Taylor was in the 6th grade this year, his first year in junior high. He chose to take orchestra at the beginning of the year and the instrument he wanted to play was the violin. He has had it all year and it started out great but then became just another chore for him. He loves playing it at school or at a concert but hates to practice. It got old fast with the constant harassing for him to practice, he getting bad grades in the class because he would forget to turn in his time sheet, and then of course the time was going from 10-15 minutes to 25-30. He would practice for maybe 5 minutes and ask if he was done!
In the middle of the year, we sat him down and discussed that it would probably be best for him not to take orchestra again the following year since all he wants to do after finishing his homework is play video games or go outside. He agreed and when it came time for selecting his electives for next year we went with Spanish and Wood Shop. Done deal I thought.
Well here we are getting closer to the end of the year and the orchestra teacher is talking up the idea of signing up for another year to the students. She asked Taylor if he enjoyed playing and of course he says yes and I am sure something along the lines of but my parents said no which is fine by me, I will be the bad guy if we don't have to do this for another year.
Last night I get home and Taylor was practicing the violin which was odd. He jumped up and and informed me he had been practicing and was almost done. I said that was great and asked if he had any other homework which he claimed no. When I went into the kitchen, I see his time card out and a sheet for me to fill out for him to continue with orchestra next year! I call him in there and remind him he is not taking it again next year because he never wanted to practice. He starts to cry!
I told him I was surprised that he was behaving this way when he himself acted like a huge weight had been lifted when we first informed him he didn't have to practice any more. If you don't want to do it, then don't and no more orchestra. I wrote on the paper that Taylor would not be taking the class again and I signed it and he did as well.
Later at dinner the subject came up and again and Taylor began to cry. Bryan responded the same way - we already went through this Buddy and you don't ever want to practice so we aren't doing it next year. It finally dawns on me and I lean over and say Taylor, did the teacher talk to you about this today and talking it up? He said yes which of course makes sense because she wants as many kids as possible in her elective. I told Taylor not to get so upset about it and he will have just as much fun if not more next year with his new electives.
I wrote an an email to the teacher this morning and asked her to stop encouraging Taylor because he wasn't going to take orchestra so basically, in not these same words, let it be. She responded shrotly after saying she had talked to Taylor yesterday and it seemed he really wanted to continue but she understood and left instructions on how to return the violin. Man I will be happy when this year is over!
UPDATE: On my way home, I get a call from Ms. Allen who is like a counselor there at the school and she wanted to touch base with me because she saw for Taylor's electives next year, orchestra was on there and she thought she remembered having a conversation with me about Taylor NOT taking it. I told her that yes, he was not to be taking orchestra again and how I didn't know how that had happened when I personally had filled out the form with Spanish and Shop class. She said she would get it corrected but man, Orchestra is like the bug you try to kill that will not die! The teacher emailed me again this morning about how she respected my wishes but then goes on about him continuing with it. She only knows Taylor at school who SAYS he will practice but the Taylor I have at home, he only wants to be one with the Playstation. If I hear one more thing about orchestra and next year, I may just scream.