Music Man

Sunday, March 29, 2009 | 0 Comments

JD has always been very musically inclined. He would drum on things when he was really little (not just bang on things, you could definitely tell he was following a rhythm). We were given a drum set when he 2 and he occasionally played. When he was 5 we purchased a piano and started him on lessons. He was writing his own music for the piano by 6. His teacher was impressed with the speed at which he could learn music. He has an ear for music, as they say.

When we sent him back to school after homeschooling for several years, he wanted to get into band. They didn't have piano, and percussion had been filled the previous year. His choices were trumpet, flute or saxophone, and they normally didn't let starters on the sax. He initially chose the trumpet, but immediately gave it up once he started practicing. Far too loud and sharp for his sensitive ears (and ours!). He was going to chose the flute next, but I told him that he would be much happier with the sax. "Besides," I joked, "if your Plan A fails, you can always play your sax on the streets for money." His teacher was fine with him starting on it since he had so much music previously. He wasn't so sure -- after all, look at all those keys!!
After one week, he was hooked.

We took him saxophone shopping a couple of months later. We went to several shops but they were all too brassy sounding and overpriced. Then we opened the case of a well worn used sax at Music Go Round well within our price range. It was scratched up and even a little dented, but JD's eyes lit up, "I want to try this one." The clerk cleaned the mouth piece and gave him a reed. The horn had a wonderful deep, earthy tone. I asked JD what he thought. He smiled at me and hugged the sax.

I convinced him last year to do Solo and Ensemble, a statewide competition for band and choir. He liked it so much last year, he decided to do it again this year. And he did so well last year (even though he miraculously learned his piece the week he was to compete because he just didn't practice before then) that his director urged him to choose an "A" piece; you can only go to state championship if you do well with an "A" piece.

Now, I have always told JD that he'd better get used to things not going quite right, because there'd be no getting away from that; he inherited it. And this time was no exception. His director told him Tuesday that he just found out that he was missing a whole movement in the sheet music that JD must now learn before the competition on Saturday (3 days away!) and his sax quit working on Thursday due to some repairs JD was supposed to have gotten done over Spring Break, but forgot. We had to send the sax in for repairs, causing him to miss his final lesson before the competition.

And I have always told JD that no matter how crazy things might seem to get, they always tend to work out in the end; he inherited that, too. The shop got the sax back to him that same night and the director felt so bad about the music that he cleared some time Friday afternoon for him. And he's going to state!

Great job, JD!


Michael Manning said...

Sylvana: I am so appreciative of your comments over at my site. JD sounds gifted. Sight reading was always very, very difficult for me. But for a child who has a suportive parent as you are is rare! This is something he will be forever grateful for his entire life!!! lol to you! :)

Sylvana said...

Micheal Manning - he has always been fairly advanced in a lot of ways. He certainly keeps things interesting!

Lyvvie said...

Sweet, Sweet Validation with a side of pwnage! Awesome. You must have felt brilliant and well you should.

Sylvana said...

Lyvvie - last year part of the reason that he learned that piece in less than a week is because I played drill sergeant. This year, it was all him. In fact, I haven't even heard the piece except through the walls and floor of our house. He wants to perfect it before we get to listen to it.