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re: My boy wants to play the flute
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 04, 2010 11:09 PM
Honestly, my middle school band was FULL of a hierarchy of strict stereotypes to each instrument and a bunch of teasing brats. I was definitely one of them. I played the flute and put down anyone who played any other instrument (you don't even want to know what I said about the percussionists!). There was one guy in our flute section of around, I don't know, ten people - one of the biggest sections. No one EVER teased him. For some reason he was just totally accepted. He was a pretty quiet kid, shy, he didn't bother anyone, and he just kind of blended right in. No one paid him any mind. The section was "all of the girls plus Scott."

So that can happen too.

That's the best way to go about doing it. Okay, so he's playing the flute? He's playing the flute. Treat like it's no big thing. A kid who gets teased a lot gives off a certain vibe. Confidence pretty much puts an end to it. If he goes in there like he's been playing flute forever and what of it, no one's going to care. That goes for you as mom as well!
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By poptart22
On Tue May 04, 2010 11:39 PM
Heart is exactly right.

canonicalbandjokes.webs.com

Note how all these jokes/put downs are arranged by instrument?

Ps. All teasing (at least in my band) is good natured. Most people actually play two instruments and will tease people based on whatever they happen to be holding right then.
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 05, 2010 12:42 AM
It's weird that the majority of opinions here seem to be either "you shouldn't worry about it at all" or "your son might be transgendered". Both kinda extreme, no?
re: My boy wants to play the flute (karma: 3)
By Celebrianmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 05, 2010 09:08 AM
Edited by Celebrian (127245) on 2010-05-05 09:08:44 finish the sentence
Edited by Celebrian (127245) on 2010-05-05 09:12:53 not exactly accurate, right?
OP is her son's mother. She's going to see everything that happens to him and feel it, too. I think it's easier for strangers to look at this situation and say 'oh, it's no big deal, kids just get teased'. But when it's your kid getting teased it hurts just as much to you as it does to them. I think the OP's initial response to her son was perfectly natural as a mom in the moment. And to her credit she let him play the instrument, anyway.

I must say, after she'd already posted that she decided to let him play, she still got a few people posting at her with 'OMG, let him play the flute!' I have to give her the Good Sport of the Year Award for not going off on anyone over that one right there.

OP, you rock as a mom, I bet. And you have the patience of a saint with your fellow DDNers.
re: My boy wants to play the flute (karma: 1)
By LoriCook
On Wed May 05, 2010 10:46 PM
Celebrian, you are so right. A mother would do anything to prevent their child from hurting. The bottom line is I want middle school to be fun for him and not the oppressive, horrible experience it is for so many other kids. I am realizing he is going to be teased because he IS different. We've been talking about being yourself regardless of what other people say and not letting people hurt your soul. He is thoughtful, kind and hilarious. I wouldn't want to mold him into a macho, sullen jock even if I could.
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 06, 2010 12:15 AM
OP, you rock as a mom, I bet. And you have the patience of a saint with your fellow DDNers.
Hear, hear!
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By CenterMicSilver
On Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:44 AM
Edited by CenterMicSilver (223834) on 2010-06-19 11:25:35
The new flute player needs a few lessons from a good teacher, in particular, to know the basics of how the high, medium and low tones are produced (low notes have air stream directed a little more down into the tube, highest notes more across, with the airstream more compressed perhaps). The flute IS NOT difficult to learn once a few basic lessons are understood so the student knows what and how to practice. At the start, the lowest and highest notes will be the most difficult to hit clearly, which is an issue of air stream control and mouth "embouchure" control, which is EASY to develop once you know what you need to do to practice. The notes on a flute are easy to understand, being basically up and down the tube. The talent once develops on a flute is based on the control of the air stream in a myriad of ways, to create a wide range of expressive qualities.

As for the flute being a girls instrument, it's just an instrument that clearly reflects who plays it. Most certainly it gets a bad reputation by the hordes of quite lifeless females lost in the world of classical music, playing endless runs of technical music with no spirit. The flute is ALL ABOUT spirit, it's not a drum or a whistle.

Absolutely, get your hands on some flute training music of the highest calibre, in a wide variety of styles. I've seen Jethro Tull and Herbie Mann mentioned. GOOD START!!!! , but keep on going. Herbie Mann's album "London Underground" is required. Tull has many flute parts obviously, cast around the music, rather than presenting "flute songs". Dig around for some good classical, Renaissance, folk, Celtic, world music, new age, etc., by tapping into samples on Allmusic.com and Amazon.com to find your way. There are literally hundreds of great flute players on MySpace.com, where you can communicate with the artists as well.

