Thursday, July 3, 2008

Music Soothes the Savage Beast

Dear Aunt B,

I'm in the marching band and I have been in it for 2 years (band for like 5 years). Well, as I'm going to my junior year in high school, I really don't like the millions of hours wasted from band from millions of rehearsals and performances.

Sure, colleges like extra curricular activity's but I'm 100% sure I'm getting to college without doing band and without doing community service hours (I'm that confident). Also, the reason I'm deciding to quit band is because I will have NOTHING to do with band in the real world.

I don't want to become a musician or anything else with band. I'm sick and tired of band controlling my life in school! The hours are just a waste! Band camp starts 3 weeks before school starts so it's another 3 weeks wasted from summer!!! I effing hate band but if I quit, I don't know what other classes to take (although I would eventually find a class I'm interested in taking). Not to mention the exercise I won't have (although I can exercise on my own).

So my question is, what should I do? Stay or quit?

Dear Friend/Band Mate,

I was in the Drum & Bugle Corp. as well as The Americanettes, a Baton/Majorette Corp so I know just how much time and dedication is required, dedication being the key word. I have mostly good memories of my years with emphasis on camaraderie and I must say, nothing gets your blood pumping like a good band backing you up, marching in time and so on.

It is pretty apparent, via your email that you are rather adamant about this. If it's such a burden, I'd tend to agree with you as possibly nixing the whole deal. Life is what you make it right? If something does not bring you joy and it's really not necessary, why put yourself through it?

Now, it seems to me that you've weighed this out, concerning College entrance requirements. I know they do look at extra curricular activity, if nothing else to see if you are involved in things other than straight up school study. They feel that those that have healthy hobbies and are civic minded are more well rounded persons. It's a big plus to do some form of Community Service, so you might consider this?

I can see your point if you have no intention of using your talent, your musical inclination, further down the road. It is a proven point, however, that those that maintain a musical hobby/background, especially as a stress reliever, well, Music Soothes the Savage Beast.

Maybe we can assume that you need a break from the rigors and commitment of maintaining your spot in Band? Right now, it's real clear that you have a real aversion to it, so step away from the situation, take a breather and focus on something else.

As I stated before, life is what you make it, it's all about perspective, what brings you joy and weeding out the bullshit that bothers you or causes you pain. Some things we have no control over while others, i.e. your band experience is something you can control. So, exercise that control but apply your energy to something that will be or work to your advantage, in the future.

An example, if you were to take up a second language or even, let's say, Sign Language, that would most certainly be to your advantage. Either one of those can and will be used in the future and it gives you a jump up on the average Joe. By that, I mean, if you have, let's say, Spanish under your belt and let's say you choose to be an Attorney, Doctor or whatever, it is a plus to be able to interpret and you will be in demand. It's just a win/win situation

I can tell you are a rather determined individual, who when you make up your mind about something, come hell or high water, it's going to happen. Take all that energy, all that wherewithal and turn it into a positive. Right now, you seem a bit negative simply because you're just out and out pissed about this band agenda. Turn this whole thing into a beneficial situation and view it as freeing up your time to do bigger and better things. Take note of the mind set here. It is all about perspective and perspective is what it's all about. Flip the script, even in your attitude. See it as a step forward and correlate what it is that you want to do, concerning your college study and what will make your life easier, in the future. It's all a matter of working smart, not hard.

My advice to you is to weed out all the bull, all that does not bring you joy. Carefully look at what you can do that will bring about that joy. Mind you, not all things in life are pleasant and sometimes, for the sake of our future, we've gotta suck it up. Look at where you want to be and what you can do with this free time, if you quit band or rather put it on the back burner, whatever. Use the time wisely and hopefully in/with something that will put a smile back on your face.

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz

Dear Friend,

You don't stay in band for collegian upper-ground. That's all i know. But seriously, if you hate it, then quit. But many an adult would caution you that this could be one of those instances that you look back on and regret. There are plenty of people that i know who wish they had stuck with lessons, or learned an instrument. And very few who actually learned to play something who regret the task of doing so. if you are more interested in something else though, and your heart isn't in the music... then find your passion. But don't write off music just yet. It has a funny way of weaving itself back in.


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