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Just need to vent
Old 07-01-2018, 02:02 AM
  #1

I just need to vent somewhere-can't do it on Facebook or to family-so I'm just venting here to get it out and hopefully quit dwelling on it.

First background info
My daughter just finished her Freshman year. She played saxophone in the marching band and concert band-the band where most of the freshman and sophomores are placed. (She had also played for 3 years in middle school). She loves band, not just the playing but also the friendships and being with her friends. My daughter does have a lot of friends from her different interests, but her closest friends are in band.They don't play the same instruments,but at least hangout together before and after performances. The four of them call themselves "the squad"-they have inside jokes and even celebrate "squad appreciation day" together

The problem-my worry
There are two band classes(other than marching or jazz, they are zero period before school) at the high school. There is concert band and symphonic band. Concert band is described as meeting the proficient music standards. Symphonic band is described as the "advanced concert band performing quality literature meeting the advanced music standards. The symphonic band description also refers to other performances including festivals and competitions.

Well, my daughter got a letter after school as out stating she was "properly" enrolled in concert band. She was ok with it, was happy as she wants to be section leader (the two sophomores will be Juniors so will be moving up to Symphonic). Then she found out that her closest friends were all assigned to the Symphonic band as well. She says it is a numbers thing-that the band director needs a certain amount of instruments in the Symphonic band and probably didn't need another saxophone, but needed the instruments her friends play.

One of her friends was talking about how happy she was to be in the Symphonic band. I told my daughter to tell her she was thinking of quitting as there didn't seem to be a point without her friends. This friend just said "oh, you'll be ok, without us-you can make friends, if you need preexisting friends, Anthony will be there, you can be section leader'. When my daughter tried to say she had a hard time making friends, that Anthony wanted to be section leader too, that she didn't feel she confident fighting for section leader (although she told me she would be) this friend completely overrode everything my daughter said. I realize she may have thought she was helping, but it felt completely condescending.

Now I'm dreading next year-I know how mean kids and parents can be. I can't imagine my daughter sitting there, playing in concert band, while her friends who'll be in symphonic band get to sit in the audience watching. And then she has to stay to watch them. She'll be playing at the same level while they get to advance (she was looking forward to playing more challenging music-she wanted symphonic band). I'm trying not to project my worries on to her, but it feels that everyone will see her as a failure, that her friends will gloat that they are in the advanced band, that she will be left out of her group-she says she has some friends joining band, but they are a little different, into cosplay, so I'm so worried that if she is with them, her other friends will see her as weird or a loser. (again it is my high school experiences that were horrible coming out in my worries). If it was me, I would feel so embarrassed. I feel like asking the band director if he made a mistake-he tells them that band is family, so why did he separate her? She did have an A in band and says it is just numbers, but it still feels like a failure to me and seems like she is being held back. She doesn't want to quit as she likes band, doesn't want to be a quitter or seems like a sore loser which is good. I just have an awful feeling about this. At this point, I'm dreading next year and don't want to have anyone come to the concerts-they'll wonder why her friends aren't in the band.

I'm trying not to dwell on it or let it ruin our summer, but it has ruined the past few days. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I really needed to vent and try to feel more positive. It's hard when my own high school experiences were awful-it think that's why I'm projecting my feelings on her.


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Old 07-01-2018, 02:53 AM
  #2

I am really dreading when my DS goes to high school. Feelings run deep and sometimes exacerbate small issues.

My first instinct is that true friends support and lift each other up and it shouldn’t matter if the they are watching your daughter perform or are performing while your daughter watches. Does your daughter hang out with these friends outside of band?

Your daughter could go to the teacher and ask if there are areas that she needs to improve in or if there are skills she should devote extra practice time to. It’s a good way to display interest in the symphonic band.

I don’t know if this is right or not, but it sounds like this is an opportunity for your daughter to cope with this independently. Let her come to you if she needs a listener.

Last edited by NCteacher; 07-01-2018 at 03:10 AM..
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She'll be ok
Old 07-01-2018, 03:00 AM
  #3

I know you're worried, but she really will be ok. You're projecting what your feelings are into her situation.

She could talk to her band director to see what she could work on, but I don't see a way to suggest that without also implying you're disappointed in her for not making the next level.

Let her navigate this. The confidence she gains from this in how she handles curve balls will serve her well.
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Band
Old 07-01-2018, 04:13 AM
  #4

Your daughter can handle this on her own. There is no need for you to worry. Enjoy your summer and see how things play out when school starts again.

