I have to admit, I was a little bummed that he didn’t make it into jazz band on saxophone. After the initial disappointment, Jack and I realized this is a great opportunity to learn a new instrument. I wasn’t thrilled with paying for private lessons, but a few conversations with the band director reassured me: “I don’t want you or Jack to feel pressure about getting advanced enough for jazz band or symphonic band” she said, “My band program builds my kids, my kids do not build my band program. The classes are designed to meet all of my students wherever they are and go from there.”
I really like this director’s style. One of these entries, I’ll introduce her to you. She also suggested total immersion for the first semester. All trombone, all the time. Nothing but bass clef and trombone.
This was a little shocking since he’s only just gotten a little damp with the saxophone, but total immersion is a good thing. Like when learning a new language: I once used the wrong vowel while ordering chicken in Mexico. It resulted in a horrible misunderstanding and a close call with an insecure and angry chef. Total immersion in the Spanish language would have been helpful in that situation.
So I no longer worry about Jack getting up to speed on trombone next year. I’m not so worried about his self-esteem and confidence. Jack’s a stable kid and a good musician. He can handle it.
Let’s be honest. What I’m really worried about is Jack loving trombone and never going back to that new saxophone we bought. We’re band parents. Band is expensive. Instruments are not cheap. That’s the reason mom wanted me to play the school-owned tuba in 1976. Tuba wasn’t sexy enough for me so I mom and dad bought a trombone after all. Let’s hope this isn’t Tuba Karma.