Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Almost in middle school: Instrument selection.

It is hard to believe some days, but L is soon to be 11 and graduating from 5th grade. That means next year he will be in middle school, scary! The fun and exciting process started a few weeks back when the middle school choir, band, orchestra, and art class came to our school to have a talk with just the 5th graders. Our students got to hear all about these fun opportunities and listen to some music. (also fun side note, our principal jumped in on the piano and played while everyone sang, then kept on playing all through both lunch periods!). So last night came the fantastic night of going into the middle school and getting to try a bunch of instruments out in person. Adam had to work that evening, so D, L and I headed out. We had been talking over the last few weeks about what he would like to choose. He was set on playing the saxophone and then came home yesterday adding the cello to the mix. We headed in and he was thrilled to see so many kids he knew from both our current school and our former school. I asked him if that made him feel a bit more comfortable and he agreed it sure did.

We signed in and got a number on our paper, then waited. I know I enjoyed looking around at all the other kids trying out instruments while we waited. You could tell some kids felt very comfortable with what they had in their hands, and others didn't. Then it was L's turn. The gentleman from the instrument company was very kind, and patient. L said that he was really just interested in the saxophone, so he was given just the mouthpiece with the reed to try out. L was instructed how to put it in his mouth and how to blow and make the sound. I could tell he was sort of nervous, but quickly relaxed. He did pretty good with just the mouthpiece so they let me hold the entire saxophone. L struggled a bit once it was the whole instrument. Not necessarily holding it, but making the same sounds he did when it was just the mouthpiece. He was told he could try up to 3 instruments, and would he like to try anything else. On a whim, he said trombone. Shocked me. The gentleman told him how to hold his mouth again and buzz into just the mouthpiece. L did amazing! The guy challenged him to make a higher and lower pitched sound explaining how to do that, and L was able to get it right away. He then thought he would try the trumpet. Since he came to the trombone so quickly I thought this one might as well, but that didn't seem to be the case. L struggled right away. He gave it a great try, but it just didn't seem to be his thing.

We then went and waited for the stringed instruments. Luckily by the time we got there, there was no line. A kind lady from the instrument company asked him what he was interested in and let him try a cello. He did really well, getting the hang of how you need to move the bow to get different sounds. She then had him stand and try the violin. Again he did really well, and got the hang of using a bow.

It was time to check out and decide. I asked L what he was leaning toward, and without hesitation he exclaimed the trombone! I honestly did not see that coming, but am so very happy with the choice. He really did excel at that instrument while we were there, and all the trombone players I have known have been great people. We signed up for the short summer class he will need to attend, and talked to the company about rental, and were on our way.


Jessica Nunemaker said...

Our oldest came home talking about the same thing a couple weeks ago. I wish they had string instruments because he'd love to continue violin. He isn't too sure what to choose!

The idea of sixth did that get here already? Their school system has fifth and sixth in the same building (they don't really interact with each other) so it won't be too big a leap. They already have combination lockers (my nemesis) so his fist day of sixth grade will look a lot different than mine did!

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