Try not to project your own experiences onto your daughter. It will just create anxiety for her.
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Old 07-01-2018, 04:16 AM
  #5

Whoa deep breaths. I know you are venting but it sounds like your daughter thinks she will be fine in the concert band. This sounds like it's all your feelings being projected on her. Let her navigate this and see how it goes. It sounds like she is willing to give it a try and it sounds like she has a decent attitude about it. Don't put your worries onto her. Friendships change all the time especially in high school. Who knows maybe she will find another great group of friends either in concert band or one of her other classes.


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Old 07-01-2018, 04:17 AM
  #6

I understand how you feel. Younger ds went through something similar with high school baseball. I was tempted to speak to coaches, but he did not want me too. My advice is to let her handle it. They will see many setbacks in life. Itís not easy. I always told ds to just enjoy playing and his talent will shine. If the girls are mean to her then they are not her friends. I hope your dd enjoys playing in band, no matter where she is.
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Oh I hear you!
Old 07-01-2018, 04:38 AM
  #7

My DD will be in 9th grade this year. She's had 4 years of violin. Whether she plays this year is really up in the air.

I get the friends thing. It's a burn that the other will be in advance band. High school can be such a snake pit, and you never know what types of snakes are slithering around.

You have two questions...

How good is my kid, and can she socially navigate without people she really knows?

Arts can be messy, because good can be in the eye of the beholder. How many saxophones are needed? Orchestra can have 20 violins, but only need 5 saxaphones. When you only need 5, there is a bigger battle than 20 for a spot. This teacher's expectations? They maybe tossing sheet music at the kids with a "May it so!", and it's hit the deck running with minimal hand holding. Technique? Can take blunt criticism? Wants to test her in a leadership roll? Your DD is an A student, but doesn't have that spark yet, and feels being section leader in concert band will help evolve that? Then there is always the conductor's wishes, which can be fuzzy as heck.

DD can ask what was the criteria for advanced band placement. Who knows what the answer will be. It could be helpful or a "Well, that's were you are the best fit." with no explanation

Friends...well..yeah..I hear you on that. I wanted music so my DD can have some ready made friends in high school. She is in summer school right now, and has 3 freshmen buddies. Now whether it all goes to pot come September, who knows?

Band is not family. Advance band is to get high placements and win competitions. The high school DD goes to has this, and it's EXTREMELY competitive. It's almost on the level of a working orchestra. Either you are extremely gift, and don't have work as hard to learn the music, or you funnel all your extra time getting to where you need to be. I have had parents tell me their kids quit advanced orchestra because it was such a brutal time sink. At this high school, the advance is almost all people who are focusing on a music major in college.

Life lessons stink. Your DD didn't get the promotion she wanted. There are different levels of friends and how does one find true friends that aren't just glorified acquaintances? I've dealt with variations on these themes my whole life.

Just want to let you know, you aren't the only one worrying about this stuff.

(hugs)
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Old 07-01-2018, 04:38 AM
  #8

Your insight into this situation is amazing. It's fortunate that you recognize that this it's a greater concern for you than your daughter because of your past experiences in high school.

You are correct in that it will be a completely different year full of different experiences for your daughter with her musical talents, and her relationships with present and new friends.

This new year will present her with so many experiences, lessons, and opportunities to grow as a person. Some of the above have a chance of being a bit negative, some will be positive-but overall they will all help your daughter become a strong person and handle whatever may come and her adult life.

Being a listener, without projecting your own worries can be the greatest gift you can give your daughter. I agree with letting her navigate this.

All your worries that you have explained here, in my opinion, seem like they stem how you would feel if you were in her situation and how you are going to feel in front of others.

You stated that she "loves band! " I think that is so amazing that your daughter has the musical talent! What a blessing that God has given her such a gift and the opportunity to enjoy and express it !

The greatest gift you can give yourself, is to try not to worry about things that may never happen. Instead, try enjoy the positive things that are happening right now!
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:58 AM
  #9

Deep breaths mom. When both my DS and DD were in HS, they both had something similar happen.

DS had been playing JV soccer, was captain his sophomore year and didn't make the cut to varsity soccer junior year. Everyone was shocked. It was a rough weekend but he decided he'd then join the swim team because he had been a summer league swimmer. It was a good lesson to not put all your eggs in one basket. However, after the weekend tournament, the coach called and asked him to join varsity. They needed an extra guy in the back so he joined. Wasn't a standout, we knew that, he knew that, coach knew that but he was good enough and played his remaining 2 years.

