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Should I quit band next year?

axelexeaxelexe Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
I’m really stuck. Currently, I’m a 10th grader going into 11th grade this fall. I’ve thought about quitting band in passing, but I haven’t really seriously considered it until this year. I’d like you guys’ opinions on whether or not you’d think it’d be a smart idea to quit band, as I’m currently caught right in the middle. I’ll try my best to explain my current situation, thanks for your help!
- I’ve played clarinet for 5 years now, and I used to love playing clarinet; practicing 1000 minutes a week was easy for me. Now I’m lucky if I even get to 120: I can never bring myself to practice and it’s more of a hassle than anything.

- However, I go to a school well known for its music program in a state well known for its music education. We have a very skilled concert band and our marching band has improved a lot in recent years. I’m currently in the top band.

- I’ve really enjoyed marching band, though I don’t enjoy the time constraints. We just recently won a championship and I greatly enjoyed our show. I’d like to see the next season through, but I’m not sure if the payoff is worth the time.

- I have a huge workload right now, and next year will only get worse. I struggle to juggle all my weighted classes, but I can do it and do well, although at the cost of my mental health and time (I’m in the top 3% currently). Next year I’ll be taking AP Chem, AP Seminar, Pre-AP Pre-Cal, AP English 3, Pre-AP Comp-Sci, and Pre-AP Physics. Band takes up my time during both semesters and adds stress. Even now, I get home around 7 everyday.

- Band brings my GPA down, but I’m not going to quit just because of this.

- I’d like more time to explore what I’m really passionate about: right now I’m feeling kind of burnt out and lost, and I know I’m not continuing with music in college.

- I’d like to commit more to my other extracurriculars and commitments, like the busness club I’m in and volunteering at my church. I want a leadership position in the business club I’m in but I can’t fully commit with band. I have a chance at leadership in band next year, but not a guaranteed one.

- I’m not afraid I’ll lose friends if I quit, only that I’ll have a hard time making new ones. All my friends are in band and I’ve been stuck with these band kids for 5 years now. I have a hard time branching out. (I don’t love everyone in band, but I’m used to them)

- My parents want me to quit band because I’m too stressed.

- Colleges might question my decision to quit, I’m not sure I’m well-rounded enough to leave although I do have other commitments.

- Side note, but I have to go through my band director and private lesson teacher to quit, who historically have made people who quit cry.

- I do like soloistic playing, but only occasionally.

- I’ll miss some parts of band, like the people, closeness we feel sometimes, and success, and I feel like I might miss opportunities to be a part of our marching band next season. Band as a whole doesn’t make me happy, but I do enjoy marching season.

- I have the option to quit after next marching season, but that’ll kind of negate the reduction of stress I’d get by quitting before the season, and it’d still lower my GPA.

What do you guys think? Thanks for your help, and sorry for the organization and length. I tried to keep it short(er).

Replies to: Should I quit band next year?

  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,153 Senior Member
    Seems a shame to give up music entirely. Have you considered doing something entirely new and different with your music if you stop band? Anything that would excite you-change things up?
  • axelexeaxelexe Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    I can still play my instrument through volunteering to play at my church. I’m not sure if I’d enjoy it, but I’d definitely be able to get more involved, and there’s a tight-knit community there. I think I’d miss soloistic playing more though, though I don’t have time to really improve there either.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 3,060 Senior Member
    I don’t think you need both chem and physics next year. Are there options for which band class you take? Like can you take wind ensemble or jazz but not marching band?
  • axelexeaxelexe Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Yeah, I’m not really sure about taking AP Chem next year but I want to take it and it’ll be the only time I can get help from my friends if I take it since all of them are taking it next year. And no, we’re all required to be in a concert band and there’s no jazz option, you have to take wind ensemble and marching band both, and band is double blocked for both semesters.
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 2,485 Senior Member
    This eerily sounds like my kid’s HS. Anyhow, he was faced with a similar decision after 10th grade under very similar circumstances. Yes, colleges do like that you’ve been in marching band for 4 years, and since my kid was first trombone, his marching band director gave him the guilt trip, asking him if he was going to make good use of his free time. I think the decision for him to leave marching and symphonic band was a good one, he did fit in an extra class (Robotics) since he didn’t have marching band in the way, and most importantly got to teach at his elementary school (instead of being at marching band practice) on Fridays. His main regret was not being able to join jazz band since it required him to take a symphonic band or wind ensemble class, but he got over it.

    He took 4 APs in 11th (Chem, USH, Calc BC and Eng Lang) and need every free minute (mostly because he is by nature a procrastinator but that’s a different story).
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,204 Senior Member
    What possible colleges?
    Adcoms know marching band is time intensive and can respect the commitment, if it doesn't interfere with grades and rigor. The question is what you'd replace band with. We don't know if your business club is intensive or just kids talking. Many kids do church vol work either on Sundays or community projects once or twice/month.

    My D asked me about dropping state orchestra, but that was for senior year. At that point, I felt any positive impressions had already been made over three years, fine. (But she stayed.) She had done other things with her music- other groups, including voice, accompanying school performances, etc.

    Take the long look at this, before deciding.
  • nomanslandnomansland Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    I quit band in my junior year.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,578 Senior Member
    My daughter quit music in school after sophomore year as well. She continued to play in other arenas, and got involved in other ECs that she loved more. Didn't seem to impact much in terms of colleges.
  • Busybee01Busybee01 Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    My son quit band after one year. No regrets, no impact on college admittance, more room for APs and after school activities. Everyone is different though: unlike you, he was not conflicted at all about making this decision. And yes, he had the "talk" with his teachers once they noticed he's not registered for the sophomore year band. He hold his grounds:)
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 1,333 Senior Member
    DD was signed up for Band going into her freshman year. However, the summer class she took before high school led to a more interesting opportunity, so she switched out over the summer to follow a new path. She experienced similar angst the what OP is feeling, but if you ask her now, she'd tell you she has no regrets. She kept some band friends, and lost touch with others, but made some new friends in her other activities.
  • StPaulDadStPaulDad Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    In ninth grade my DD practiced hard, liked band and did really well. But over time she found other ways to invest her time that were more satisfying than practicing her flute. In addition to her academics she had sports, other ECs and other instruments she was having more fun with. But she found she could stay in band and do OK with very minimal practice time, so she took that path rather than continue with the honors band. That music just wasn't that difficult for her and she liked the people. In the end her relative indifference was almost certainly the reason she finished out the the top ten in her class, but she was totally comfortable with that and has gone on to do very well at a good school. So to go all Marie Kondo on you, if it still brings joy don't necessarily throw it out.

    Also, if you eventually decide to give up band you don't need to go through the band director to not sign up for it. Just don't include it on your schedule and don't show up in August for band camp. It may seem like this person has a huge amount of control over you, but it's no different from quitting any other art class or sports team. If they want to make you cry just go ahead and tell them you're crying already and you don't enjoy it or the stress it brings. With any luck they'll take a moment to evaluate their program and how to accommodate those who don't have the time to make it a focal point of their life.
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