Unsupportive Parents

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by keehun, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    LOL! :thumbsup: That's funny - your Dad must have a wry, witty sense of humor.

    I never felt that my parents supported band as anything other than an extracurricular school activity. In my SW Nebraska hometown the band program had been a real powerhouse for a time so most kids went out for band, but I don't think my parents saw it as something I would continue with througout my adult life.

    People in town who heard me play at band concerts or in the local churches would ask my Mom, "how many hours a day do you make Patrick practice?" My mom would reply simply that she didn't "make" me do anything - whether or not I played or practiced my trumpet was completely on me.

    My Dad was another matter altogether. If you looked in the dictionary for the definition of a "real man," you would have found his picture. He was a big guy - 6'2" - 220 lbs, but he was also the Chief of Police in my hometown, and his recreational activities centered around firearms - shooting, reloading, gunsmithing, hunting, etc - pretty masculine stuff. His other passion was riding his Gold Wing motorcycle. As I got into high school I'd say that at times there might have even been some well intentioned discouragement from him where my endeavors with music were concerned. To be fair, I really allowed my academics to slide because the way I saw it, I was going to be a trumpet player. What did math or literature have to do with playing music, right? As a guy who grew up on a farm and lived in and around a farming community for most of his life, Dad didn't see my choice of wanting to be a musician as being a responsible choice for the direction to take my future, and to be honest, looking back I can totally see his point. For my Mom, she simply wanted all of us to be happy, no matter what choices we made, and she felt that whatever we wound up doing, my sisters and I should be free to make our own choices.

    And then I managed to wrap up being a musician with being in the military at the same time. Once that happened, my Dad became my biggest fan. He was probably boring the heck out of his buddies at coffee. "Yep, Patrick played for the President at the White House again," or, "Patrick played and marched at Colin Powell's retirement ceremony yesterday." He was clearly very proud of the fact that I became an Army Bandsman. I had managed to turn something that was potentially embarrassing for him into something he could talk about with pride with the people he knew. I was at historic events that people were watching on the news on TV - that's big stuff in dinky rural town in the middle of nowhere.

    I'll never forget the first concert he was able to attend. He and Mom weren't supposed to get to Maryland until the following day, but they got there a day early on a day we had a Stage Band concert in York, PA, so they drove up there for that. That was one of the best concerts musically we ever had. The band was really playing well, everthing was tight and it really sounded professional. The last thing my Dad heard me play prior to that was a trumpet solo thing I did in church, (and prior to that it was a lackluster HS band concert) which he didn't really relate to, but he could relate to Big Band! Not only that, but it was GOOD. After the concert I don't think it was possible to wipe the grin from his face.

    Ultimately I think parents want their kids to be successful and happy, and for many parents, they don't see playing an instrument as being a ticket to a lucrative career. I think my Mom was fairly noncommittal about the whole thing and my Dad didn't really come around until I put music together with the military and presented it to him in a package with a neat little bow.

    Sorry for the ramble - not sure how or if any of this will pertain to your situation, but it's how it happened with me.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
    momma_horn likes this.

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    You haven't indicated how old you are and how dependent you are on your parents at this stage in your life. If you are still need them to pay for your support, all I can suggest is to point out how many successful and very talented oriental musicians there are and your accomplishments would be a tribute to them. It sound as if you have a lot of potential here and it would be a waste not to take advantage of them. :-)
  3. Darten

    Darten Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 21, 2009
    New York City

    I can understand your dilemma. I spent 2 years in Korea near the DMZ, so I have some exposure to the thinking of rural Korea. And considering my father talked me out of a scholarship to a very, very good music college 25 years ago, I can tell you, that if you really want to do it, if it is something you dream of, you need to explain it to your parents in such a way that they can understand what it means to you. Otherwise this could end up haunting you for a loooong time.

    I hope this helps.
  4. hup_d_dup

    hup_d_dup Piano User

    May 28, 2009
    Tewksbury, NJ, USA
    There is nothing wrong or inappropriate about these questions. If you go into music as a career you are going to be asked questions like this all through your professional life by people who don't have the same relationship to music as you or I. Now is a good time to think these issues through and come up with some answers that you can articulate.
  5. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    There is a book by Amy Chua that has been reviewed in the New York Times, called "Tiger Mothers". It is about the difference between Chinese parenting and "western parenting". I am interested in it because my wife is from China, but anyway. I think if you had a Chinese mother she would expect you to win the contest which has its own set of problems. In any event, maybe you could ask what aspirations they have for. Personally I can identify with you because my parents didn't care if I did well and moved away which would mean I wasn't splitting fire wood or some such nonsense.
  6. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    Actually, there is a very simple way to deal with this. Just logg onto Youtube and show them one of Alan Vizzuttis' solos from a classical piece. I think they will be proud when they see him and know that someone thinks you are good enough to share the same stage. You do need to educate them and be patient.

  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I agree. Parents are there to help evaluate the situation and the further away from home you are, the more personal the questions. If your folks didn't care or were really unsupportive, they just would have said NO - discussion ended.

    You have a real opportunity now. Use it!
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    If they don't have a point of reference to understand who Alan Vizzutti is or why it would be an honor to play with him, showing YouTube videos all day long won't help. My son tries to show me Halo 3 video montages of someone really doing well. I watch him play sometimes so I have a bit of a point of reference, but I don't "get it" like he does.

    With my Dad, he finally started to get it a little bit the year I was a Junior and won the best of class trumpet solo award at the regional music contests. That was the first time he had gone to anything other than a school band concert and saw me really play for the first time. (I did the Goedicke "Concert Etude" at about warp 9) But even still, although he could appreciate the technical facility I had gained, it wasn't something he could relate to. The first time he saw that was the army Big Band concert he attended that I mentioned above. We played songs he knew and remembered - In the Mood, Begin The Beguine, All of Me - those kinds of tunes. And it was a REAL big band that sounded professional - not a high school jazz band hacking its way through a swing chart.
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Gunther Schuller said "Make music your life and it will make you a living." Whenever we discover our particular passion we don't need support. We are driven, and that very drive is all the support we need.

    Your musicianship won you the job, and you can proudly use it on your resume. Your parents are supporting you (they gave you a trumpet and lessons, right?) and submitting to authority is a valuable to our craft, making music while some guy waves a stick in our faces.

    Accept your parents while pursuing your dreams.

    Have fun!
    momma_horn likes this.
  10. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Ouch! That indeed must be haunting. Can't say that I relate but I can imagine. Sometimes, parents have to trust their offsprings and let them go their own route, so long as it does not take them into the really dark woods.
    momma_horn likes this.

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