Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm going to be in band PART 1

I know, not another series right?!? I'm sorry! I promise, it won't go as long as the last one!

I'll admit it. I was always one of the people who made fun of the marching band. If you were a band geek, I mean member, I'm sorry in advance. They seemed to be a very tight knit group, sort of on their own. I never understood marching band. I never had any interest in playing an instrument, my parents never brought it up. They never really ever suggested I do anything, except stay out of trouble and I didn't do a very good job at that! Band was bad enough, but marching band? Why? Just to really sound like a negative grumpy person. . . marching bands march in parades. I don't like parades either. Almost as soon as they start, I'm looking at my watch or trying to figure out where the nearest coffee house is. Let's just say, none of it is my cup of tea, or coffee as the case may be. In college we would make fun of the band geeks on the field. I should have known it would all come back to haunt me. Karma baby.

Music was always a love hate thing with Daniel. He could barely stay in choir for most of K - 4. I have always known how much he LOVES music. When he was 3 we had a keyboard. You could hit one of the keys and make it sound like another instrument, he could tell you the instrument every single time. It was amazing. I knew he had a tremendous ear. So when he was in school and he was screaming in choir and they would take him out. I would usually push for him to go right back in. I always felt like it would click at some point. His choir teacher eventually said, "I think he has perfect pitch and he gets mad in class because everyone's off pitch, or almost everyone." Made sense to me. We had taught him to tolerate things before, I felt we could again. We kept trying. Recorders came. He could not even be in the room for that! I don't blame him. It was horrendous. It was a constant push/pull. We kept at it. Again, this seems to be a theme. For YEARS. Then at the end of 4th grade, about a year and a half ago, we were talking about Daniel's classes for 5th grade. In our school system for 5th and 6th grade you have a choice between, 1. Strings 2. band and 3. Choir. You choose one of them. Daniel announces to me, "I'm going to be in band and I'm going to play the tuba" What? Where did that come from? I always know I'm in trouble when he announces something with such conviction. . . .it was very similar to the bike thing. He was going to do it. That was the end in his mind.

We had one of our "team Daniel" monthly meetings. Here I bring up the fact that he wants to be in band. Most people laughed. OK, don't get mad at them for laughing. Because you have to understand the group. We were all very close and most I consider my friends, and I still do even though he isn't in that school anymore. They had all been there through the ups and downs of choir. Knowing how hard music has been. I said, "no really, he wants to be in band and I'm going to make it happen". Cricket, cricket. I said, "you know what, Daniel asks us for almost nothing. He rarely asks for anything from us. This he is asking for and I'm going to give it to him." I left that meeting knowing that somehow, I had to make it happen. It was a dream of his. He could see himself marching with that damned instrument.

The first problem was that the tuba was not offered. So I found out what the closest instrument to that was. The baritone. I showed Daniel a picture of a baritone online. . . "that's it," he said. It's a done deal. Well, at least in his mind!?!

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