Do you have a kid who might like to learn a musical instrument, but doesn’t want to join the school band program to learn to play marches or symphonies on the clarinet? We’ve spoken to a lot of teenagers about learning music that interests them, and playing tuba on John Philip Sousa marches is not often on the list.
Why do so many kids start out in a school band program in middle school, but drop out well before graduation? We suspect that if they were given the chance to learn and play instruments and music that they like, many of these students would stick with it and enjoy it more. To parents we would ask, which classic piece would you rather listen to, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2, or John Lennon’s Imagine?
My own experience is that school band students who ALSO pick up a modern instrument find that they learn it faster and enjoy all music more. So, it doesn’t have to be either/or. If you like school band, you could love learning more popular music.
You might even be someone who is learning by using online courses. For instance, there are some great YouTube resources on guitar, piano, and drum, designed for people who want to play rock, pop, punk, blues, or jazz. Ask your school administrator or your homeschool parent if you can get school credit for learning an instrument that YOU want to play. Direct them to look at Nexbook’s Intro to Drums as an example of what’s possible. This structured course doesn’t require that a teacher knows drums, and it includes all the material, quizzes and grading that a school can use to provide a credit-ready course. Easy-peasy.