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Elective Choices

ruthstoopsruthstoops Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
My grade 8 son is very involved with chorus, though more of a workhorse than a kid with naturally good pipes. (Meaning this won't be a career for him.) Next year, he wants to do all-chorus electives. At first I was going to say no way, that he needed at least one other something-else for some diversity. But I'm starting to lean towards saying yes to this. He already knows many of the kids. He already knows and loves the chorus director and does an outside of school chorus with him. If we push him a bit higher on honors in core classes, these electives will serve as a no-brainer comfort place for him. But, do you push for diverse electives? And what about going forward? He is definitely showing little or no interest in what he might want to do in college.

Replies to: Elective Choices

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 40,141 Super Moderator
    he wants to do all-chorus electives.
    What does that mean? More than one per year? It's probably a moot point for a 9th grader as the requirements will likely only allow one elective.

    If you mean do one chorus class each year, then there's nothing wrong with that.
  • ruthstoopsruthstoops Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Essentially, it is a total of 9 credits of electives, equal to probably 3 elective classes. He doesn't have room for more than that.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,616 Senior Member
    As long as he can complete the usual expected college prep curriculum, he can add electives of interest.

  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 Registered User Posts: 579 Member
    how many classes does he take each year? For instance my 9th grader has 7 classes but after the 5 core classes, mandatory gym/health classes it just leaves room for 1 elective
  • ruthstoopsruthstoops Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    It's a little complex, but I get the impression kids take about 3 electives per semester (which might change up in second semester.) Both of these chorus electives are all year, and really leave little time for anything else. Or I should say, I think the core 5 are going to be rigorous for him, and I don't want him having much more than this. But it seems a little ...super-sized in just chorus.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,439 Senior Member
    My kid who sounds kind of similar - he could play the violin in tune and keep the rhythm, but he's no musician was in two orchestras all through high school. (They were both electives and appeared on his transcript. One met before the normal first period.) He did it because that's where his friends were. He also did Science Olympiad and was on the literary magazine senior year because his friends were running it. He had no idea what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was a bright social kid, loved history. In the end he stumbled into some interesting interests we had no way of predicting as a freshman. He started making and selling origami earrings, he did a volunteer project for the neighborhood association archives that had him doing some real thinking about history. He ended up really being able to sell his strong points and did much better in the college admissions game than anyone (including him!) expected. He's a naval officer now - something I also never would have predicted, but it turns out his people and organizational skills and his ability to analyze events and put them in historical context actually is useful.

    I would not do two choruses at the expense of a rigorous schedule, but otherwise, I don't think there's anything wrong with this plan.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,168 Senior Member
    I don’t think there is a problem here. For electives he should do what interests him. It is way too early to be worrying about college admissions and gearing life to that is unhealthy. It is appropriate to dive deep into things that interest him. And thisevinterests may change over time. Ultimately you don’t want to fit the kid to a college but find a college that fits the kid. In the meantime let him enjoy life.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,404 Senior Member
    edited February 6
    Go for chorus. You seem to be under the impression that you have to be a great singer to contribute to a chorus.
    Just being in the chorus will give you training to be a better singer even if you aren't the best in the class. Plus being part of a group is wonderful and singing is something you take with you into adulthood into old age.
    HS choruses are usually involved in plays too which opens up some fun theater experiences.

    There are chorus opportunities in college too plus community choruses as an adult. If you want to do college chorus though it is best to keep it up in HS.
    Look up the Barbershop Harmony Society (I'm a Sweet Adeline). We sing four part harmony.
    Our chorus has members in age from 12-75. We compete on the international level. We've had some singers who were professionals and those who are good but not wonderful. We have quite a few HS chorus students. Learning opportunities abound.

    A chorus isn't about standing out as a soloist--it's about a team effort for blending sound and giving a gift of music and performance to the audience. Plus it's a lot of fun and one of the best stress relievers I know.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,404 Senior Member
    And I don't see two chorus electives as being any different than two band electives. Very often kids would be in orchestra or marching band and then also be in Jazz band which was a smaller group with a different vibe.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,582 Senior Member
    Can you list the classes he'd take, then the electives he could take instead of chorus*2?

    Btw if he has his 5 core classes and lunch I don't see the problem with taking 2 chorus electives.
  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 Registered User Posts: 372 Member
    Let him have his comfort place, and he can write a college essay about how much fun he had being mediocre, which will distinguish him from all the grinders who never let themselves have any fun or take risks. I think having a place for fun and mental health in high school is more important than anything. We as a culture have hyper-focused on excellence so much that we have lost the pleasures of the amateur.
  • ruthstoopsruthstoops Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    @gouf78 I couldn't agree more about chorus. It has been life changing for him! I know you don't have to be a soloist but of course I think he'd like to get these parts, and would like to try for acapella and the like. He loves being the manager currently of his small middle school acapella. Overall, I agree on letting him just do these electives. I think my husband and I only have some concerns about him not exploring other things. This is part of his personality not just at school. It's not about college admissions, it's about broadening horizons. For instance, he could do one chorus, and have time for other electives, but wants to do two. I think freshman year it's fine, but I'm still concerned that he might not try at least another thing, whatever that might be.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,404 Senior Member
    @ruthstoops -- "not exploring other things."
    I wouldn't worry about it. Life is a journey and it doesn't begin nor end with the school years.

    I'm jealous of your son right now to have such a great opportunity and he can enjoy it.
    My parents didn't think chorus was "hard" enough so I ended up in band playing an instrument and marching around a field for a football game. I did learn a lot but quit as soon as I could. I loved aspects of band--but it wasn't what I wanted to do. (I was pretty good too by the way). (Now all the band people are going to flame me...)
    So what did I do? I ventured forward as an adult and been in community plays and joined choruses. But I do regret that I didn't do that in HS.

    I love the "try it all" vibe. And I agree that you SHOULD try it all.
    In my perfect world you would just rotate through a ton of activities with no grades or expectations.
    But I also think that there are certain activities th
    at are found early in life that resonate for a long time. Music and art are two. And both serve you well into adulthood. Some have affinity for sports--nobody ever seems to downplay that.

    Some kids may find joining debate clubs or MUN (Model United Nations) as great clubs also.
    There are LOTS of great clubs and focuses in life. It's one reason Toastmasters exists today--you can't get everything in HS.

    Funny, I never see anyone saying "give up the football team" as an option...
  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 4,983 Senior Member
    edited February 7
    As long as he has a foreign language and my personal "must," Public Speaking, already in his schedule I see no problem with all loved electives. Electives are supposed to be fun classes for the student whether they are science, chorus, or a little bit of everything.

    Foreign language is required by many colleges and it's just generally good to have an idea of how they work. Public Speaking is awesome at providing much needed people skills with interpreting body language, etc, - very useful for life even if one never has to give an actual presentation.
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 13,075 Senior Member
    Check the high school graduation requirements to make sure that the "electives" are truly elective. Sometimes, kids are expected to fulfill nonacademic requirements, like fine arts or technology education, through their electives. So it may be necessary at some point to include something that isn't related to chorus.
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