Today we drove our oldest to the next county over so she could try out for Junior Clinic. If you don't know what that is, it is a chance to audition for a place in one of several bands made up of middle school kids all over the area. S was one of 78 kids to try out for percussion alone. I participated in Junior Clinic myself when I was her age. Let me just say that I felt like I wanted to throw up all over again as we walked in there. Auditions, interviews...they are all the same. Terrifying. The auditions were held in different classrooms in a junior high. There were lines of kids standing outside classrooms, gripping their instruments with white knuckles, pale with nerves. S had worked hard to learn the music, practicing on her drum pad in the car and at soccer practice. She really wanted to be as prepared as she possibly could. Three rooms and three auditions later, she was finished and famished. You see all kinds of people at these things. Kids with parents who have no clue about anything to do with music..."What are these 'dynamics' other people are talking about, son?"...insert teenage eyeroll here. Or there was the dad hulking over his daughter in the practice room, "You only have yourself to blame if you don't get it. I told you two hours of practice a day, Two hours." Insert terrified kid look here. S knew that we had nothing to do with her outcome and that her practice and determination and NERVES were going to determine her outcome. It was her first audition for anything. Ever. We got a call this afternoon saying that she had gotten an alternate spot. Sure, I was disappointed that she didn't get a band spot. But that was me. When I asked her band director how many auditioned and he told me 78 and she was number 24, I was even more proud. That was nothing to sneeze at. To go into a room, unable to speak due to blind audition rules and play to a judge behind a curtain...to have 30 seconds to review a piece of music to sightread and play? Alternate is just fine with me and shame on me and my expectations. I am proud of that girl and I'm grateful for her example to set me straight.
Lots of food for my thoughts. Night all.
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