Dear Future Band Kids
Quit band. Right now. Just kidding.
A few weeks ago, my school hosted an event called “band day”. This is an event where band kids from the elementary schools and the middle school in our city all come to the high school and play with the high school band members. After 6 hours of off-key notes and creating puddles of spit, one of the band directors called up some seniors to talk to the younger kids about high school band. Despite going through 7 years of band day and constantly looking forward to talk as a senior, I decided not to talk. Compared to all the other seniors with their sugar coated speeches, I felt like mine would be too harsh.
But yanno, if I did talk (or write a letter), here’s what I would say.
Dear Future Band Kids,
Quit band. Right now.
For all of you who are excited for high school band, you have every right to be. High school band, or probably high school in general, will be very different from what you’ve gone through before- but in some aspects, the same. You will still play until you’re light-headed, mess around a little then get yelled at, and make some pretty nice memories with other band kids. But what you’re probably unfamiliar with are the long 9 to 5 practices and seeing all the “popular” kids quit band after their first day of band camp.
Also, you will probably meet many people that you disagree with, both in band and in your classrooms (Project Based Learning kinda sucks so if your school does that too, good luck with that lol). This is a problem that occurred a lot with not just me but other band kids. And despite facing disagreements with not only other band members but also band directors (having 3 different band directors throughout 4 years isn’t the best experience), I decided to stay.
Why? Well, to be completely honest, I don’t really know.
It could be because I had stayed in band for so long and I felt like it was too late to quit. Or maybe I realized that I should stick with what I love despite all the difficulties with others.
I don’t know.
I was somehow able to last through 4 years of the blood, sweat, and tears that came with band (and high school). And I guess it was worth it.
I would like to say that it helped me find myself as an individual, like what all the other seniors had said. But I really didn’t find myself. Band didn’t take me on this amazing spiritual experience of self-understanding or anything.
But it did allow me to shape a piece of my identity. I am able to say that I am determined, disciplined, and dedicated because of this commitment I had with my school’s band…Plus, commitment to an activity gives college admissions officers a hard-on.