My section hates me?

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

  1. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Ignoring doesn't work, in my experience. Some people take that as a challenge to get you to "crack".

    Practice becoming friendly with the haters. Notice, I didn't say become friends. You can be friendly with
    people and that goes a long way toward dissolving their dislike, especially if they are selfish people, which
    these people sound like. You see, the selfish person likes nothing more than to be the center of attention.
    So, make them the center of attention. Laugh at their jokes, play along and learn how to be "one of the gang".

    Some may call this being "two faced" or fake. People who say things like that have never had to deal with
    selfish, mean people. As long as you don't use this tactic to gain an unfair advantage, or steal, or do something
    you know is wrong, there is nothing wrong with being friendly to someone you would never choose to be a friend.

    Car salesmen do it all the time. Now, I'm not saying you should hold the personality of car salesmen up as an
    example of how to work well with others. I'm simply suggesting that people used "forced friendliness" all the time
    in society for gain. In your case, you would only be doing it to stop the harassment.

    This approach worked for me many times in school. And you know what? Once I moved on in life I never had to even think
    about the people that I pretended to like ever again. They were history. Most of them turned out to be big nothings
    as adults.

    So, give it a try. Be a friend to a creep, but not really, just be friendly to a creep and see how they respond.


    PS - Being friendly should never mean you compromise your morals. Should the friendliness lead to
    things you know are wrong, remove yourself from their company.
  2. PiGuy_314

    PiGuy_314 Pianissimo User

    Oct 12, 2013
    I don't know about you, but I didn't join band for the people. I joined band because of the music. Focus on the music, not them. Use their jealousy to get even better. If you're the best, prove it! Be so good they can't even talk badly about you.

    That's the only way I would know how to react. As others have said, be nothing but friendly to them, but ultimately, it comes down to you and what you do.

    Play on.

  3. duderubble

    duderubble Piano User

    Oct 21, 2011
    I don't know anything here, so ignore what I say, BUT...As a group trumpet players tend to be large personalities with a healthy streak of bluster--especially true of the good ones. Is it possible that they are reading quiet and introverted as pompous disdain in other words they think that the OP sees them as so far below him as to be unworthy of his attention? If that's true the fix wouldn't be to ignore--that would just make the OP look even more dismissive of them. IN that case the fix would be to interact more in an expected way--to play the trash talk game.

    I don't know, that was just my first thought, an introverted first trumpet player could pretty easily come off as a pompous jerk.
  4. Bay Area Brass

    Bay Area Brass Piano User

    Mar 2, 2007
    San Francisco
    BowmaninBb, unfortunately this type of behavior is often at all levels of music- professional levels included. I wish I could tell you otherwise. Part of what makes a good professional is knowing how to have positive relationships with your colleagues, how to deal with those that are jealous of your ability or position in the band, or those who simply get their entertainment by messing with others.

    You could try ignoring, but sometimes as mentioned by an earlier poster just gives them a challenge. I recommend to keep ignoring them but stay positive-don't let them live rent free in your head because they aren't worth it. Their actions are not any statement about you or your playing-it's a statement about them and their lack of character. If it gets out of hand then you'll have to stand up for yourself-often people will continue if you allow it to. If that doesn't work then have a conversation about it with your band director, but don't sound whiney-just let him know what's going on and how you feel about it. Hope things improve for you :)
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Sounds like mobbing to me. Some examples of mobbing can be very obvious, taking the form of rudeness and sometimes physical intimidation. But often, it is much more subtle, involving social outing and exclusion. In fact, each individual incident may seem unimportant, but over a period of time, mobbing erodes the self-confidence and self-esteem of the victim.

    I would consider seeking out one of the school counselors. Tell them what's going on in band, and seek out their advice.
  6. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    I would like to say this: I don't know you from Adam, and we are only hearing one side of the story. Yours. As nice as you might be, whose word are we to take? There's always more than one side to the story, ALWAYS. At a trial, do they only have one witness? I don't think so.
    Now don't misinterpret this, I am not coming down on you, and have nothing in particular against you, but behavior is not usually totally unprovoked. Look deep, be honest with yourself and try to have a realistic hard look at some little things you might be doing to bring out this behavior.
    Maybe then you need to toughen up a bit if you can't think of anything you might be doing. Let your playing do the talking. Tell them to ask the director to move them ahead of you if they think they're better. If the director says he wants you there, that's the end of it.
  7. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    I like this:

    I'm not going to elaborate on it; just to say . . . think about it.

