Should I demand my band teacher to let me play the instrument I want?

I’ve been playing the tenor sax since 5th grade. I’m a freshman in highschool now. At the end of last year my band teacher asked if I would play clarinet for a concert. ONE concert. Then when I got into highschool my marching instructer wouldn’t let me go back to tenor. I’m in jazz band as well so I do get to play tenor a little but not nearly enough. Marching band takes up half of my life and jazz is only one class a day. And I HATE the clarinet. There are 15 clarinets in the band and only 3 tenors so I don’t see why I can’t play it. Yesterday I confronted him and asked if there was any possibility of me playing tenor when concert band starts and her said, “You wouldn’t make it into my concert band on tenor until your junior or senior year.” So I asked if there was any possibility of me being in just jazz and he went on and on and on about how I have to get the entire band experience and marching band is important and I won’t get a scholarship off of just jazz. So I walked away. Now today I was playing my tenor. And I mean REALLY playing it. For like 3 hours. It was sooooo much fun. Then I got out the clarinet and stopped after 10 minutes. With that comparison I realized I can’t play the clarinet. I just can’t. It’s ruining my entire band experience. The tenor, however is awesome. So I’m thinking I tell Mr. Rice either I play tenor or he loses a marching and jazz band member which seem to be such a travesty to him but what if he says yes? What if I do end up having to quit band? I love band and I don’t want to quit but I really hate the clarinet. ALOT. So should I keep being miserable with the clarinet or risk losing band altogether? PLEASE HELP!!

Answer #1

don’t demand but have a conversation telling him/her than you would enjoy learning the instrument that your wanting to play… if you don’t like it then you can ask for their help in choosing one, but the best way is to try several different instruments and see what you enjoy playing. like a musical buffet. if your determined to play the one you want then ask if you can try it out to see if you would enjoy switching or learning it on the side till your good enough to play it completely. force and demanding doesn’t always work with band teachers…their pretty stubborn and set in their ways…

Answer #2

Your band director’s overriding concern is to make the best music possible (or at least it should be). If you are more useful to him playing clarinet that is what he will want you to do. If you go out for track and field and excel at the 100m dash but your coach needs a mediocre miler more than a star sprinter you would be asked to run the mile. Band directors are usually are sensitive to musician’s wishes but his overriding concern should be the success of the group. A lot of kids hate marching band (I wasn’t crazy about it). At my school the rule was that if you weren’t in concert/marching band you couldn’t be in the jazz ensemble. The bass player in our Jazz ensemble didn’t play any band instrument so he had to learn to play enough percussion to be in the marching band (which made even more work since the drum line had to do extra rehearsals). Band directors generally will not respond to ultimatums. If you tell him it is tenor sax or nothing or that you will only play in jazz ensemble or nothing I can almost guaranty the answer will be nothing. If they let students challenge their authority they can never maintain discipline. Band directors usually are “my or the highway” people. If you are planning on pursuing music as a career consider that woodwind players are expected to be able to double on as many woodwind instruments as possible. If you are a sax player who can double on clarinet, flute and oboe there are gigs you can get that less versatile woodwind players will be passed over on. I’m a trombone player and even I was asked to double. On one gig I was told I would have to double on celesta of all things. I figured I played enough piano that I could probably wing it but in the end they ended up having the percussionist play the part.

Answer #3

If I were you, I would make the oboe, regardless of my talent. If you play sax in jazz combos, and flute in the music profession, so it seems to me quite reasonable to make the oboe. One year, I changed instruments and in the middle of the year, I sort felt as if I gave up my main instrument, so I switched back. If you are the best on oboe, and it is the only other instruments you play, so why not? And plus, if you decide you don’t like it, then you can always switch to flute or saxophone next year. It is a matter of trial and error. Plus, oboe as unique instruments that every band should require. I’m guessing that there are many Oboes in your band (it is usually not) so you would probably get more attention of your boss. I very much hope that this helps. ** EDIT: Oh, and if melodies/solo part, if we look ahead on the oboe, it is not logical that you won’t get a solo/Melody while playing sax and flute? And again, I do not know if your band, but at our school.

Answer #4

Yes you can because you know better that which instrument u can play better

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