Last week, we got to go to Jaylin’s band concert at Harding Academy. You can’t see him here, but he is in the back row. And if you were thinking that you didn’t know Jaylin was in the band, you wouldn’t entirely be wrong.
Fortunately, all of the seventh graders are required to be in band for a quarter. “Rotation Band,” they call it, because they rotate to other classes in the other three quarters. I like how it gives everyone a chance to give band a try, because sometimes you never know if you might like something until you try it. And it takes away a little of the social stigmas such as, “None of my friends are in the band,” or, “Only the cool people are in the band.” If everyone has to try it, then everyone is equally cool, right?
Of course, I am a big proponent of a high school band, having been in the Harding band all six years that I was able to be in the band. I have always loved music, so I begged my parents to let me be in the band, and I loved every minute of it, from the hot, sweaty days of marching practice in late summer (they don’t march any more, unfortunately), to the scrutiny of individual performances for Solo and Ensemble festivals, to fun trips to places like Walt Disney World.
Jaylin wasn’t as quick to jump on the band bandwagon, choosing to focus more on football. But he has said he enjoyed band pretty well, and he has said he is thinking about joining the regular band next year. I don’t know if that might be something he says just to get his dad to leave him alone about it or not.
But I do keep telling him that the band is also a great place to meet your future spouse. Worked for me, after all.
Since you couldn’t see Jaylin in that previous photo, here is one of him blowing a few notes on his trombone as they were warming up before the concert. Although I didn’t jump up and move around to get photos of him during the actual concert, remembering all the notes about Concert Etiquette that our beloved band director Mr. Lumpkin used to include in the programs, I didn’t feel bad about getting a couple of photos before the concert started.
And yes, Jaylin did end up playing the most regal of instruments, the trombone. Valves and keys make it too easy, so real musicians use a slide. At least that’s what I always told myself.
Since they hadn’t even had two months from picking up a horn for the first time until this concert, it was just a small affair during the school day, although all the parents who wanted to come were welcome to attend. So we jumped at the chance, not knowing if this would be his only time ever at a band concert. So here are Laura and my mom with Jaylin after the concert. And given that short time frame, they were quite good, and it was enjoyable to hear how far they had come.
So if that was his only experience with the band, then it was a good one. And if he continues on, that will be good, too. We can’t always expect our children to like all the same things that we like, after all. I keep reminding myself of that. So as long as he does his best at whatever he does, he will be just fine.