View Full Version : feeling torn about him dropping classes

01-22-2012, 03:28 PM
Short version - Orion doesnt want to sign up for spring semester of band and choir and i'm struggling with it

So, this year a music school which is located downtown opened up a branch for homeschooling classes, 3 miles from my house. Raven wasnt interested, but Orion was excited to try both the beginning band class and the choir for middle school and up. he had started taking sax lessons in the spring, and we dropped the lessons to do band instead, thinking it would be too much work to do both. Orion had been asking to learn sax for YEARS.

So . . . the choir class ended up being 2 kids - a 12 yo boy and Orion. the boys liked each other and are even playing minecraft together now. But it turns out they are just a branch of the school's full choir, which came together for a holiday concert. the holiday concert was . . . painful. It turns out to be a treble choir, there were only a few kids as old as Orion, plus the concert was joint w the harp concert - of about 70 harps! I had to sit around for 2 hours of rehearsal and 3 hours of concert . . . i struggle w noise and crowds and really need my weekend down time, i was kinda a mess by the end. The choir sounded good - i enjoyed it more than the harps, for sure - but urggg.

The band class was also only 2 kids. The other kid is a girl who is in 7th grade. We've met her a few places before, but she'd gone to public school for 6th grade and done a year of band there - playing the sax. So the band class is just 2 saxaphone players being 'directed' by a french horn player. and again, part of a bigger group, they have to play the same music all the other groups are playing, despite the fact that they had more experience and are progressing faster.

Now, Orion hates practicing. We fight over it frequently, with me yelling at him to go practice at least 2 times a week, and he's probably only practicing 4 times a week . . he doesnt practice on the day he has band or on the weekends. When he does practice, he isnt working on getting it right as much as going through the motions. It doesnt seem like he's engaged with it as much as he was when he had private lessons.

So, the semester ended this week, and we have to pay another $400 to continue the classes through June. And he wants to quit. We talked about instead having a lesson every other week and practicing every other day. He really likes that idea.

all in all, i think its the best choice, but I feel guilty - both classes are likely to close without Orion in them. And i kinda feel like i'm letting him quit, but he did go through the full semester and chose not to renew, which seems fair.

why am i struggling with this

01-22-2012, 04:40 PM
You're clearly making the right decision. It's always sad when you know that you're supporting something you would like to continue - a class, a program - but one person can't sustain a whole program. Maybe if they do more advertising, get more involvement, etc. in the future you can re-evaluate?

01-22-2012, 05:54 PM
I think his main reason for dropping out is that he doesnt want to work that hard. The choir is just pretty advanced, and he wants to sing, but not really hard stuff. And he connected so much better musically to the private instructor - he was doing jam sessions with him and willing to work with whatever music Orion liked. Socially of course band is nicer even with one kid, but not enough nicer to work a lot for less exciting things. I just finally sent the email to the band instructor.

Accidental Homeschooler
01-22-2012, 06:20 PM
I let dd14 quit 4H and I don't feel bad about it. She gave it a good try and had valid reasons for not wanting to do it anymore and talked to me about it in a reasonable manner... Orion isn't wanting to quit music, just pursue it in a way that will be more meaningful to him. I think you are doing the right thing. It is hard when other people are counting on you. That is probably why you aren't feeling totally right about it. I felt guilty telling the 4H leader but she was really nice about it and left the door open.

01-22-2012, 06:46 PM
Yeah, it is the guilt. I need to just suck it up and do what I know is right for Orion.

01-22-2012, 07:07 PM
I see what you're saying, but music is something you work at for pleasure. Surely finding a way for him to enjoy it would be preferable. If he loved it and it was the right fit then maybe it would be laziness... but it's clearly not the right fit for him.

01-22-2012, 08:29 PM
Yup. I was thinking months ago about how i was raised with a lot of guilt around my instrument, and sometimes i would lie about practicing, but I DID stick with it for many years, and WAS happy with where i got with it . . . and really, really miss it some times . . . .

01-24-2012, 09:58 AM
It could be that he doesn't want to work hard.... It could also be that he doesn't live in a bubble but can't communicate to you that he knows the set up is ridiculous and doesn't want to continue to participate in something that was clearly not thought out by the adults. My dd took dance and drama last semester with our homeschool group. She enjoyed it well enough but she doesn't like the 3 hour, late Monday night shows anymore then the rest of us do. She also said dance was repetitive, they never did anything different. She decided to do something different this semester. I wouldn't feel guilty, especially for the insane amount they are asking you to pay vs what your kid is actually getting out of the program which doesn't sound like much. You can't have a choir or band with only two students. Your plan is a good one, don't feel any guilt over it.

01-24-2012, 02:39 PM
Yeah, I was thinking today that it might be easier to get him to practice if he gets to play music he likes