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I Overruled His Decision

Dude brought home his class sign up sheet for 7th grade. He chose French, but he did not sign up for Band. I disliked that decision. Yes, I told him he HAD to try 6th grade band. He didn’t want to. So I let him not choose it. Then he ended up wanting to, so he changed his class schedule and played the trumpet this year.

He likes it. He’s good at it. He’s been taking lessons. He still wants to be the Bugler for his Boy Scout troop.

He does not like his band teacher; therefore he does not want to be in band next year, although he says wants to continue to play the trumpet – just not in band.

Hubby asked Dude if he didn’t sign up for band, then there was a different fun teacher next year, would he be disappointed? Dude said yes.

Hubby asked Dude if he signed up for band, would he be disappointed to not get the other discovery classes that band takes the place of? Dude said no, not really. They’re choir, art, and drama.

He had no other good reason for not wanting to do band than he doesn’t like the teacher. She’s boring. They don’t play any fun music. They have those annoying practice records to keep and hand in.

Next year, they get to play fun music because the kids know how to play. They also play as a whole band, not just parts of a band while they learn. And, if they take private lessons, no practice records.

Without a good reason, I highly recommended he choose to stick with band next year.

He did not want to.

I was disappointed.

There may have been sighs and frowns – on both our parts.

Dude may have huffed and puffed, said “Fine!”, walked to his room, and checked the box for band.

I usually let them make decisions on things that I don’t consider earth-shattering; however, for some reason, this time I didn’t.

I didn’t think that not liking the teacher was a good reason to quit doing something he likes. You’re not going to like every boss or coworker you encounter. You gotta figure out how to get past it and enjoy yourself anyway.

Mr. Trumpet Guy

Way back last winter, I was chatting with Dude about 6th grade and middle school in general. I told him that in 6th grade he had to join band . . . he had to do it for at least one year. He could hate it, love it, or just like it, but he had to at least try it for one year. He was insistent that he did NOT want to do band. I’m not sure why, but every time it came up, he said he really didn’t want to. So when it was time to sign up for classes last spring, I let him NOT sign up for band. He thanked me.

3 weeks later, right before the end of school, I got an email from the middle school band teacher. It said . . . “I’m looking at my roster for middle school band for nest year and it doesn’t show Dude on it. He expressed an interest in band. Please let me know when a good time to have him come in for his instrument sample is so he can choose an instrument and get signed up.”

Um – WHAT?!

So I asked Dude about it . . . he says “Yes. I want to do band. I’ve been telling you that all along.”

Ya – what (pause for dramatic effect) EVER!

I got him signed up for an instrument sample, he chose the trumpet, and he signed up for band. After a little chatting and inquiring with him, I discovered his real motivation for wanting to suddenly join the band and play the trumpet. He ultimately wants to be the Bugeler for his Boy Scout troop :-) All righty then!

Anyhoo – it’s now December. He’s been in band for 2 semesters. He practices and I take him to private lessons every Wednesday with a college freshman who lives down the street. HIS goal is to become a music teacher at a high school. He is a beautiful trumpet player and is offering lessons to the kiddos for $8 for 30 minutes. Can’t beat that! It’s amazing how much Dude learns each week at John’s house!

Right before Christmas break, the time came for Dude’s first band concert. He was pretty excited for it, especially the part where he got to where a tuxedo shirt and a bow tie :-) He thought that was pretty cool!



He was glad to have his buddy Johnny there to help him be not so nervous. Yes – they are the same age. Yes – Johnny’s parents are taller than Dude’s :-)



He was even more excited about being able to play in the High School auditorium! They were all so cute – and handsome :-)



He even got to introduce one of the songs they were playing. He didn’t forget the name of the song, but he was quite nervous and did almost forget how to pronounce his own name!



They did very well; however, our ears may have been a little sore when it was over 😉 After the concert, there was a reception in the lobby. To the parents of Dude’s (and Princess’s) friends, I want you to know how difficult it is to get your kiddos to open their mouths when there is food in there! They all clearly have been taught that’s a rude bad thing to do . . . it takes me a while to convince them a little see-food at the request of a Mom for a photo op is OK :-)



Two semesters left. Will he continue with band in 7th grade? The trumpet? Who knows. He likes the trumpet, but does not like band, or his teacher. He’s suggested that maybe he doesn’t do middle school band, but keeps taking lessons with John so he can keep playing the trumpet and learning. Then when he gets into high school, he’ll start up band again. He’s heard the high school band teacher is awesome. I guess we’ll see what he signs up for this spring and whether or not the band teacher sends me another email :-)