills my social skills and many other things.

  9. I totally agree with you. My husband and I used to be part of the band and it is one of the best parts of my childhood and teen years. Though the term “forced” may sound harsh, I see it as guidance for your daughter.

  10. Julianne Gabert – Venice, CA – Founder of Girls on Food.

    This is interesting. I’m not sure I want to force my kiddo into anything if she really doesn’t want to do it but I do want her to discover something new that she wouldn’t have tried before either. I wasn’t musically gifted as a kid, which my mom learned the hard way from forcing me into piano lessons. However, I learned from watching the school band that I wanted to be in colorguard and that was a such a fun experience that I wouldn’t have opened up to without those piano lessons.

  11. Singing A New Song – Hello, I'm Shayla! I'm a blogging/vlogging homeschooling mom of many, wife to one, and work at home mom. We are a big, Jesus loving, God fearing family and we love to laugh! Common topics you’ll find here include faith, marriage, motherhood, homeschooling, lifestyle, domestic arts, herbs & oils, and holistic living (with a realistic, big family mama/frugal approach). I love sharing practical solutions we find to problems we encounter, as well as things that inspire and encourage us through this crazy, beautiful journey!

    I don’t think you are a mean mom! Of course learning how to play an instrument is a requirement in our homeschool so I might not be the best judge, lol! The thing is that if you know how to play and instrument it can be with you for life, and something that can help ease stress plus bless others around you as well.

  12. So true! I made some amazing friends in the after school programs at my school! I really hope that’s something my kids are interested in down the line!

  13. Young Mommas Life – Hello, My name is Vanessa, I'm the mommy of a beautiful baby boy. I share experiences and advice for all mothers out there!

    I’m going to make my kids to be a part of something too. It keeps them busy, they make friends. And I have more time for myself while they’re at practice lol kidding! But seriously they’ll make memories and they’ll have fun.

  14. adrianeryann – United States – Hi! I'm a mom to three boys and a wife to a super handy amazing man. From being a photographer for now blogger, I have an obsession with learning about whatever I'm currently doing and sharing that knowledge with others.

    I don’t believe in forcing kids to do anything as I believe they will be intrinsically motivated if they have autonomy over what they choose. However, it looks like your daughter is doing well in band! My boys are no longer in a traditional school but they really want to take music classes. I just need to find some whenever we can go out in public again!

  15. yanamarchuk – Seattle

    This is quite interesting. I think I will call also have my kids join band! I think it’s important for them to learn to work with others.

  16. Sarah’s Sage Advice

    My husband and I have said many times we want our kids to learn an instrument. I was in Orchestra from 5th grade to graduating and it was something I remember fondly.

  17. Jasmine - LoveLifeLaughMotherhood – Georgia, USA – I'm a first time mom to a sweet little boy, and a wife to an amazing husband. I'm a baby wearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, tattooed lover of wine and Netflix. Somehow I squeeze in time for blogging.

    i get why you did it, but I just couldn’t force my son to do something he didnt initially want to do

  18. I understand where you are coming from and I agree with the reasons that you shared. My husband is also in a band and yes, it comes with life long friendship. The bond is just different and strong. I am excited for your daughter. 🙂

  19. both my kids are in band (both started in 4th grade in beginning band) and my son is a junior in high school and continues playing the trumpet while my daughter enjoys her flute..
    and marching band is such a wonderful experience for the whole family…

  20. girltimewithaliyat

    This is so true. I would also encourage my daughter to join band or do something outside her comfort zone. That’s how you grow as an individual. I’m so glad your daughter is thriving and loving band. Thanks for sharing.

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