My Flute Rant

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My Flute Rant

Post by notootsieno » Tue Jan 20, 2004 11:01 pm

Okay...I''m just going to let out all my frustrations here.
Don''t have to reply if you don''t want to. First of all, this enormous
weight has been on my shoulders ever since I got my new flute, which was the
summer before 7th grade. In the 6th grade, I never practiced and was always like
fourth or fifth chair, and I just didn''t care. But when I got the new flute,
I thought that I had to learn how to play it without the little circular pads in
the keys before school started. So I actually practiced all summer. I practiced
my scales, some stuff out of Yamaha Band Book II, and the Star Spangled Banner
that we were supposed to memorize. I actually landed first chair on our first
chairs test back to school. That was unbelievable. I had never made first chair
before! It was a great rush. And then all of a sudden, I hear that I''m first
chair for the Christmas concert! I actually beat the
Good-Flute-Girl-Who''s-Been-Playing-For-Seven-Years. And then afterwards I
find out that the Good-Flute-Girl-Who''s-Been-Playing-For-Seven-Years hates me
now. OK, so now basically I''m in desperate competition with this girl and
I''m sooooo afraid that she''ll beat me at tomorrow''s chairs test. If she
does, that means she''ll be first chair for when we go to contest. Which I
won''t be able to stand. And we have all-district coming up this weekend, and
I just HAVE to score higher than her. I''m obsessed with getting this certain
award at the end of the year. It''s for the person who has done the best out
of the entire band all year. Last year the
Good-Flute-Girl-Who''s-Been-Playing-For-Seven-Years got that award. So far I
have beaten her at all-county and the Christmas concert seating. So now all''s
left is contest seating and all-district. I don''t know why I am so obsessed
with getting this award. I guess there''s just something about that girl, that
makes me want to beat her so bad. (She''s not very friendly.) And also, she
was very cocky in the 6th grade because she was the only flute that wasn''t
just starting out. I''ve always hated cockiness. Well, in conclusion, I''m
very stressed out and I don''t like all this COMPETITION. I have this crazed
attitude about being the absolute best and I feel like I will die if I don''t
get the Outstanding Award. *Sigh* Here ends my rant.

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Post by uatinde » Tue Jan 20, 2004 11:08 pm

Okay.... first take a deep breath.... I know how you feel... but
you will defeat yourself if you allow this to consume you in this way.... do
this for you not to beat her... Good Luck... Please know that I do understand
and have been there... you just have to decide to play for you and be proud of
you no matter what... In His Grip,

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Post by fluteluversmom » Tue Jan 20, 2004 11:54 pm

Hi~ I just wanted to wish you luck tomorrow. I am the mom of a 1st
chair flute player also. She is also in a competitive band and she takes it very
seriously too. I will tell you what I tell her.... what is important is for her
to be the best she can be for herself. Yes, chair positions are pretty important
to some kids in band but if you become to obsessed with that you can lose the
joy in playing that you started with. It sounds like you are doing very well
with your playing and you have accomplished a lot. I hope you do well on your
chair test. Just relax and concetrate on doing the best you can and enjoying
yourself. Kim
days you catch the bus and other days it runs over you.

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Post by AG950Flute » Wed Jan 21, 2004 12:59 am

