Monday, April 7, 2008

Forcing the Issue

This is the time of year when we start planning our summer. The boys have gone to Camp Bold Eagle in Northern Michigan 3 years running. #2 is excited. #1 not so much.

He wants to sit this year out. And I'm wondering if we should MAKE him go or not. It's a fabulous camp...sleep away for 7 days. A total blast. He says he wants to take a year off. We can't figure out why except that he's a homebody and just doesn't like to be gone that much. We thought that having both boys in the same session would help, but he's adamant about not going.

Mr. Rix and I were looking forward to the week that they'd both be gone; I don't want to force #1 to go and then have him never want to go again. #1 very much wants to be a counselor at that same camp so I'm confident that he'll return...even if it means MAKING him go next summer. It's just such a beautiful place...

They will both be taking music lessons. Which leads to another thing #1 wants to quit. He says he doesn't want to take band anymore. We are going to over-rule that one. I think the issue with band is that he's been taking drum lessons since he was 8 and is a bit further ahead in his music education than his peers.6th grade band is pretty boring. He enjoys jazz band because his conductor give him more challenging music. The band teacher at the elementary school wasn't going to let him sign up for drums because he hadn't taken piano lessons before. They have some weird requirement that the drummers take piano first. It's because the drummers also have to learn to play the bells. Which, I think, is pretty silly. We got around that since he'd already had a couple years of private lessons.

We're going to make him stay with band at least through 7th grade so that he has the chance to do marching band and pep band. He's not thrilled with that, but oh well.

Summer also means College for Kids at our local community college as well as swimming lessons and our annual pass to the local pool.

#2 will continue electric guitar lessons and we'll be hunting for a used beginner's alto sax because he'd like to try that out in band for 5th grade.

We don't over schedule the kids during the summer at all. Sometimes I think we don't do enough, but then I remember what my own childhood was like. Summer should be slow, lazy, unstructured and fun. We take lots of trips to the library, meet friends at other pools in the area, camp and do lots of short weekend trips.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm really starting to look forward to it. Good thing since there are only 35 more days of school left!


Ramble On said...

Parenting is a rat race. You might want to check out Central Illinois Youth Symphony for your drummer. That might keep him interested.

Jennifer said...

It's hard when you know your child will very likely enjoy something and they don't want to participate. I think you are making the right decision in having #1 stick with band another year. Maybe he'll really enjoy marching or pep band and want to continue in high school...

Sleep away camp sounds great! My kids only go to a daycamp for a week. My daughter does a week of basketball camp (also a daycamp) and has done college for kids in the past. (if she does it this year, I'll let you know and maybe we could meet for lunch or breakfast one day)

LMay said...

I have a certain amount of sympathy for the young drummer's point of view. School band can be extremely boring for a talented drummer. I am a drum teacher who went through years of school band.

You might try looking for a program similar to the one I have created. My students can participate in a band program here at the studio.

The bands consist of 3 to 5 students of similar age and skill level. Each band has guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. The groups meet once a month for 90 minutes and we have pizza and pop at the conclusion of the practice.
These groups are IN ADDITION to weekly private lesons.

The students pick the songs that they want to learn and we prepare for a Spring outdoor concert and cookout. These concerts have become a favorite of the students, their families and their friends and are starting to attract members of the community.

You can see pictures of the concert on my website:

Good Luck with the music education--it is important!

Lynne May
May Music Studio