Band Geek

04 Oct

I’m proud to say my kids have been band geeks since they were in fourth grade.

And in a town where the focus is mainly on sports, their interest in music and the arts made them even geekier.

There was a time when they tried to fit in, but after a few years of sitting the bench, even at the 4th and 5th grade level, watching while the good players just got better, we all decided it was not worth the trouble or the heartache. I was quite happy when they quit.  It was never fun for me to watch their games.

Mario fared a little better, but even she has given up basketball and softball because of the unfairness.  She still plays volleyball, but quite often gets pulled.  She knows it’s not fair, but she doesn’t want to be out of EVERY sport.

So when they took up an instrument, I was all for it!  I attended every concert, every competition.  I paid for multiple instruments and all the costs associated with keeping them maintained.   I never complained, (well not out loud anyway…..okay, yes I did, but not in front of them), about all the squeaking and incorrect notes, or about hearing the same song over, and over, and OVER again.  Because unlike the sports, they really liked band!

Throughout the years I have attended many band concerts and competitions.  I watched proudly as they squeaked their way through their 4th grade concert only to improve with each passing year.  Then I watched with even more pride as they produced an awesome high school concert.

When Chip graduated High School, he considered joining the Navy and becoming a part of their band.  We supported him during his research and even invited the recruiter to our house to learn more. But when he auditioned, his confidence crashed. As good as he is, he was not quite good enough.  We expected he wouldn’t make it right away, and we had warned him that this is the Navy, and they were going to tell him like it is, but he still wasn’t prepared for the criticism.  After that audition, he wasn’t interested in continuing with them.

Instead, he received a Fine Arts Scholarship for the community college near our house.  In return, he needs to keep his grades up and play in the band.

With a full class schedule, working part-time, and playing with the band, he has been VERY busy.  But he loves it!  And it’s been good for him!  I see his confidence growing, and I see him becoming more and more responsible every day.

The college band had their first concert this week, and as tired as I was, there was no way I was going to miss it.

The band consisted of old and young alike.   In fact, I would say most of the people were NOT college students.  I’m assuming people volunteer their time to play, which helps balance out the band, and allows them to continue playing concert music.   So with all that experience, we saw a fantastic concert!  And to see our kid amidst all the talent, was heartwarming.  It was obvious he was enjoying himself.  He even had a solo that he kept quiet about until that night!  My heart was literally swelling!

After the concert band performance, most of the members cleared off the stage to allow the jazz band to play.  Only a few college students were a part of this band, Chip included.  Although he didn’t have a solo in this set, he was playing along side some fantastic and talented saxophone players.  I can’t describe how wonderful it was to see him in his element.

I am now happy that the Navy didn’t work out for him.  The college band is perfect!  He’s gaining confidence, he’s playing with great talent, but it’s not all-consuming like it would have been in the Navy.

This is why I put up with them growing older. (As if I have a say…)  It really is incredibly fun to watch them make their way into the adult world and become independent, mature, responsible individuals. And to be accepted for the talents and interests they have, not be ostracized because of it.

50 points if you can pick him out…

The jazz band. Chip’s to the left of the conductor.


Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Family, Parenting


Tags: , ,

12 responses to “Band Geek

  1. meleahrebeccah

    October 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    My son has NEVER been a “sports” kid either. He’s always been more creative, artistic, or even science-y. But sports? No.


    • shadowrun300

      October 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      The hardest part for my kids is that there are so FEW people here who are like them. We live in such a small town. High school opened up a few more doors for them, but college has been wonderful for Chip. I feel incredibly happy for him!

  2. Abby

    October 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    This is such a nice post. I can “hear” your happiness! (and I found Chip, only after blowing up the 50-points photo).
    I always cringe when I hear about schools considering dropping their arts programs. Our district recently upped the standards for art and music. YAY for the geeks!

    • shadowrun300

      October 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      SCORE! 50 points for you! Was it the hair?
      There has been some talk of cutting the arts (as well as the gifted programs… don’t get me started on that…) in our elementary school, but as of now, it’s still available for them. I think the high school will continue with it – especially being a private school.
      I like being a geek parent, don’t you? 🙂

  3. The Thin Lady Inside

    October 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I do feel your joy all over your post… it is wonderful to see do well in something they love/enjoy! Great pictures too! 🙂

    • shadowrun300

      October 8, 2012 at 1:36 am

      Ya know…. I just want my kids to be happy. So when I see them that way, the emotion can be very overwhelming. No one should feel bad about who they are and the interests they have! And I will fully support them as best I can!
      Not sure what we were thinking when we grabbed the old, cheap camera instead of the new awesome camera, so the pics weren’t as good as we woulda liked…

      • The Thin Lady Inside

        October 9, 2012 at 4:03 am

        At least you do have pictures though! 🙂 plus your feeling about it I am sure will last forever! Hugs!

  4. territerri

    October 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    That is AWESOME! You know, I always find it so funny that in high school, the band and theater kids are considered “geeks” by the other kids. It’s always clear that the band and theater kids KNOW they’re not geeks, but it doesn’t stop the others from labeling them as such. But in the “real” world, who do we idolize? Musicians and actors! Why is it that they are geeks in high school, but stars in the real world?

    Congratulations to Chip! I’m happy for him that he’s found his niche!

    • shadowrun300

      October 8, 2012 at 2:01 am

      I’m not sure they are considered as geeky as they were back in my day, but the best part is they don’t consider each other geeky. So the members of these groups are like family, except they all get along! 🙂
      You make a good point about how we idolize those type of people as adults. I hadn’t thought of it that way! 🙂

  5. agg79

    October 9, 2012 at 11:03 am

    You make a good band geek mom. It may appear geeky to some, but those band geeks really work to earn those letter jackets and patches. Is that an Alto or Soprano Sax he’s playing? My son had a similar experience in band in middle and high school. Not a natural, but he worked hard, stuck with it, practiced for hours and earned his 1st chair spot and even played in the marching band. I think it instilled a certain discipline and pride that really helped him mature.

    • shadowrun300

      October 9, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      It’s an alto sax. And you hit the nail on the head – it’s instilled discipline and PRIDE in him, and I see it more and more now that he’s in college. And he feels part of a group. My kids just need to know they fit in somewhere, and unfortunately it’s not with anyone from our town. So to see him blossom in college has been so awesome! 🙂
      I may be a good band geek MOM, but I’m a terrible band PARENT. I never volunteer for anything more than my scheduled work days. With so many kid activities, and my work schedule, and the fact that I put all my time in when they were younger, makes me feel like I’ve done my share…
      were you a better band parent?

  6. Jules

    October 14, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Sounds like he’s doing pretty good with the transition into adulthood 🙂 You have every right to be proud!


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