Notootsieno, My sophomore year of high school I transferred
schools. I had auditioned for the band at the end of my freshman year and the
band director gave me lots of compliments and said she was really looking
forward to me being in the program the following year. The first day of band my
sophomore year I decided to just sit back and take it all in. (The school I had
come from previously I had been first chair in junior high and like 3rd chair my
freshman year.) However, at this high school, I didn't know any of the other
flute players and the last thing I wanted to do was go and sit in the front row
like I was all that. Well, I'm sitting in the second row last chair and the
band director comes to me and says, "you're first chair..." Well, this did not
make "Mr. I'm-a-year-older-than-you-and-I've been-first-chair-for-2-years"
very happy. However, after a few days and comments from new friends it was
obvious that I was better than him. (Hate to sound egotistical.) Anyway, it was
like war was on. We wound up having odd "music check-ups" in November and
December. Well, to make a long story short me and this guy wound up having ours
2 months apart. After winter break, I got really sick with mono and wound up not
getting into all-county band and he did. And the Monday after auditions
(auditions for all county were on a Friday afternoon) I go into band set my
things down on my chair and go over to say hi to some of my friends in the other
sections. I look over about 30 seconds later and see "Mr.
I'm-a-year-older-than-you..." moving my stuff from first chair to second chair.
I go over (and hating confrontation) sit down in my "new" seat. I was a little
surprised and so were many of my friends. I later went up to my band director
and asked what happened, and she said to me, "Oh, you made one more mistake than
him on your music check-up." I being upset asked, "Well, what about sound, tone,
and musicality?!?" Apparently to her, those didn't count for much. I tried
challenging him, but it turned out the challenge was unfair. I was playing
piccolo on a piece and he had the flute part which was equally as hard but
different than the piccolo part. My band director felt as though I should learn
the flute part in one night and come back the next day and challenge him again.
I said, "phooey..." The point of this story is unfortunately this kind of stuff
goes on all the time. And it's really unfortunate and somewhat disheartening. I
say keep working hard, and hopefully your situation will work out to be more
fair and just. And unfortunately sometimes your competition will hate you
because of something petty like being better than her and showing a huge amount
of improvement in a short period of time. And I'm sorry you have to deal with
it, it's hard when someone hates you when in reality you guys love the same
thing! I hope things work out well. Keep your chin up high and be the mature one
in this situation! And if things don't work out to your advantage, don't hate
her in return. Instead shock her by congratulating her and then handle the loss
graciously. As a matter of fact, if you win, handle the win graciously as well,
no need to flaunt it to others, people will already know [:)] Best of luck in

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Post by FluteDiddy » Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:07 am

Hey notoonsenso I may have missed something but which one of you is
the cocki one? Maybe you should see yourself as she sees you and talk to her.
You may become friends since you both feel the same way and both seem desperate
to be first chair. At some point it departs from a competitive desire to be the
best you can be and becomes an obsession to be ahead of someone else because you
dont like them. Courtney honey my duet partner of the future, I know a few Band
directors whose motto is no one in the audience hears one good flute players
superior tone or musicality but they do hear one blown note. So they seat based
upon the least mistakes more than any other thing.
F-Diddy the Man with the Purple flute

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Post by krichards » Wed Jan 21, 2004 12:52 pm

I've been reading this post and many others like it about the
intense competition for making various levels of bands and making first chair in
whatever band you are in. It has been years since high school for me and perhaps
things have changed since then. We did not have
all-county/all-district/all-state/all-country competitions. Then again, I'm
Canadian...I don't think this sort of thing exists in our system even today
(could be wrong though). Some degree of competition is healthy and certainly
existed when I was in high school, but in reading some of your posts, I feel
sorry for all the young players out there who are being put under such intense
pressure at such an early age. My experience was that you played in your high
school band. There were never formal auditions for first chair - the teacher
selected the best student and it generally went over well with others since it
was usually obvious who was the best player. Beyond playing in that band, those
interested took private lessons and challenged themselves with increasingly
difficult exams at the Royal Conservatory of Music (nation-wide organization).
Some also auditioned for community youth orchestras, but there weren’t too many
of those - only in the larger cities and still only a few. For me, the real
competition was with make sure that I was the best that I could be
(and secretly, maintain my first chair and be the best in my school of course!!)
and to progress as far as I could as quickly as I could through the grades at
the conservatory. I'm posting this not to say that one system is superior to
the other...I'm just noting that there seem to be differences. Anyone from
other countries out there? What is/was your experience in high school? Is/was it
nearly as competitive as the American system seems to be? Within the US, does it
vary by state? I’m very curious!

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Post by fluteluversmom » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:26 pm

From what I can tell it varies from school district to school
district here in the U.S. Basically the competition will exist if the band
director or parents allow or encourage it. I can say that my daughter doesn't
put anymore stress on herself with her flute playing than she does with any of
her classes in school. She gets along with all of the other flute players in her
band. Yes, she does as you mentioned "secretly" work very hard on keeping her
chair in band. I have in fact discussed the chair thing with my daughter and
pointed out that this competition doesn't appear to take place in Math, English
in any other school subject. But then they don't sit you in "chair" postions in
those classes. Kim
days you catch the bus and other days it runs over you.