Now for DD. The end of her sophomore year, DS had a life threatening accident while away at college. That changed life at home upside down. DD didn't swim much, didn't swim throughout the summer and was moved from the A team to the B. People thought she would be captain her senior year based on past practice. It was a surprise that she got moved down but it was fine. Due to what we were dealing with with her brother throughout the summer and into the fall swim season, it took the pressure off her to have to be expected to perform, and our family didn't have the energy or time to be one of the captains. She made a new group of friends.

Point being, if your DD still loves music that's the point. I'm glad you recognize that your bad experiences shouldn't be projected onto her. I'm curious why you told her to tell her friends she was quitting, if you state later she doesn't want to quit? Does she feel like less of a player or do you feel that? Let her be to work this out and please don't feed her situations to ponder that may not happen. Let her enjoy her music and the opportunity to form additional friendships.

Our lives are not our children's. They have their own paths to forge.
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Old 07-01-2018, 06:32 AM
  #10

Well, I donít really understand all the ins and outs of band, but it sounds like sheís okay with her placement. If sheís not, she should talk to band director and find out why she did not make the advanced band. If her friends donít remain friends, then they werenít really friends. I think you are projecting way too many of your own feelings into this situation. Maybe take a deep breath and step back. It sounds like your daughter is handling this fine.


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Old 07-01-2018, 06:32 AM
  #11

Not meaning to be curt but Iím not one for long answers . I think you are too involved with your daughter and her friend situation. This is her life and you can support by being a listening ear and an encouraging voice. Everything is not going to go her way all of the time so this is a bump that she will get through.
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DD's Situation
Old 07-01-2018, 06:46 AM
  #12

I agree with Peanut. You are too involved with your daughter's band and friend situation. She needs to learn to handle things on her own. I know that you are concerned, but your anxiety will not help her. It will only create stress for DD.
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:15 AM
  #13

I agree with Cheerio and peanut. Your daughter is fine with it yet you are projecting your feelings onto it which will then tamper her feelings. Let her navigate it. She will be fine. And if it becomes an issue, you can help guide her to a decision but please donít make the decision for her. Sheís old enough make them and old enough to contact the band director if she has any questions or concerns.
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:22 AM
  #14

Literally the exact same thing happened to me my sophomore year. I didn't take the auditions very seriously and ended up first chair in the 2nd band. All of my friends made it into the advanced band in the lower chairs. I honestly hadn't realized that would happen.

It truly turned out to be no big deal. I'm assuming her friends are all in marching band too, right, and it sounds like there is only one of those?At my school, that took up the entire first quarter so it won't even be an issue for awhile. I think really the most time to "hang out" happens during games while they're all sitting in that section. It's not like there is really time to chat/hang out during regular practices or performances.

If she enjoys playing, she'll enjoy the lower band just as much. If these girls are truly her friends, they're not going to rub it in her face that they're in the higher band. My friends never made a big issue out of it, and I did end up getting to meet/get closer to new people that were in my band too. It sounds like the performances are on the same night, so they'll still get to hang out beforehand.

My junior year, I took the auditions more seriously and ended up being 1st chair in the higher band! If your DD is really concerned about this (TBH, it sounds like you're more concerned than she is), can she try asking the director for the music the advanced band is playing so she can practice it on her own?

In my band, we also had the opportunity to do challenges throughout the year. If I wanted to, I could have challenged the last chair in the advanced band and gotten her spot if I played better. I didn't bother, because like I said it didn't end up being a big deal. My close friends played different instruments, so it's not like we ever got to sit next to each other during class or performances anyway.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:54 AM
  #15

I agree with Cherrio and Peanut too.

I think you are projecting your own feelings on your daughter. You don't want her to get hurt and feel rejected or embarrassed. I understand that. It's very difficult to watch someone you love so much struggle. It really sounds like your daughter is okay with this decision.

Quote:
I told my daughter to tell her she was thinking of quitting as there didn't seem to be a point without her friends
I'm a little confused about this part. Did your daughter mention to you that she wanted to quit or was that your idea to feel out her friend?

One thing I learned about children's/teens friendships is that because kids are still wrapped up in themselves friendships are really hard. Her friends are worried about themselves more than your daughter and I don't really blame them. At that age, they are dealing with all the difficulties of fitting in and college pressure, grades, etc.

My best advice would be to let your daughter take the lead.

Good luck, try to let it go as best you can.
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Old 07-01-2018, 10:01 AM
  #16

First of all, I totally get disappointment when your kids experience disappointment and I know how hard it is not to let your own feelings get in the way of trying to be supportive. I know I have definitely projected my own feelings of disappointment onto situations with my kids, and it's so hard not to let them be obvious. SO hard. But I think you need to take a step back and get perspective. You admit it's really your projections based on your own experiences, so let it be just that and keep those worries and thoughts to yourself (or on PT or some other outlet). For the sake of your daughter's sense of resiliency and self-esteem, please don't let her share in those.

