Middle School Scheduling: A Last Minute Switch

I knew when my husband came home with large protruding crazed eyes, walking ahead of Alex and saying “I’m going to let him tell you,”  it was going to be good.

But first, let me back up.

Since Alex is going into middle school next year, it is time to fill out his schedule.

We were all in agreement about what type of math and language arts he would be taking. Science and social studies are standard as well as technology and PE.

That left only only one elective.

He chose art.

Super. No homework. All in class. Free. Simple simple simple.

On the schedule paperwork you must rank your top 3 elective choices.

Alex put art first, band second, orchestra third.

There was no way he was doing theater or choir so we were fine with his choices. Not even a lengthy and impassioned speech from his dad about his joy of being a baritone in sixth grade choir could change his mind.

All set.

Not quite.

Apparently, if you put band down anywhere on your list, you must come in for an instrument test. The kids test out each instrument they are interested in to see if it’s a match for them.

This is where you insert my husband’s eyes practically leaping out from their sockets since he was with Alex.

Alex chose to try the french horn, the trombone, and the trumpet.

An area band director critiqued the student after each instrument try.

When Alex tried the french horn, “Good sound, wonderful pitch!”


When Alex tried the trombone, “Good sound, wonderful pitch!”


When Alex tried the trumpet, “Good sound, oh my, that’s the best sound that has come out of any student today. Wow you are a natural. The sound you produced was absolutely amazing. Wow. You are just a treat to listen to on this instrument.’


Or something like that.

Let me tell you when it is not going to be a treat listening to that instrument.


Yes, Alex came home glowing, wanting to play the trumpet.

“I want to switch to band. The lady said I had a great sound. She said I was the best all day.”

……deep breaths…….of course she did, that bit*h………release of air……

“Wow, what made you change your mind?”

“You realize there will be lots of practice involved?”

“Might be difficult carrying a trumpet as you ride your bike to school.”

After a few talks and days to think about it we have a new list of electives:

#1 Band

#2 Art

#3 Orchestra

I now realize this “try your instrument” is such a scam.

I’m onto you middle school.

We won’t be making that same mistake with the next kid.

Of course, I felt a little better last night when a mom texted me last night saying: James switched from theater to band! What did Alex decide?

He decided to switch from art to band – playing the trumpet. You cannot make me put on a “band mom” t-shirt. What instrument did James decide on?

The bassoon! No shirt here but we might be forced to put the decal on our car.

I laughed and suddenly felt better.


The bassoon requires private lessons.

7 thoughts on “Middle School Scheduling: A Last Minute Switch

  1. well, no one in our family lasts in anything musical for long, so take that into account…it will only be a short period of time

  2. I agree with Kelly’s observation and you know what Dr. Stuckey, the orthodontist would say about band instruments…They fit each child to their “malaclusion”…hence overbite for flute….you get my drift…If he needs braces at any point that may change our “natural trumpet player.”…..love it, love it….

  3. Well it could be worse, he could have been good at the drums 😉 I loved band, major band geek…..hope you won’t hate me but I say, GO ALEX!!!

    Still seeing you next week for dinner right????

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