It was finally the day that I had been looking forward to for a long time. It was when the Emerson Middle School Band came to play at Carpenter elementary school. Carpenter, a small school in the town of Park Ridge, Illinois was where I attended school. Ever since the 3rd grade I had wanted to join either the orchestra or the band. Originally it was orchestra. In 4th grade almost everyone I knew joined the orchestra. I really wanted to join, just to do what everyone else was doing and be with my friends, but it was my mother and my gut feeling that helped guide me to make one of the best decisions of my life.
Every year the Emerson Middle School band would go on a “tour of the grade schools” and visit each of the elementary schools to give the kids a preview of what band was like. After they had performed, we would meet with the band director who would give us an insight of what being in band was like and all of the great experiences that would come out of it. Later that night was when the fun-or tough- part began. Later that evening it was scheduled for everyone who wanted to join band to try out each instrument to know which one everyone would be playing for next year. I could not contain my excitement. I was thrilled to be able to play all of these different instruments to see which one I liked best. After a whole day of anxiously waiting, the time finally came.
“Let’s go, Let’s go, Let’s go!” I said to my mom, urging to leave as fast as we possibly could. The drive over to Carpenter Elementary felt like years. I feel that it always takes longer to drive somewhere then coming back from that same place. Anyway, back to the story. We had finally arrived at the school. We walked in. Instantly, we were greeted by the Band Director, Mr. Eric Bachman. He seemed just as excited as I was to be there that night. When I walked into the room where we were asked to go, I -for some reason- felt satisfied. The room was filled with many kids and their moms or dads, waiting to try each instrument. Instantly I got in line to try a trumpet. After that it was one after another. I moved from trumpet, to clarinet, to percussion, and trombone-just to name a few. It came down to two instruments. Percussion, and the trombone. The trombone was only in the mix because it was the only instrument that I could make a sound on. The other option was percussion because that was the instrument/instrument group that I had wanted to play for a long time. My mom tried to help me decide.
“You should do percussion, I think you’d be great at it.”
“Yeah,” I said, “I just don’t know.” Ultimately, it was Mr. Bachman who helped me decide. He felt that I sounded great when I tried out the trombone and that the trombone would be the instrument with me. So, that was the one I went with. I just want to cut out from the story for a minute and tell you that choosing the trombone was one of the best decisions of my life. I had a blast in middle school as doing band helped me meet so many new people and helped me make friends that I will remember for the rest of my life. Now, after I had selected my instrument, I would be starting lessons soon. Lessons were held in the dark, dusky basement of Carpenter Elementary School. Every week I would go down into that basement and learn how to play trombone. Every week I would be looking forward to these lessons. They would just be one-on-one with Mr. Bachman and I, and we would have a blast. Honestly, that is what made me transition into middle school a whole lot easier. I had already knew one of my teachers in Mr. Bachman and I had already made a ton of new friends by participating in Beginning Band, a band composed of the elementary schools that “fed” into Emerson Middle School.
Overall, choosing to be in the band in general changed my life dramatically and playing trombone instead of percussion made my experience a whole lot more enjoyable. I am still playing trombone to this day and have really enjoyed the experiences I have had in high school from marching band, to the trip to Washington D.C. And all of this was based on a single decision. Deciding to play trombone.