Should I challenge the higher up chairs again?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by litia725, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

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    I was also in one of those sections where there were three of us of approximately equal abilities - each had different strengths, but we'd played together from 5th grade on through high school, played small ensembles at contests together, and remained friends. We just passed the solos around based on whose strengths best fitted the piece. When it got to the point that we had to have challenges because of some lower classmen's ambitions, I just switched to flugelhorn for the duration of the concert season (best solos of the lot) and let the other guys deal with them. We still remained atop the section, and we still didn't care who sat on the end of the row at any given performance.

    More recently, my granddaughter went through a series of constant challenges - a kid who placed lower wanted to sit next to his friend, so he challenged her - and lost - every week until the band director finally called a halt to all challenges. A little ego's good to have, but it sounds like the OP might need to work a little harder on earning the right to have such a high opinion of herself.
     
  2. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

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    You certainly have the ego that trumpet players are known for. The problem is that it isn't very useful.
     
  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    I wonder if it ever occured to the OP, and some of the others here -- if the BAND DIRECTOR is not actually helping the OP learn more poise, more confidence, and how to be a team player. Perhaps the Band Director is in a better position to analyze not only the playing proficiency of the OP, but also if the OP is a leader, an encourager, or even a team player. Being in a band is NOT ALL ABOUT challenging one another to see who can be the 1st chair. I think the OP should try to (as one poster said) demonstrate their ability to be a TEAM player - and encourage, and teach, and show the other trumpeters HOW to gain in proficiency of the trumpet --------------Perhaps that is the lesson that the Band director is after -- NOT just teaching trumpet - BUT also teaching the OP about LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (IMHO)
     
  4. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

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    Exactly. My JR. High band director never let me sit higher than 2nd chair. Seems he didn't want someone with the attitude I had at the time representing the section. That didn't stop him from giving me all parts for each piece of music. I would cover whatever section a certain part couldn't handle including first. I hated him at the time. Now I understand the bigger lesson he taught me. Some lessons take many years to learn.
     
  5. CuriousMe

    CuriousMe New Friend

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    Seems she's not quite ready for that lesson yet KT. Hopefully in the next year or so she will be.

     
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    perhaps, if someone clues her in on this lesson, and she SEES the purpose for it --- and how it can help her in high school and beyond -- then it will seem a palatable lesson at this point in her young life ---- I think the band director SENSES that she is ready to learn more about life ----I mean if she can win the All State music -- then it just might be the LIFE LESSON that is the most important one at this juncture!!!!!!!!!! --- who knows, maybe that is why some of us post on TM -- to offer incite mainly learned form our life experiences!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. CuriousMe

    CuriousMe New Friend

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    Evidently everyone doesn't know that you should be in a higher spot. Because if the Band Director knew that you should be in a higher spot, they would put you there.

    Having a healthy ego is important of course, but like anything else you can definately have to much of a good thing. Humbleness is also a good qualtity. Pardon the pun, but you don't need to always toot your own horn:whistle:

    I'd say your priority should be to be the best band member you can be. That doesn't mean it has to be in the first chair, you can be a leader from any chair.
     
  8. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

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    Young Lady, spot on says I! You just keep at it chasing a GREAT sound. Welcome to TM. Glad you're here.
     
  9. litia725

    litia725 New Friend

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    Hi guys, thanks for the advice. I just spoke to my band director not an hour ago and I'm scheduled to a challenge next week. He's even given me material to practice- and practice I shall!

    Sorry for sounding like an absolute diva. I kinda do that sometimes. :roll:

    Thanks for the older advice, and the advice from everyone.

    ~litia725
     
  10. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

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    I have mixed feelings about chairs and challenges and such....on the one hand, the desire to 'move up' and the willingness to work harder to become a better player to do so, is a good thing. Theoretically, with all of the members participating, the whole ensemble will benefit. On the other, it's usually only a few kids who have the competitive streak to do it, kids who don't are left out, even though they may be potentially GREAT players. I have a problem in general with music as competition.

    Having said that, I'll relate my story:

    I'm 53 now. When I was in 8th grade, I went to a school with a LOT of good players. We had two full concert bands because so many kids were musicians....hence, for us competitive kids it wasn't just a matter of being in a 'high' chair in your band, but you wanted to be able to prove you were the best player(s) out of BOTH bands.

    I was a pretty good player, but I couldn't read to save my life....I was perpetually lost and consequently sat last chair (11th). I knew I was a better trumpet player than anyone else in the section (I had a better sound, range, and I was able to more musically interpret material). After being extremely frustrated with the situation (it wasn't JUST the chair, but also frustration with myself....) I went home over the Xmas holidays and decided to teach myself to read better. I tore apart how rhythms were constructed and could be broken down and counted, practiced reading melodies, taught myself about the kinds of things to be aware of when reading (meter changes, key changes, etc.), and really worked on just being able to stay relaxed and not let my breathing go to crap because I was uptight about what I was reading, and just worked my butt off (it's funny, later at Berklee they were teaching us some of the same techniques that I had stumbled upon by myself somehow).

    After the holidays I was ready.....our first day back I approached the band director and asked to challenge. "How many chairs up do you want to try?", he asked. "All of them", I said. He gave me a funny look, but I was determined and I think he could see that. So he lined up the other 10 guys, we dueled in his office for a couple of hours, and at the end of the afternoon, I was first chair. I stayed first chair for the rest of the year (actually I stayed first chair from then through high school).

    Looking back on the experience now, getting first chair made me real proud, because going through the challenge and getting the chair PROVED (chest beating off) that I was a good player....better than people thought when I sat last chair. HOwever, I think the only really positive thing that came out of it, and this I didn't even realize for years, was that I was able to make up my mind, with no instruction or help, to define for myself what my problem(s) were with reading, break down the problem, and come up with workable solutions for the musical problems at hand. And I guess I have to admit I wouldn't have done that without the game of the chairs and challenges to spur me on at that young age.....

    bigtiny
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012

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