I am an advocate…

I am and always have been an advocate for my kids and what is best for them in the education arena.  I have two children who have dyslexia problems and have been in resource for that since 1 or 2 grade.  I have been there a long with them to fight for their rights as far as their education and have had a wonderful experience with great teachers who have really helped them grow and mature a long the way.

Now I have a new dilema.  My son plays trombone.  He has played, worked hard at it, taken lessons, and been in band since the 4th grade.  He is good!  And he loves to play.  This is his first year in highschool and the school he is in is a huge marching band school.  They have won national and international awards…they are simply fantastic.  My son is NOT a marching band kind of guy.  He just doesn’t want to do it, he doesn’t feel comfortable doing it, and he has opted out of Marching band.  HOwever, he still wants to play.  The school does offer an alternative band for those kids who don’t want to or don’t make the audition for marching band.  But I am quickly learning that that’s all it is…an alternative CLASS!  There are no competitions, no band trips, hardly any performance opportunities.  They don’t even play at football games or pep rallys.  Those things are all set aside for the Marching band a lone.  Also, they are not invited to band camp.  That, too, is strictly marching band. 

This is so disturbing to me.  I am feeling like kids who want to play, have talent and are good, don’t get any opportunities unless they choose to March as well.  I am a muscian.  I know that it takes a lot more to playing an instrument then being able to march.  And while I don’t discount the time, effort, energy and committment it takes those in marching band, not all musicians are marching band material.  I have never seen a symphonic orchestra “march” around the stage…nor a broadway orchestra…you get my point.

I am feeling like this is a huge set up for kids to be “we’re better then you” cuz we are in marching band.  Why couldn’t they have band camp for both bands?  One portion practices marching the other regular band music and performance rehearsal.  Why couldn’t the pep rallys be shared by the bands?  They don’t march at pep rallys.  EVen the football games…no reason both bands can’t participate with the marching band doing half time.

So, what’s a mom to do in a situation like this?????

3 thoughts on “I am an advocate…

  1. hautepocket says:

    This sounds like the high school I went to: Lots of opportunities for some, limited opportunities for others. I’m sorry your son has to go through that. It’s one of my biggest resentments regarding high school. Good luck, I’ll be interested to hear how this plays out.

  2. AlisonH says:

    I so much relate. That was one of the reasons I turned down the music teacher that wanted me to start a new instrument and play in the band and I stuck to my piano: you can’t march with a piano.

  3. Jane K says:

    That’s a sad situation. Our high school band is a bit more accepting of limited participation. They offer different levels:
    Varsity – full participation in marching & all that it entails.
    JV – you’re with the band at games & pep rallies but you do not march (although sometimes they fill in if a Varsity student is out)
    Exempt(not sure that’s the right word) – generally these are student athletes whose sports conflict with marching band. They can be in pep rallies or at games when they get the chance and some have even marched as replacements … time permitting.

    Our program has placed in the top 10 at nationals & won state a few years ago.

    We had a nephew who didn’t want to march. But we suggested he “try it, he just might like it” and he did.
    GOOD LUCK with your advocating.

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