As for the gay thing, listen, school is a neglected zoo established by the industrial age to prepare robots to work in factories. If your kid doesn't fit in smoothly, be grateful. I wouldn't want to fit in there, never did, and I've never been gay and always been healthy, strong, male, leadership material and well balanced. From what I've read, I highly doubt your kid is gay. Lots of young little brat males in schools are beligerant pricks and bullies abound as kids vent stresses they get at home. The liberated ones treat that like water off a ducks back and develop some independence and composure. The flute is an instrument that demands and rewards self-expression. I hope it is taken up long term, and becomes one more tool in the spiritual warrior's tool box to move on and up in life, with every note played.

I highly recommend exercises to open up the lungs (rib cage and diaphragm muscles), such as running sprints, yoga, lots of stretching, and if at first the mouth gets tired our quickly with all the work, that fades and after a couple weeks you should find that the embouchure creates a much sharper air stream which you can control for power and focus. Practice that at least an hour solid each day at first, then maybe at least two hours daily afterwards, and the notes high and low will be far easier to master, and tone control will follow right along. Above all, you need to totally minimize "airiness" in your notes. You should hear the note only, not loose air that is hissing by not making the note. There are plenty of recordings and live occasional sax/flute players who don't demand of themselves that that "airiness" is stopped, but it makes a huge difference in your tone, control and sense of accomplishment. Clear, refined tone will create an impression you're dedicated and other QUALITY musicians will seek you out to join them. Stay away from sloppy musicians at all costs, they are spiritual dead weight.

One more thing: From what I know and experienced of the school system, the program will likely run flute players through focusing almost all your attention on the notes (the songs). Learning the notes so you can play them is of course standard brain work. HOWEVER, the inside FACT of a flute players life is that 99% of quality flute playing, and where you should put your focus and work, isn't in the ability to find a note, it's in the control of a wide variety of tones (tonal color, volume range, transitions, etc), which again, is in the development of a strong and agile embouchure and control of air stream, for the "feel" of the notes and in excellent musical phrasing. Phrasing is where the notes start to sing instead of just being played in sequence. Nobody sings Happy Birthday by working through the syllables, they're hyped about the spirit of the song and sing it in phrases. So when practicing music, get past "note" thinking and be looking for ways to let the phrases sing out clearly. You won't be able to let the flute sing out a song if you're still unsure of any notes. Demand of yourself that you'll practice through the notes quickly, so you can work on the higher plateau of MUSIC projection, the spirit of the music. Don't wait for anyone to inspire you to do that! It works like magic, it's what real music is. Practice Happy Birthday that way. First, for the notes and basic tone, then for the clarity of tone and maximum spiritual expressiveness. Every other work goes through the same process; get the basics learned so you can run through it without any sheet music or wrong notes, then practice the phrasing and tonal/expressive possibilities, then thirdly, arrive at the fully realized performance where, whether it's Happy Birthday or Beethoven's 9th transcribed for flute, you've got all the wild horses working for you and perform to transfer the musical/spiritual message of that music! That is the power and purpose of the musical experience. Live it up!

Good luck, work hard, be yourself, the rest are imposters.
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:57 PM
oh em gee.
From what I've read, I highly doubt your kid is gay.
Two things... 1) She wasn't asking for your opinion in this regard. 2) If you believe you can tell whether her son is gay from this thread, you are on crack. Which doesn't seem unlikely considering your rather insane post.
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By CenterMicSilver
On Sat Jun 19, 2010 01:07 PM
panic wrote:

oh em gee.
From what I've read, I highly doubt your kid is gay.
Two things... 1) She wasn't asking for your opinion in this regard. 2) If you believe you can tell whether her son is gay from this thread, you are on crack. Which doesn't seem unlikely considering your rather insane post.


Don't strain yourself. I'll direct you of my comment to her son, to "be yourself, the rest are impostors".
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Jun 19, 2010 01:15 PM
Sorry, I didn't realize English wasn't your first language.
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By SOADftwmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jul 02, 2010 02:35 PM
Edited by SOADftw (184382) on 2010-07-02 14:57:45 decided to actually read some replies...
Ok. Here's just a little story.