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Post by flute_loop » Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:05 pm

*peaks around corner are you talking about me?? i got scared b/c
you totally just described the situation i was in back when i was in middle
school! i moved in 6th grade from NY to NC and i had already been taking one
week for an hour 'lessons' since fourth grade at my elementary school. the
reaction i got when i walked into 6th grade band on the first day of my new
school and found out no one knew how to hold their instruments, let alone play
one---is something i'll never forget!...i had been playing for almost 2 years!
it made it doubly hard to try to fit in and make friends....maybe your
annoying-flute-girl-whatever feels the same way?? maybe not....either way (this
has probably already been stated more ways and more times than one, but hey, add
mine to the pile) if all you want to come away w/ from this year in band is this
'award' that you mentioned and to go to a contest being the first chair adn
get beat this poor girl that probably already feels like an outcast enough, than
sadly i think you've missed the point of music and band in general hmmmm that
sounds a bit harsh, then again i don't really care. [:sun:] love yall,

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Post by tubbycub » Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:42 pm

[quote] ---------------- On 1/21/2004 12:52:34 PM Anyone from other
countries out there? What is/was your experience in high school? Is/was it
nearly as competitive as the American system seems to be? Within the US, does it
vary by state? I’m very curious! ---------------- [/quote] This
situation doesn't only happen in America, it happens everwhere including
Singapore where I came from and other Asian and European countries I've
visited. Also, it applies to all musical instruments in a band. Every now and
then, I hear people from different sections complaining about the new player
(who was given the first chair) being a jerk and such. I confess that I do the
same whenever the situation arises even though I am the first chair in the sax
section. I tend to feel threatened when someone new joins in and is known to be
a great player. I know this is definitely lacking of professionalism but perhaps
this is just human nature..... [:blackeye:]

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Post by ick27 » Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:56 pm

Hey, your story reminds me a lot of my 9th and 10th grade in band.
In 10th grade, I was first chair in the concert band in the fall semester, to
the consternation of a Good-Flute-Girl who had always been first chair in the
past and took lessons with the local flute wiz, etc. Well, she was really mad
about this and hated me for it! Spring semester we re-auditioned and she became
first chair. Also, from being together in band, we got to know each other a
little better and we were actually pretty similar people. We started dating that
spring and it was one of the best relationships I've had! So the moral of the
story is, don't worry about audition and competion results. You are still the
same person after a competition, and most competitions and auditions aren't
really fair (they can't be). There's a lot of chance involved, so you
shouldn't take them too seriously. Any professional player will tell you how
they were repeatedly rejected from auditions and competions during their
career.. You should focus on the flute itself--how you enjoy playing flute and
how you want to improve your playing. It's actually been shown that people who
love the instrument and want to play very well improve faster from less practice
than people who want to win everything and "beat" other people. So enjoy the
flute and do your personal best! Things will work out fine, don't take things
too hard! -Bradford

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Post by Carpii » Thu Jan 22, 2004 8:49 pm

Relax.. theres really more important things in life to worry about.
A bit of healthy competition is nothing to be afraid of, you already beat her
once, and im sure if she hates you, she also secretly respects you for that.

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Post by Kimbralwyn » Tue Mar 30, 2004 10:22 pm

Okay, first of all, I totaly understand how you feel, and the most
important thing to do is relax. I hope your test went well, but if not, you
might be able to challenge the person. Seccondly, if the person was genuinley
better (and I know it's hard to admit) don't be rude to them. I'm in a
situation similar to the one I just described. Not only is that rude, but it
creates a lot of bad feelings within in the band. As to the person who said it
was unfair that her band director made her learn the flute part in one night,
I'm sorry I don't remeber you name, and please don't take offense to this,
but grow up! You should know that in any sympnony, the players get 2 hours of
practice together before a performance. If you really are good enough to take
first chair, then you'd better know how to practice stuff correctly. Anyways,
there's my two cents, Kim
anyone knows of an alto and/or bass flute for under $2,000 please e-mail me at no artleys please.