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I told my daughter to tell her she was thinking of quitting as there didn't seem to be a point without her friends.
Why would you tell her what to do and how to think about this? This sentence really struck me. Honestly, I think you run the risk of making it far worse than it would be for your daughter. What is she supposed to think, if she is ok with this and doesn't want to quit and you are basically telling her she should quit and let others know?
Quote:
If it was me, I would feel so embarrassed.
But it's not you, and you have to be strong and support your daughter and how your daughter feels about this, not how you feel about this.

Anyone who is experienced with band knows it *is* about numbers. There are excellent players who stay back in band because they need more of that instrument in the lower band, and those who go forward because that instrument is needed. It doesn't always seem fair, but there is a purpose and it doesn't necessarily reflect talent or skill. Seriously, people in band circles KNOW this. If there any of your perceived "mean parents/kids" out there, then F them. We all run up against "haters" in our lives. better to take pride in yourself and try to let that roll off your back. You can't change the way they feel, and if they know you are feeling vulnerable in that way they are worse. Don't let your daughter feel vulnerable.

As for her friends' reactions to her feelings (which, the way you worded it, sound like they are actually your feelings not hers), these are young teen girls you are talking about. Sometimes it's really hard to know how to handle someone else's feelings and maybe they didn't handle it the best way. That doesn't guarantee they'll gloat or be mean about it. Their response doesn't sound bad at all, actually, it's your lens that says it's condescending. It sounds like they were trying to be comforting.

For the record, people quit and join bands all the time, and it is not unprecedented in my experience for kids to be moved up mid-year (or even moved down) to fit in with the numbers game. I was in band all through school and I have 3 high schoolers in band now (well, one just graduated).

Quote:
I'm trying not to dwell on it or let it ruin our summer, but it has ruined the past few days. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I really needed to vent and try to feel more positive.
You are so right to let it go. Believe me, I know it's hard. I still feel a little bitter about a few situations that happened years ago for some of my kids I bit my tongue every time I wanted to share my feelings with my kids, because they put up a good front and moved on. They handled it better than I did This experience shouldn't ruin anything, and I hope you do feel more positively about this. I realize this was just a vent, and I'm sure you are on your way to feeling more positively about this. I hope that you can let your daughter experience her own reaction to this without your personal feelings clouding it. Sorry, this is way more than I planned to write, and you can ignore it as much as you want, but your post really struck a chord with me.
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Old 07-01-2018, 11:23 AM
  #17

One word - resiliency. In everything you do in this situation think "what will help my dd develop the ability to move forward and bounce back from setbacks she will inevitably encounter in her life?" "How can I help her develop her skill in dealing with a hard situation?"

I know it's hard, because I've been there with my kids. Every mother has. Some of my most proud parenting moments are times when I was able to keep my mouth shut and let them handle it.

Be there to hug your dd and encourage her, but let her know you trust her ability to handle this.

It's a hard balance that EVERY parent struggles with, you are doing the absolute right thing talking about it here. Your last paragraph was gold.

Musical groups really do require a balance of voices, so her friends got to move up based on need for their instruments. I've experienced it and I know "we'll make you section leader" doesn't always make it feel better. Frustrating, but it doesn't make your dd "wronged."

Last edited by MKat; 07-01-2018 at 08:20 PM..
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Old 07-01-2018, 02:02 PM
  #18

She will be okay on her own. Donít stress over it.
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Old 07-01-2018, 03:03 PM
  #19

You've gotten excellent advice. I have a hard time with things like this too.
Now I'm trying (mostly succeeding) to limiting my advice when upset to offering to beat them up for my DD. (I am kidding. We're Quakers and take the nonviolent thing seriously so the incongruity often gets us laughing. Then she tells me she's got it and I tell her the offer is good)
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Old 07-01-2018, 06:18 PM
  #20

I read your post and it hit my momma heart in a big way. I feel your pain. I know that ache of learning your child isn't in the top achieving group. I love how your daughter accepted it and believe she is wise beyond her years. Band is a great program that provides a lifetime of enjoyment. I hope you do not encourage her to quit but to stick with it and continue to learn and improve so that she might be considered for symphonic band next year.