I went to a high school with 3,000 kids and music was required for freshman and sophomore year and optional for junior and senior. There were three different choirs, three different orchestras, and three different bands - freshman, symphony, and concert. Concert band was the "honor" band and there were a limited number of seats and basically you had to be the best on your instrument to be in concert band. We had one boy who played the flute who was extremely talented and got into concert band his sophomore year. He was also very little - he didn't hit puberty while I was in school with him. Anyway, there were plenty of reasons for him to get made fun of - that he was little, that he had a high voice, that he dressed kind of geeky, that he played the flute, but you know what? He didn't get made fun of. At least not by the music kids. His talent made him very popular and well-known.

The flute is a beautiful instrument no matter what gender the person playing it happens to be. I'm glad that you decided to allow your kid to play it.
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By dans_e
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:54 PM
Edited by dans_e (184885) on 2010-07-04 12:55:23
Edited by dans_e (184885) on 2010-07-04 12:56:18
Edited by dans_e (184885) on 2010-07-04 12:59:55
Interesting thread.
I never thought much of instruments being gender specific.
My cousin is a first-flautist/soloist with a national orchestra-his wife is one of their best strings. I danced in the same national ballet company so we were all employed together, kind of interesting.
It was never an issue that he is a male and most of the winds were male. Great pay as well lol. But no, great status I mean for this position and talent.
Hmm. Learnt something new. I wonder if this is a regional thing. I mean, I have never heard flutes were *not* for males.

Also anyone heard of Zamfir, my childhood music hero? Not the same flute :) but to have a will to learn music is a wonderful thing! I am a bit confused and obviously not linked to the current pop culture I guess. But that said, I think sometimes any path one chooses in life there will always be those to say "nay". (To them I say ni but you have to know monty python for that one).

Either way, interesting thread and OP hope it all works out :)
PS: I am a parent and can imagine how difficult it is to let your child follow their heart but knowing it can be a difficult path.
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By Emi89member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 08:05 PM
Edited by Emi89 (190592) on 2010-07-04 20:09:12 have a "loon" on youtube? a look would be better, no?
Edited by Emi89 (190592) on 2010-07-04 20:10:15 fegular? regular? whichever you fancy ..typos are my forte
someone sorta already beat me to the punch, but i wanted to add... have a look on youtube... there are a lot of "cool" guy flautists
either to inspire him, or for him to answer back to anyone who gives him flack with .. or both! haha flute doesnt have to be all about "band classics" .. "cool" things like the following can be done with a flute too.... (he may even get cool points from his peers and teachers if he suggests working towards something like these to change the opinion of "band kids" and band in general)

Greg Patillo

www.youtube.com . . .
www.youtube.com . . .
www.youtube.com . . .
www.youtube.com . . .
www.youtube.com . . .


even with more well known classic pieces ....
www.youtube.com . . .
www.youtube.com . . .
www.youtube.com . . .

www.youtube.com . . . << now that would certainly change the tune of some kids at school in place of the regular stars and stripes

a little 101 for beatbox flute from greg:
www.youtube.com . . .

he even does private lessons which could be a great treat for your son if hes interested and you're near or visiting NYC

www.pattillostyle.com
re: My boy wants to play the flute (karma: 1)
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 04, 2010 08:43 PM
or for him to answer back to anyone who gives him flack with
Seriously? And how would that conversation go? I really wonder if some of you attended Middle School at all.
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By CenterMicSilver
On Mon Jul 05, 2010 02:04 AM
Here's James Galwey giving a series of instruction:
www.youtube.com . . .

Flight of the Tax Collector:
www.youtube.com . . .

Bill McBirnie demonstrating the harmonic roll:
www.youtube.com . . .

Ian Anderson demonstrating the rock and roll:
www.youtube.com . . .

Nina Perlove demonstrating double-tongueing for fast notes:
www.youtube.com . . .
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By Emi89member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jul 05, 2010 02:47 PM
i meant in terms of performances not argument at the time ;)

also, as im from the uk i didnt attend middle school.... and from what i've heard american schools seem to be a lot more harsh than those over here....
re: My boy wants to play the flute
By emmaleex99
On Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:46 PM
I play flute, and my private instructor in high school was male. He started playing when stereotypes and ideas of masculinity were a lot more rigid and when society in general was a lot less forgiving of deviations from the norm. He was the only male flautist in his school. And you know what else? He turned out juuuust fine.

If you make a big deal of it to your son, he'll get weird about it, and in middle school, that's like swimming in a shark tank with a big bloody cut. It's really not something you want to do.

I think the biggest thing might be other kids' parents making comments to YOU, honestly... band parents can be some of the most gossipy people!
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