PREPARE YOURSELF TO READ A NOVEL, BECAUSE THAT'S BASICALLY WHAT I ENDED UP WITH HERE. So, I had a nice "discussion" with my parents today. Discussion is in quotation marks because it was more of me trying to present my side while they yelled and ignored what I said completely. As you might know, right now I'm in my third week of an embouchure change. I'm slowly making progress and am very happy with the results I'm getting. My tone using this new embouchure is much more pure and rounded. The first week I was barely able to play just a low C, but now I'm playing up to a top space E on the staff. I'm very excited for future progress and to see where I'm at after 6 months. Now for some background info. As some of you may also know I'm 17 and work in fast food. My job pays for my private lessons ($60 a month) my phone ($70 a month) and anything else I do. Basically, now I have no choice but to work since I have a contract for my phone. I really don't want to continue in fast food for the rest of high school though. I think that working around fast food can help lead to some bad decisions health-wise, as you could probably predict. I'm not a very healthy person (I'll admit it) but my job adds to it even more. The thing is my manager here is great. She completely supports me and is willing to get me off work whenever needed for band or for looking at colleges, even though she has a strict policy of not allowing more than one request for a day off each month per employee. What can I say, she spoils me. Out of what is available to me, this is a great job and a good position for me to be in. I would much rather be payed to play my trumpet though. Once I get back to my normal playing level, I would like to audition for a military band. This would be a good opportunity to let me play along better musicians, get payed doing what I love, and let me see what the outside musical world is like. The band would be the 249th Army National Guard Band. They are the only military band in West Virginia, so they play at military ceremonies for all branches, and for government functions. They're stationed in Morgantown, WV and if I'd join I would have to go up one weekend each a month for drill, and of course play at the performances. They haven't been deployed since 1969 during the Vietnam War and have a very low chance of being deployed anytime soon, and from what I've read when military bands are deployed they usually play, perform security, and do community outreach kind of things. I understand that the possibility of fighting is always there, but it just seems very minuscule. I would be getting better pay than I'm getting at Arbys while also getting money for college among many other benefits. The college I'm planning to go to isn't exactly cheap so any financial help I can get for that is of course welcomed. I've been researching over the past month or two, and from what I understand I'd go through basic training (which I think would be great for me), go to the Army School of Music (definitely wouldn't mind this part), and then of course perform my service for the country. I think this would be a great opportunity for me, and also a great time to audition. They are really in need of trumpet players among others so I could use this to my advantage. Now to the conversation with my parents. They don't want me in the service because they don't want to take any chance of me being deployed. They also don't understand why I would want to join the military to play trumpet. They want me to go to a cheap school which seems to barely have a music program and do what it takes to meet the requirements to be a music teacher. I don't want to just meet those requirements though, I want to be the best player I can be which I think would transfer over to being a better teacher which our schools are lacking right now. I'm going down to Morehead State University in June for a week long music camp. I think spending a week with Greg Wing is going to be an incredible experience yet they can't understand why I would even want to do it. My mom told me if I wanted to play than to join an orchestra (like its as easy as just saying it) and that no matter which college I go to I'm going to come out just as good of a player. If it worked that way everyone would be going to cheap colleges and there would be no Eastman School of Music or Julliard. Sometimes I think its ignorance, but today I figured it out. It's rejection. They refuse to believe that going to a better college or playing in a group with better people will help my playing. They are the most stubborn people I know and they refuse to even listen my side. They just scream and yell the same thing over and over, and their info come from no actual source; they just make up facts as they go. I've tried to be open, but they are just so closed-minded. What I'm looking for from you guys and gals is advice. Who here was or is currently in a military band? If anyone has more information on what its like I would love any of it. Anything about deployment would be great because that's their major concern. How can I deal with my parents. I told them I'd probably join anyway when I get in college so they might as well support me and let me join earlier, but they said no. They said they'll refuse to sign anything for it and that I will not join while I live under their roof. My dad said that if a recruiter comes to talk to me or if he even gets a phone call from a military recruiter he will make sure they never talk to me again. I don't want to make them mad but its my life and I want them to accept my decisions. It's to the point where its really just extreme nonsense, like they're not even trying to think logically about it. If you made it all the way through this, then I'd like to thank you. This forum has played a big role in defining me as a person. The way you all generously help others at the expense of your own time is very thoughtful. I greatly appreciate it.