Saturday, November 21, 2009

Drums or Trombone

Our family is bracing for Caleb's first year of band next year. He went for his blow test about a week ago and came back saying that he wanted to play saxophone or trombone. But that the band director said something along the lines of, "You'd really like the trombone wouldn't you?" I think this is on account of Caleb's long arms. Having long arms is a really great asset for a third grade trombone player. Anyway, I'd just become accustomed to the idea of a trombone player in the house when I found out he was really on the list for percussion!

In all honesty, I've been leveraging every bit of influence I have toward the percussion for the last two years for the purely selfish reason that if he plays the percussion then I don't have to lug around a case bigger than Caleb. At every church service, concert, whatever, I'd point at the drummer and comment, "Doesn't the drummer look like he's having fun?" "Look, Caleb, if you are a drummer you don't have to wear shoes to church!" I don't know why that is really, it just seems that every church drummer goes barefoot. "Doesn't that drummer have cool hair?" You can't really tell by looking, but Caleb is very into his hair at the moment. I found a really great rendition of The Drummer Boy by Brave Combo. I play this over and over.

I'm sellin', but he's not buyin'.

He keeps looking at the third grade half asleep bass drummer plodding out one monotonous beat after another. And he's not impressed. And the coolly coiffed, blonde, barefoot guy behind the drumset at church? Well, he's a lifetime away for Caleb. Literally, the kid is probably sixteen. Caleb is eight. And, well, Caleb's criteria reflect his age. The clownish trombone slide seems like the ideal party trick, and the trombone most resembles the shape of a bazooka.

Doesn't this kid grasp the importance of this decision! I know men and women whose entire lives were determined by the instrument they chose for school band.

So here is the latest. I've sat Caleb down and told him that he is not wise enough to make such a monumental decision. He needs to consult the experts (to which he replied that he didn't need anyone to tell him that he didn't want to play the drums.) But we've agreed to talk to his piano teacher and get his input.

I talked to the piano teacher today. He is squarely in my corner.

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