Widgets Magazine

Feb 16, 2012

The Monster Concert

Cell phone pic from the Christmas Concert
Last night Princess and Prima Donna played in a "Monster" concert at our high school. That means that two middle school bands each had a turn to play, then the high school band played, then all three played together. It was pretty awesome with all of them on stage! The group barely fit...there must have been almost 300 kids up there. The combined number was the Battle Hymn of the Republic and with a group that big, they nearly blew the roof off the auditorium.

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.

Mom bought two clarinets from Burt Murdock Music on their payment plan. I know it was a hardship for her to pay them off and I'm pretty sure she only bought the second one after the first one was already paid for. I played all through Jr. High and my first year of high school. I quit after that.

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?


Amanda said...

Jake is only 1.5 at the moment but he has already taken a liking to music since we play music and sing all the time around here. I am sure that when he gets of age to comprehend an instrument he will be wanting lessons. He loves strumming the guitar and playing drums. He also likes to sing in his little baby talk that sounds like chinese to me! I can't wait until music is literally filling our house with band like sound!!!

Natalie Ockey said...

Mark (5) is taking piano and wants to play the guitar--I told him when he is a little bigger. Dax (2) wants to play the piano and the drums (I'm not sure about that instrument). I learned piano and I played the flute with the school band through high school. I think it is very worth while to have kids learn a musical instrument and we are planning on pushing that in our house.

Jillybean said...

We have been to the Monster concert for the last few years, and it has always been fantastic! This year my son is in the Jazz Band and they don't participate in the Monster Concert.
Our daughter plays piano and our second son plays the trombone. (just made concert band as a 7th grader!)
Our 6 year old has been fascinated with the marching band drum line. After the first marching band competition we went to he went around drumming on everything. A few months ago, my inlaws came to visit and brought him a drum set.

Lexie Loo, Lily Boo, and Dylan Too! said...

That concert had to be wonderful!
I played flute and piccolo until 8th grade. At that point, I could only choose band or chorus, and chorus won! Every so often I pick up my flute to play.
Both my older kids seem to have inherited the music/performing gene. My son loves his drums, and my 5 year old loves to sing.

Julie Harward said...

Our kids could choose but most did play and it was a lot of fun! ;D

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

I hope my kids choose to play. I played clarinet till the 10th grade and loved doing it. The concert seems fantastic! I hope they are involved with music and interments!

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

meant instruments:)

Anonymous said...

My older 3 did not play any instruments (well, except Pester for a few months...waste of time and money), but my Drama is playing both the flute and violin. Our school district starts band in 4th grade. I don't know if I'll require it for the last 2, but I will strongly encourage it. My youngest 3 all really love music and I think being in the band is a great benefit.


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