I was having a conversation with my 14-year-old son Joseph during our afternoon school pick-up
commute recently. He began 9th grade this year and has been having a few thoughts about his
interests and potential future career.
During his middle school years, he was a part of the band and played the alto saxophone. My
husband, who comes from a musical family and was a drummer, organist, and part of marching band
in high school, was ecstatic that his son had taken interest in an instrument. He was so excited about
Joey going to high school and joining the band, following in his footsteps.
I can’t say that I shared in his delight, though.
I know my son, and I knew he didn’t have a real interest in playing an instrument or being in the band.
Throughout his three years of middle school, I can count on one hand the times Joey brought his
saxophone home. Whenever he did, it usually just remained in the trunk of the car until it was time to
take it back to school for the next use. He never practiced outside of class, never made mention of it,
and barely enjoyed performing for band concerts. To him, it was all just for a grade.
Joey is amazingly gifted as a singer, songwriter, and arranger of melodies; as a musician, though he
has the ability, he lacks the passion. So, I would often say to Jeremy, “You know, Joey’s not really into
that sax, right?” He would respond with, “It’s in his blood. His granddaddy, daddy, and uncles all
played instruments; he’ll learn to love it just like we did.”
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