38 answers

Should You Make Your Child Take Band If He Says He Does Not Want to Anymore?

My son is starting highschool in just a few weeks. He has been playing saxaphone for the last two years in middle school and has some natural talent, but now he says he does not want to play in band any longer, my question is should we make him? He has always had a very hard time in school and has never really liked it, so band was the one place where he had some sucess. My fear is that he will not be engaged in any other clubs or activities. He is pretty shy and has been bullied alot the last several years from kids at school. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

WOW, First Thank You all for your great support and imput, I had no idea I would get so much great advice. WE have sat down and had many talks since I first posted the question and he has decided that he will try Jazz band for a semester and then if he still really wants to quit we will let him. I am really hoping and praying that he likes it and will continue to play. I am sure I will be posting more questions in the future. You all are a great source of support and information. Thank You again. J.

Featured Answers

Hi! I was a band kid but I don't remember if my parents made me do it or not (it was more than many years ago!). But, some schools have jazz bands and if his school has that, he should maybe try out for that. It has a different feel from being in band and would still give him a built-in group of friends.

J. F.

2 moms found this helpful

Fine arts is a requirement in school. If he doesnt want to play music, perhaps he can study the great masters and composers. Or he may wish to go toward some other creative outlet. Perhaps a new instrument?

1 mom found this helpful

I ask him to at least try Band. Band in High School is really different and I was a popular person but also played in the band and I have friends to this day that are former band members and non band members. High School band members are very close because they spend so much time together playing at the football games, going to parades, playing at the Pep Rally's and other extra things. He will make a lot of friends. If he doesn't like it he can always quit after the first year, but I doubt that he will. At least he can try it first. I will never forget my "band" years. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Hi! I was a band kid but I don't remember if my parents made me do it or not (it was more than many years ago!). But, some schools have jazz bands and if his school has that, he should maybe try out for that. It has a different feel from being in band and would still give him a built-in group of friends.

J. F.

2 moms found this helpful

You might want to clarify with him whether he doesn't want to take Band, but does want to continue to play saxophone, or whether he wants to quit playing music.

You might be able to negotiate with him--- for example, you would let him quit Band if he wanted to take individual sax lessons, or you would let him quit Band if he had some other extracurricular activity you approve of to replace it with.

2 moms found this helpful

Our daughter was in a similar situation as yours. Flute player from third grade through seventh (quite good, A Band/Honors all the time) and asked to drop band in high school. She always struggled in school because she was hearing impaired and had an auditory processing disorder, and received a lot of tutoring and outside assistance. After much discussion, we decided to allow her to drop band to focus on her studies. This was really hard for me in particular because I was a life-long flute player and we practiced her band music together. It was definitely the right decision. School work for her in high school, and the transition in general, was much more difficult than anticipated. There are lots of activities / groups in schools to choose from, and our daughter found her way. She is starting nursing school in about 10 days. Good luck

2 moms found this helpful

My son was in band from 4th grade through high school (and he also played the saxophone). Since he was both a scholar and an athlete, he didn't have much in common with lots of the kids in band, but he did have a good time with them on band trips, etc. The kids in my son's high school band really seemed to help each other, and it is one of the few classes where freshmen can easily socialize with upper classmen and in which you will know most of the kids from one year to the next. However, if he really doesn't want to be in band, it is probably not a good idea to force him--that could lead to rebellion. You might try to contact the high school band director to see if they have a band camp starting next week--my son's high school had a week of band camp the week before school started. See if your son could attend band camp--that might make him realize how much fun band can be. However, be sure the band director knows that your son is strongly thinking about not taking band, and ask if the band director can assign a "big buddy" (perhaps an older student in the saxophone section) to show him around the school and help him get used to the school and also get him excited about all the trips, etc. that the band does during the year. My son's band went to four or five band competitions every year and also played at all home and some away football games. They also played at some home basketball games and played at least two concerts during the year. They also had at least one weekend trip a year (Disneyland, Oregon, etc.). Also, I don't know if it would help, but it might be good to remind your son that band is about the only subject in which he will have practically no written homework--just practice (and if he has a natural talent, he probably won't need to do much practicing).

2 moms found this helpful

Hi J.,

I would first make sure that he really doesn't want to play band anymore. Being bullied in school is so incredibly painful that maybe he thinks he won't get bullied anymore if he quits band. If he truly doesn't want to, I wouldn't make him. I would only insist that he find something that he loves to do and do whatever that is. Also, since he was bullied, I would have him enroll in a self-defense, karate etc. classes to gain confidence and tools for him to use if he needs to stick up for himself. You will be completely amazed at how he will blossom. Good luck!

M.

2 moms found this helpful

Fine arts is a requirement in school. If he doesnt want to play music, perhaps he can study the great masters and composers. Or he may wish to go toward some other creative outlet. Perhaps a new instrument?

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with the person who suggested the bargain - try it for one year.
Frankly, if he's worried about the nerd factor, quitting band won't fix it.
And if he is shy and goes into high school with no group activity he may end up more solitary than before.
The only exception I'd make would be if the bullying has been going on in band
(Which seems unlikely, but all things are possible.0
Another possibility, depending on where you are, is something like Winds Across the Bay (google it).
It's really fun, and really supportive of its members - my very shy daughter loved it.

1 mom found this helpful

The question is why does he REALLY want to quit? From what you have already said, it sounds like there might be some underlying reason that you need to address more & decide if that reason is a "good" one. As someone already mentioned, jr. high band is different from high school, so you may want to find out his true reasons to help determine whether to make him continue or not. As a high school teacher of freshmen & sophomores, I cringe at the thought of a student giving up an extra-curricular activity, especially one that is so strong. It is so important to his success at school to get involved! What I might suggest is asking him to take a longer trial period (a semester to a year) to make sure that he really wants to quit - that way he won't have any regrets. If he does quit, there are so many other activities & clubs he can try that you might require that he find one to stick with (drama club tends to be a very accepting group & he doesn't have to be on stage since he is so shy...he can do backstage work). Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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