|Cell phone pic from the Christmas Concert|
I took band when I was young. You know I grew up in small-town Utah. Our elementary and Jr. High were housed in the same building. That made it pretty easy for things like band. The Jr. High band teacher ran an early-morning program two days a week for the younger kids. I played the clarinet just like my older sister. When she got tired of band, the instrument was passed on to my younger sister.
It wasn't necessarily that I was tired of band, but our band teacher just couldn't control the class and I felt like I was wasting my time. My sweetie never had the opportunity to play any instrument other than the piano, but when I suggested that I wanted our kids to have the musical experience, he readily agreed. Piano is SOOO expensive! Some of our kids have had sporadic lessons and I've taught them a little, but none of them play very well.
That's when we discovered the elementary band program. Bossy started in about 5th grade and each kid after her had the opportunity to learn. The band program is relatively cheap through the district (much cheaper than piano!) so I set another family goal. All of our children will learn to play a musical instrument (I do have to confess that this goal was set a little too late for the Gym Rat and Teach, sadly, both tried and gave up.) Now it's a requirement, even if they don't like it.
My mom graciously gifted her two clarinets to me and now Crafty and Prima Donna are using those instruments. Princess has a beautiful wood clarinet that we bought for Bossy when she was in high school. We also have a trumpet that the Dog Walker plays in the high school band and an alto sax and a tenor sax that are both collecting dust. But once upon a time, they were very important to our family...that sounds like a story for tomorrow.
Anyway, the kids are amazed that I can still play fairly well even though it's been 30 years since I was in their places. I think music is just one of those things that stays with you. What about you? Do you require your kids to play instruments?