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Band Instrument learning

Kristian11Kristian11 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
Recently, I have been interested in joining band because of how good other people have told me it looks for college and also it just looks interesting so I think I would enjoy it as a class. One problem is.... I don't know how to play the instruments.... and the auditions are only a little over 5 months away. With 4 advanced classes (mix of APs and Honors) and lots of ECs, could I be able to learn how to play a band instrument in about 5 months?

Replies to: Band Instrument learning

  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 1,039 Senior Member
    At my kid's school, Band is a Big Deal, and if you didn't join in 6th grade, you are out of luck, and not even permitted to audition. Even for orchestra, which is less of a big deal, four years of school classes plus four years of private lessons is not always enough to get you into the 10th grade audition-only orchestras.

    If you have a strong background in music (from piano or voice lessons, for instance), and natural aptitude (our district assesses 5th graders and recommends which instrument they'll be able to pick up quickest), and a teacher who can prep you for the audition, you might do well enough. For most people, it won't be realistic, though.
  • Kristian11Kristian11 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Would learning the snare drum take too much time and effort?
  • eh1234eh1234 Registered User Posts: 471 Member
    High school percussionists generally play snare at a high level, bass drum, mallets (which require reading treble clef), timpani (including knowing how to tune it), and various auxiliary percussion instruments. The other percussionists likely started on the snare in 5th grade. It would still be easier than learning to play a brass or wind instrument.

    Maybe consider choir if you have the aptitude.
  • bopperbopper Registered User Posts: 7,767 Senior Member
    You should join activities because you like them, not for college.
    You can't just join the soccer team because varsity sports look good to colleges.

    What do you like to do? Art? Sing? Dance? Volunteer? Debate?

    Check out "How to be a High School Superstar" by Cal Newport.

    "The basic message of the book is this: Don't wear yourself out taking as many classes as you can and being involved in every club and sport. Instead, leave yourself enough free time to explore your interests. Cultivate one interest and make it into something special that will make you stand out among the other applicants and get you into the toughest schools, even if your grades and scores aren't stellar. Newport calls this the “relaxed superstar approach,” and he shows you how to really do this, breaking the process down into three principles, explained and illustrated with real life examples of students who got into top schools: (1) underscheduling—making sure you have copious amounts of free time to pursue interesting things, (2) focusing on one or two pursuits instead of trying to be a “jack of all trades,” and (3) innovation—developing an interesting and important activity or project in your area of interest. This fruit yielded by this strategy, an interesting life and real, meaningful achievements, is sure to help not only with college admissions, but getting a job, starting a business, or whatever your goals."


  • guineagirl96guineagirl96 Registered User Posts: 3,588 Senior Member
    Does your high school have a beginning band? Some do. If not, 5 months is not enough time to learn an instrument if you don't already play one. Percussion is more than just playing the snare drum, and would still be difficult to learn unless you have an aptitude for it. You'd need to start lessons immediately to have any hopes of learning percussion in time for the audition.
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