Monday, March 28, 2011

New Band Nerd

I spent my life as a public school band director.  I would still be doing it except that I am somewhat older now and it started getting to me in a negative way.  Teaching wasn't bad - I love standing in front of a band - the other things like administrators and parents made it less than 100% fun.  Wasn't heading to this subject now.  I got off focus.

I have a 5th grade granddaughter.  Smart, intelligent, brilliant, cute, well-mannered, lovely parents (am I spreading it on thick enough here?).  She reminds me of other 5th graders I have had in class over the years.  The band directors in her school are starting the process of recruiting beginning band students for next year's 6th grade beginning band. 

Of course, this process is fun for me.  As she begins, I do hope that she will enjoy the band life as much as I did.  .   .  .  not sure I want her to enjoy it enough to major in music and be a band director.  Teaching became harder as I aged.  Would I want her to do that?  HEY!  She could become a race car driver or sumpin' instead...maybe mess with computers like her fadder  or go into the medical field like her mudder.   A lot of water still has to travel under that bridge. 

Right now, I am just pleased that she wants to become a band nerd.  That is NOT an insult.  My band kids over the years have worn the band nerd title with pride.  That could be a different blog at a later date.   Yessir, I am looking forward to a future new load of band candy.

Over their spring break they visited our little mansion.  We had several discussions about band instruments.  She must pick one by summer.  Her father wants her to play oboe.  He sees the demand for great oboe players.  She doesn't see it.  I have always that oboe players had problems because of the air pressure they built up behind the reed - y'know, like it blows their brains out the ear lobes.

She talked about clarinet or flute or cornet or....  Her father, a trombonist, nixed that instrument because of the trombone crowd she'd have to be compete with.  Trombonist (in lower grades for sure) seem to enjoy making physical body noises and other classy things.   That is  okay.  She leaned towards the cornet and the flute - which, as you might guess, I owned one of each for her selection.   Saxophone and Drums were nixed too.

I oiled up the King Silverbell and she blew a good strong upper C on the first try (not high C, the other one).  Many starting cornet players have trouble with that.  I always felt this was a good sign for picking potential cornetist.  And, she made a sound on the Gemeinhardt flute.  So often young students have issues understanding how to make a first tone on the flute - they pucker too much.  She had no problem.  Both horns left our town and now reside in Lubbock.  I will be pleased if she picks anything:  even clarinet, trombone, saxophone,  oboe, etc.   No drums.  I wish I could draw a circle here with a slash going through a drum....No Drums.  (If one buys into this idea that young boy trombonist make classy body noises - you should see what drummers can create.)

Let me summarize.  In the Metze Clan, a new generation of band kids begins.  It will be fun for me to watch from a distance.   This past week, she sent me a i-tune type of thing with her playing "Saints" on the piano.  Genius, pure Genius - and I'm not even prejudiced.  Nope, not prejudiced at all

Nuff.  mtz


  1. I've got one granddaughter who is also a band nerd. She plays bari sax and is quite good on it. She started out on alto. I have one granddaughter that will start band next year, also. Her mom played flute and her dad, our son, started out on trumpet, later went to tuba and was drum major. She is leaning toward either trumpet or flute. She also plays piano and sings in the children's community choir in Plainview. Love your post!!! Brings back very good memories.

  2. My former choir geek husband says that anyone who stays in touch with their first band director is a dyed in the wool band nerd. Makes me proud. :)