    Regarding being a chameleon in getting along with others, I'm not comfortable with that advice for people still developing their own sense of self. If you're an experienced leader, you can use that to everyone's benefit. But IMO that relies on you having your own center. As a school kid, I would think that can only add to confusion about your self at a confusing time in your life. Try to find your own core and stay true to that.
  8. rufflicks

    rufflicks Pianissimo User

    Dec 9, 2009
    Nor Cal
    This is unfortunate; any communication break down in a section is unfortunate. If you are the principal chair player the section is your responsibility. You are 15 and sadly you need to deal with a stressful situation. I am sorry you are in this position. Usually as principal you have a bit of authority and can make some decisions concerning your section. If you have any control over part assignment then start passing parts. The fastest way to engage players and/or coworkers is to give them direct responsibility for success. Any time a person has the feeling of being included in a process and is asked to contribute in a significant way they are typically a better team member.

    You should know each players strengths and utilize them. Pass them parts they can sound good on. This helps the entire section sound stronger. It gives you a break lets someone take the 1st part making them feel included and appreciated. They will have to step up and produce thus encouraging them to play at their best. On an easy tune move the 3rd players to 2nd move the 2nd players to 1st and play 3rd. This shows you care, you are not selfish, you are humble, and that you don't think you are too good or the 3rd part. While on 3rd play the holy heck out of that part showing that you think that 3rd is as important as 1st! This helps everyone feel involved. They joined band to play and to have fun too. It is hard to watch someone else play, “all the good parts”. There are opportunities to pass parts, once you do everyone will respond.

    You may have to discuss this with you band director but you should let him/her know what is gong on and you believe this is a viable solution. If this is agreed upon you should be the one to pass the parts and make the assignments. Even if the band director is calling the shots you should deliver the message. it is my experience that a section is much stronger and friendlier when each member feels respected and is handed something to play. This is not a $100,000 a year principal trumpet chair it is a school where everyone came to learn and be part of the class.

    This is leadership and you are the section leader. You can be quiet and polite but you must engage. Actions speak louder than words. Let your actions show that you want them to be part of the section and you are not selfishly siting at the top of the section with no regard for them or their contribution. Your section just might see you as stuck up, arrogant jerk. It is not your intent to come off this way but it is quite possible this is how they view you. If you start passing charts and engaging the section well... things will change.

    These skills will help you in every segment of your life. This is conflict management, team building and problem solving. welcome to the real world my friend.

    Sure you can step down and be miserable. Sure you could simply practice twice as hard and leave them in the dust. You could even ignore them and make friends with the rhythm section players. (good networking choice) But; none of these solutions addresses the problem. The problem is not that they hate you but that you have not been able to create a cohesive section. As the section leader this is your responsibility. How to Be a Good Section Leader: 13 Steps (with Pictures)

    Also some good advice here. Trumpet section leader - View topic: Trumpet Herald forum

    Even looking at leadership might be helpful. Top 10 Qualities of Great Team Leaders | WebProNews

    It is a big responsibility to lead at any level. even yours. You must be proactive and look at your class mates as team mates. Learn to empathize with, understand, and know your team mates. Help them, encourage them, praise them, challenge them, engage them and ask them for input. There is little time left this year get some other players playing some first parts, especially Seniors. This may be the last year they ever play the trumpet. You must think beyond yourself. If you enter next year having started this type of leadership now, chances are you will be greeted with a different attitude. Next year if you cultivate this type of environment you will have much more cooperation and camaraderie. By the time you graduate your section will be something beyond anything you though would be possible. In the last half of that last year it would be wise to step down and let the person that is most likely going to be your successor take control. This will help the section and them make the transition. It also shows an extreme level of maturity. How you choose to proceed is up to you.

    Good luck.

    P.S. Yes you will need to grow some thick skin... you are a trumpet payer. We are a harsh bunch.
  9. rufflicks

    rufflicks Pianissimo User

    Dec 9, 2009
    Nor Cal
    Always ask for advice from those you respect.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Keep your friends close, and your enemies in the string section.

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