November 02, 2011

Who Are You?

My eldest son came home from school the other day and informed me he wants to learn the Marimba.

That would be because we obviously don't play enough instruments. Let's see... he plays the electric bass in jazz. (He can read electric bass music in any form from regular bass clef to tab.) He has a drum set and has been taking lessons for three years. He plays the quads in Pep Band. And he's become obsessed with the guitar since Christmas and practices hours at a time, daily.

But he's not going to major in music. He just loves it.

So now he wants to play the Marimba since he thinks that the percussion section is lacking and he figures if he can learn it, he can play it during concert season.

We spoke to his drum instructor about it tonight. He told my son that if he really learns it, he can play in college. It can offset some of his tuition. I guess they offer some scholarship.

We got in the car and I said, "You know... you can march. Learn this, plus the quads, and you can march.... in any of the bands in the schools you're thinking of applying to."

He replied, "Mom... I just don't want to march. I... just don't want to."

I said thoughtfully, 'I get it, but it is a life experience. I just think you shouldn't shut it out..."

And the following response was what shut me up and made me look at him sideways, 'Mom, do you have any idea how much they practice? When are you supposed to have time to study? And then... they TRAVEL. They go to the away games and do you REALLY think people study on that bus? No. Because I've been on band trips and we all TAKE OUR BOOKS and NOBODY studies. NOTHING gets done. So now you're talking about hours of each day where I have to practice and then whole weekends that are shot. When in the world am I supposed to get any real studying done?"

Who is this kid? He got a taste of Honor Roll this quarter... nearly Straight A's and suddenly he's all thinking about his future and stuff.


(In all seriousness, I noticed the changes when he started to REALLY learn how to drive... the attentiveness he had to have on the road, the awareness of his surroundings, a new independence. It has changed him. Didn't see that coming...)

Posted by Boudicca at November 2, 2011 09:23 PM

Whoa. That is awesome.

Posted by: vwbug at November 3, 2011 04:49 AM

I had a Marimba in my living room for a couple of seasons. My youngest plays it and is quite good on it. He started playing it because he loved being in the band but didn't like marching. He was in a growing spurt and it bothered his knees. He also played it for two summers with Teal Sound touring as part of the Drum and Bugle Corps. He loved this.

Good for your son for recognizing how much time in involved. But, I think if my son could do it all over again, he would go for the scholarships and go to college instead of being in the Marines.

Good luck to your son in whatever path he chooses.

Posted by: sticks at November 3, 2011 04:58 AM

Wow. I didn't get to that level of attentiveness until... Until... Well, I'll let you know when it happens.

Posted by: K-Nine at November 3, 2011 06:43 AM

My boss's daughter was a cheerleader at Purdue, she was also trying to get her undergrad and go on to do Physical Therapy (which pretty much requires straight A's in undergrad to get into).

She had to give up the cheerleading after one year because of this very thing. Unlike the players, the cheerleaders and band have to travel to all the games for all the teams. Add to this all the practice time - which is huge - not to mention occurring over holidays... no breaks! They don't get any help with studying or any breaks for having to be on the road - they (unlike the sports stars) have to attend classes or get the info once returned - they don't get tutors assigned who will attend for them and help them out.

Of course I'm laughing that your son figured this out at such a young age. Good for him!

Posted by: Teresa at November 3, 2011 11:33 AM

I totally understand Ringo. I did the same thing...learned and played tons of instruments...some others couldn't.

However, I did go to school for music and it took the pleasure and fun out of it. What was a release and hobby ended up being a job and stressful.

And yes, marching band does take a lot of time (as you know). I was not able to keep up with my grades my first semester with marching band. Maybe a year or two later I could of handled it...but my first year in was too much.

Posted by: Sissy at November 3, 2011 06:09 PM

..... this has been a long time coming!....... congrats to you both!....... well done, missy!..... and all the best to him as well!....

Posted by: Eric at November 6, 2011 08:55 PM