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Post by powayflute01 » Tue Mar 30, 2004 11:15 pm

Haha, I can relate to Courtney's story...this stuff DOES go on all
the time. I distinctly remember in the sixth grade that I was third chair and
KNEW that I was better than the second chair. So I went to challenge her, and a
TA (an eigth grade french horn player) was to be the judge. Since he was friends
with the second chair's brother and had a crush on her. Guess who won the
challenge...regardless of the fact I played better. I'm in high school and
stupid stuff like that still happens. As my flute teacher likes to say, "Schools
only reward players for their fingers and nothing else" which is pretty true.
All of the clinicians that have come through my high school (5 in the last 4
years) have told me I have an excellent tone but I am not as adroit in the
fingers as a few other players and as a result, I am not first chair.
Haha, this one is my favorite: :shock:
[size=75]I <3 LXA[/size]

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Post by Cleartone » Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:07 pm

I too, belonged to this club of chairs. Much like Courtney's
story, in my first year of high school my band director asked me to first chair.
this was based off on entirely his witnessing my jazz flute solos. so there I
was the only boy flautist sitting first chair with about 15 women. some of them
had the "what is a boy barging in on our ladies club" attitude. A couple of them
had crushes on me. a few others knew I deserved to be first chair. Any way. One
day the band director conducted a surprise challenge based on a moderately
difficult passage from a piece the band was doing. When he got to me he smiled
because he thought I was going to ace it. I screwed it up entirely!! I went to
last chair. so, what did I do? I challenged each and every lady one by one. some
of them just capitulated not wanting to participate in the competition side of
things. I got to the first chair lady and she begged me not to challenge her and
said if I did she would just let me have it. The reason was there was one
piccolo player sitting at the front end of the flute section. The first chair
girl was best friends with the piccolo player. So what did I do?? I left her
alone. what a nice guy huh? I let her sit first chair for four years. So
Courtney my story is kind of the opposite of yours. But I don't think I would
have been so worried about getting beat, I would have welcomed it actually. But
the boy thing with the flute is something I have always managed to get picked on
about. It's not football that is for sure. Which brings me to you F-Diddy. You
seem to be a little frustrated. Don't you think the purple flute thang has
played it's course. We live in a culture where competition is a valued tool. It
can be used succesfully. In chair challenges with this topic, the mentioned band
director has succesfully made two better flutists. This can only make his band
better. he probably doesn't care which flutist is first or second only that
since they are in competition they will practice more. with my story I thought I
was so good I didn't need to practice and see what happened to me. Well I have
to go. Rehearsal times are coming up. I have more on this subject and will be
back with more. Take Care

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Post by sakuramimato » Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:31 pm

[quote] ---------------- On 4/1/2004 4:07:13 PM The reason was
there was one piccolo player sitting at the front end of the flute section. The
first chair girl was best friends with the piccolo player. So what did I do?? I
left her alone. what a nice guy huh? I let her sit first chair for four years.
---------------- [/quote]I only wish that I could at least sit second chair just
to sit next to the first chair flutist. She and I have been friends ever since
we started out playing the flute. Unfortunately, I happened to be cocky at times
and overestimated my skills at flute-playing, landing third chair. The second
chair flutist my friend and I never liked because she acts as a wall between us,
and our friendship has hindered ever since chair placement auditions late last
autumn (we only pass by during competition and long band events as if we
haven't seen each other in a long time when we see each other in band class
every day). I guess I would be part of Cleartone's scenario, though with the
piccolo and 1st chair friends situation. Although I was cocky at times, I did
happen to risk second chair because of my fear of playing before others. The
first chair has often suggested that I challenge second or ask if I could move
up, but I decided to wait until the next school year to see if I improve in any
way. I know, this doesn't relate to the topic in any way. : But this goes to
the loss of a friendship due to the competition in band. Isn't it strange that
band members in the same band compete together against other bands and yet
compete among themselves?

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