My section hates me?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BowmaninBb, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. BowmaninBb

    BowmaninBb New Friend

    May 4, 2013
    Gainesville, FL
    The rest of the trumpet section hates me. I honestly don't know why and I don't know what to do. I'm a polite introvert and I have no outward ego at all. I never brag about parts or go up to someone and criticize them. I'm 1st chair at 15 and they always talk crap about me during rehearsal so the whole section and the people around us can hear. I know for a fact that I'm the best in the section based on what the director and my lessons teacher have told me based on our accomplishments. It's so hard to stay positive when my whole section just despises me. How do I get past the extreme negativty of my colleagues? It's making band miserable...:-(
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I don't find such harassment uncommon at the public school level. It will make matters worse if you have the director get on the rest of the section. I can suggest you just ignore them and continue to do your best. Too, it also worsens when they know you are affected by their antics.
  3. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    Don't argue, smile and be good natured. People hate it when they go negative and you don't play along. Meanwhile play even better.....
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    WHAT!!! Are you sure you're a trumpet player!!!

    By the way, NEVER meet up with a viola player, they will eat you alive!
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Just practice until you are the best by far. Trust me, jealousy doesn't end in high school. When I started back playing, the guy that begged me for many years to join was nicegreat until I continued to improve. I was actually practicing our charts and he was content with the status quo. When I started to develop my range and improv abilities, he got sarcastic, snarky and very critical. My improving actually drove him to develop his skills and as a section we sounded really good. All you can really hope to do is to drive the section forward through your continued development. Let your playing do the talking!
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    First of all, from most of what you posted, it appears your colleagues have a bit of some envy issues. I tell my patients with behavioral challenges that the solution is as simple as ABC.

    A - Antecedent: Being 1st chair
    Can you change the Antecedent? Yes, you can give up your first chair. Do you really want to do this?
    OR you can diffuse the antecedent, by letting them know it was your band director that assigned you first chair. You may suggest individually to your section members, that if they would like the chance to lead the section, to be proactive and discuss this possibility with the band director. But this could lead to advice to these individuals as to what it would take to replace you. It may make them better players in the process, and as an outcome, they may replace you. Once again you must ask yourself, Do you really want to be replaced?

    B - The Behavior: Jealousy
    To try to calm their jealousy, try to give your colleagues supportive feedback that I call, encouraging the heart. Complement them often when the do well, and criticize them little. I tell my new parents (as a pediatrician) for every time you scold an infant, love them and nurture them 5 times.

    C - Consequences: There are negative and positive. I am a firm believer in positive consequences.
    If some one gives you grief about your position:
    A positive consequence could be, "Let's go to the ice cream store down the road after school, and I will buy you a favorite flavor cone and let's talk about your ideas for band."
    A negative consequence could be, "If you continue to give me grief about this, I will have to take it up with the band director and request he discipline you" (by making them sit in the viola section or something horrible like that)
  7. BigSwingFace

    BigSwingFace Pianissimo User

    Apr 30, 2013
    Frederick, MD
    My initial assumption is that in addition to not having an ego you might actually be more skilled than the rest of the section. At the risk of speaking in platitudes, you have to tune out the negativity and focus on the music. Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.
  8. redintheface

    redintheface Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2010
    Bath, UK
    Yes, this is a really tricky position to be in, so I'm sorry you have to deal with it, and well done for having the courage to write about it. I have had both positive and negative experiences in group situations, and I've played every chair throughout high school and as an adult.

    At high school, I was not as good as I thought I was, and the second chair was rightfully annoyed with me being first. It's debatable whether or not he would have excelled in the position, but such is the luck of the draw. When we're young, we don't have the maturity to rise above personal annoyances.

    I thought I was always a positive person, until a keyboard player, incidentally a good friend, pointed out that my well intended comments on how we could play better as a group were being taken as insults against people's playing. I had never realised this, and stopped commenting at all.

    In a different band, the great rapport I had had with the lead player evaporated when he could no longer make rehearsals, and was replaced by another guy. This guy had been to college, studied trumpet, but never become professional. I think he had a chip on his shoulder about this, and he didn't take my light hearted approach to life very well, and stopped talking to me. It was very awkward, and luckily for the band I was due to move internationally within the month.

    So my advice is similar to above - people's egos are fragile! And most often, if they have a problem, they may not know how to deal with it. Any genuine compliment you can give a person will make them feel better about themselves. I try to tell people stuff I like about their instruments, their playing, ask them how they do things that I find difficult.

    Beyond that, the advice Dr. Onady (gmonady) is some of the best you will get.

    I hope you find a way to sort the situation out without having to stop playing in the band.
  9. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Bowman,
    You stated:
    "My section hates me."
    Who gives a rat's ass. That's their problem, not yours. If you're doing something that's rude or put offish, then quit it.
    You took up the trumpet to play because it's a neat instrument, right?
    Unfortunately, now the thing that you really like has been reduced to a competition for chairs.
    Here's a real quick fix. Just be yourself and forget about chairs.
    Do you help people play? Do you show them how it's done? Do you help the 2nd and 3rd seat trumpets? It's really hard to dislike an honestly nice person or, have you alienated yourself due to the competitivness of the setting?
    Competition can make music suck big time and cause the person at the top seem like an overbearing off-puttish pri....di....person.
    It's only competitive if "YOU" think of it as competitive. You can only control you. Forget the mind set of competitons and play and do your best. Let's face it, if it's a competition and you're a contestant, you don't get to choose who wins anyway, right? Just be yourself, be helpful and don't get sucked into the competition hole.
    Hope this helps
  10. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    Need a thicker skin, and just ignore them. If the director thinks you should be there, it doesn't matter what the rest think. High school/teen years can be extremely hard on the ego. I was first chair for three out of four years at my school. Luckily, I didn't have to put up with any snarking,etc.. If there was any, it never reached my ears. I was fairly quiet as well:oops:

Share This Page