A lamentable story for all classical musicians

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Young Trumpeter, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Young Trumpeter

    Young Trumpeter Pianissimo User

    Jun 10, 2006
    Friday was my school orchestra's daytime concert, where we perform for the student body. The conductor started off the concert as any normal high school music teacher would: reminding the audience about proper concert etiquette. About ten minutes later the orchestra finished its second or third song (and the audience is extremely noisy), and when the conductor is ready to begin the next piece, someone throws something onto the stage (I later heard that it was a used piece of gum which bounced off of a cello). at that point the conductor turns about and says to the principal "I'm sorry, but we're going to have to stop the concert. someone just threw something on stage." He directed the orchestra to put their instruments away and the principal told all the teachers to return their students to the normal classes....and that was it. the concert ended.

    this plagued me all weekend. i'm a junior in high school and i've been planning on becoming a music teacher for quite some time. of course i had doubts and all but this was just a smack in the face. now i don't even know if i want to continue with that career choice. what's the point? i know that in my own school band only a handful of kids care at all, and so many more are disruptive and make jokes and mess around behind the teacher's back. but now for there to not be a meaningful audience? if no one cares, whether on or off the stage, then what's the point?

    yesterday i had a nice long private conversation with the conductor (he's also my music theory teacher and pretty much my overall musical role model) about what happened and about my thoughts. he was also disturbed by the event, and was pondering whether or not he made the right decision. his arguement was that he wouldn't subject the orchestra to that level and have them treated like circus animals. i respect him so much more for his reaction. but i don't know if he really calmed my worries about going into music education...and i've actually now been looking into other possible musical careers.....but so far i haven't found anything that really catches my interest.

    a sad day for music indeed.
  2. derekkress

    derekkress Pianissimo User

    Oct 8, 2007
    Montreal Qc Canada
    Follow your dreams! Your love of music needs to be shared and passed on. Don`t be distracted by the lows, believe! One day many of those ill-mannered students will be your captive audience.Often in adulthood we discover what we missed and learn to enjoy the finer things in life!
  3. Lezwoymn

    Lezwoymn Pianissimo User

    Oct 11, 2007
    Long Island, NY USA
    Don't let the actions of stupid teenagers change your passion. Kids will be kids, but in college and beyond, there will be none of that nonsense. And you'll look back at them and see how far they haven't gone.
  4. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    I used to be in junior high. It was full of cretins and morons. This was an object lesson for you. Don't be like your fellow students and don't be someone who feels everyone has to be an idiot just because some are. You'll get out of there eventually and find a better place. Be patient, be strong, and persevere.

    Michael McLaughlin

    "Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
    Ambrose Bierce
  5. Alan Dismukes

    Alan Dismukes Piano User

    Oct 16, 2007
    I work with 7th graders everyday, so I am THOROUGHLY familiar with rude, immature behavior. The key word here is immature. The jerks in your audience will grow up, although it will take (and obviously is taking) time for that to happen. Remember, it is not teenagers that purchase tickets to the symphony, but former teenagers. There will be appreciative audiences out there for you. Don't give up your dream.
  6. pbk917

    pbk917 New Friend

    Oct 11, 2007
    York, PA
    Young Trumpeter,

    Please do not let this sway your dreams. I am not a music educator but I have the utmost respect for people who teach. Just think of all of the young lives you can touch. Remember, music has a dramatic impact on many people's lives. How special will it be when YOU will make an impact on someones life, much the same way your music teacher has made an impact on your life. Some students are just too immature to understand, absorb and appreciate what's in front of them, you obviously have a finer appreciation than they did. Also remember that the actions of one (the student who threw the gum), do not represent the thoughts of many.

    Good luck with your ambitions.
  7. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

    Nov 12, 2003
    I limited my teaching to Catholic schools for that very reason. Catholic schools, and, I imagine, all decent private schools wouldn't put up with that rude behavior for a second! Had the other teachers been doing their job as monitors it could have been stopped early. It's a shame!
    Good luck with your career
  8. Sterling

    Sterling Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 22, 2007
    Marcellus, NY
    Don't give up your dreams. Teaching music is the best gig on earth. I am a middle school band director,grades 5-7. I try to use each situation as a learning/teaching experience. It does seem incredible, but proper concert etiquette needs to be taught on stage and in the audience. Maybe the audience learned something about their behavior with your director's response. I hope so.
  9. ccNochops

    ccNochops Piano User

    Sep 30, 2006
    White Marsh, VA
    YT, if you let every jerk that passes thru your life change your path, then you might just as well nail one foot to the floor. At 51, I still find jerks hanging around being jerks, it's what they do. Don't give up now, otherwise you'll miss seeing some real interesting jerks in the future :cool: Music is a gift, don't ever give it up because of someone else's stupid behavior..........chuck
  10. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    It is good that you had a long talk with your conductor. Now, go to the principal of your school and have the same talk. He will appreciate the leadership you will display in the meeting with him.

    The problem can be a lack of school spirit. In some of the high schools the faculty and students make a point of participating in programs that produce an identity that all students can be proud of. The students support each other's endevours such as drama, theater, band, orch, cheerleading, poms, dance, hot rods, car shows, sports, skate boarding, BMX swim team. Every tier of student interest is promoted in after school club activities and the students support each other no matter how painfull it is.

    It is tough to do but your student government should address the problem. You may want to speak before your student government and ask what peer pressure or peer support can be used to convince students to respect each other.

    Could you imagine what school spirit would build if the cheerleaders showed up for a skate boarding competition and the band played the school fight song?
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2007

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