I also read your post with a director's heart. I direct a number of high school music ensembles that require tryouts. Inevitably someone is devastated at the results. The fact is that not everyone can be in the highest performing group and it is my job as a director to find the right fit for everyone in the program. I'm sure your daughter's band director never intends to slight or hurt someone. Parents can really help their children with this life lesson by continuing encouragement in the program and not speaking out against the director. You mentioned that there is no further point in her remaining in band since she won't be with her friends. I really beg you to step back and think about that. She will continue to grow as a musician, learn to make more friends, and will likely be a leader among her peers instead of just blending in among all of the others in the symphonic band.

I know it hurts, I know it stinks, but I know it is not the end of the world. Just think of what she is learning through this experience.

I also realize you didn't post to be preached to, so forgive me if it comes off that way. I just beg of you to offer grace to the director and understand their is a bigger picture. Don't let this ruin your summer!
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Thank you for listening vent and more venting
Old 07-02-2018, 10:33 PM
  #21

Thank you everyone who listened to my vent and those who understood I just needed to vent-it's still bothering me, but venting here helps to let it out and not talk to my daughter about it-the last thing I want her to do is to feel upset about this situation or my feelings over it.

In my adult, sensible, brain, I know she most likely will be fine in concert band. There will be other sophomores in the class, she'll know some of the incoming Freshman. Hopefully he chooses different music, so it's not a repeat of the same. She had talked about becoming section leader this year, as her section leader was a sophomore who would be moving up. I think the sections vote on it, so it's not confirmed, but she's the only sophomore who is both in concert and marching-so she's going to push for it.

She will be in marching band with her other friends and hopefully will be in other academic classes together this year. They all usually eat together in the band room as well for lunch.

Now answer some of the questions.
Quote:
I told my daughter to tell her she was thinking of quitting as there didn't seem to be a point without her friends.
This came about while my daughter was having a text convo with her friend. We were in Hawaii when her friend started texting about being in the symphonic band-my daughter had actually misread and thought her friend said "I got in because I deserved it", when she had actually said "He needed percussion and there were a lot of new percussion coming in-and she and two other boys were the only ones working for it." My daughter was trying to get her friend's attention-to make her realize that she had shown no empathy or care for her best friend. The other friend's mother had actually told her daughter not to bring it up, as she knew Elisabeth was not in the band with them.

On an unrelated note, at a sleepover at our house recently, these other friends started to discuss families. They were very insistent that in their view the best situation for a child would to have a mother and a father, and it was important to have a father. The problem is that they all know that my daughter does not have a father. I'm a single mom by choice and had my daughter with help of a fertility clinic using donor sperm. Her friends knew that her father was just a donor. When my daughter reminded them that she didn't have a dad, they said "but you would want to have one if you could and you know it would be better to have a dad.

peanut21, travelingfar, and OrganizedPup
I realized you may think that I'm too involved with my daughter and her situation. My daughter and I are very close-some may think that's a bad thing, but I'm a single mom and she is my only child. She doesn't have any cousins her age around here, they are all male and from 7 to 21 years older (she did go to one for help with advice on how to let a boy down easy-she didn't want to go to the dance with him or hurt his feeling).

" The fact is that not everyone can be in the highest performing group and it is my job as a director to find the right fit for everyone in the program. DD can ask what was the criteria for advanced band placement " There doesn't really seem to be any criteria for the symphonic band. All year long, there were no playing tests, no tryouts, chairs were not really assigned-section leaders passed out the parts and they took turns. Concert band is primarily Freshman and Sophomores while Symphonic is mostly Juniors and Seniors.There could be juniors in concert band, but those are mostly ones who took a year off so didn't complete two year. If she's not move to symphonic band in Junior year, then there will be a problem.

My daughter does have other friends, she has maintained close friendships with friends from elementary school who moved to another town-they text, hang out once in a while on weekends.
She is also on the swim team and has friends there. She is also very caring and tries to befriend those who seem lonely or struggling. So she has a wide circle of different friends, but only two or three that are truly close friends.
There are times she'll tell me that she knows she has friends but she still feels very alone and lonely at school. When defending a friend, she has a lot of confidence and can be aggressive, but in promoting herself or in new groups, she'll hang back and can be pushed around. She's a leader in her current group that were in band together, I can only hope she'll have the confidence in her new group. And if she loses her current close group of friends, I don't want to see her then with a group of "oddballs". You are seen as the company that you keep. Her other friends are seen as more reliable, academic motivated students. My daughter is very very bright-all A's and B's. She gets B's with no effort and wants straight A's next year. I don't want to see her with a group that is not taking school as serious.

So with my brain and mouth taped shut, I'll let her decide to talk to her band director and make her own choices and encourage her to be happy and try to see this as a positive thing.
zebrafan is offline   Reply With Quote
zebrafan
Old 07-02-2018, 10:50 PM
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