[blindkid] Negative Experiences in Middle School band

Gerardo Corripio gera1027 at gmail.com
Wed May 12 15:09:17 UTC 2010

Hi guys: Hoping my experiences will serve future generations, I'd like to 
share them with you. I've always wanted to be in the band; since I can 
remember I'd like drums and other instruments, thus my opportunity finally 
came when I started middle school. when working out my schedule the teacher 
was all for it and said I could learn by ear since I've been learning piano 
by ear for about three years beforehand. However things started going bad 
when school started and instead of the teacher who said he'd help me out, 
another new teacher joined the staff! I was very happy before this happened 
getting to the point of having private drum lessons during the summer before 
sixth grade but everything went downhill when the new teacher was assigned 
for the regular band class. All the year I managed to learn by ear and I 
originally was assigned the snear drum; in the end of year concert in sixth 
grade I was given the chance to play the snear drum along with the entire 
band the song Flintstones; that day I'll never forget!; I felt in the clouds 
being in the regular band even though my blindness. However in seventh grade 
when the whole band joined together (in sixth grade each instruments group 
were in separate classes) the problems really started! Firstly instead of 
keeping with the snear drum I was assigned to the xylophone! instrument I'd 
never played before or was taught how to play. also while the others were 
together practicing I was kept separate alone in another room trying to 
figure out the xylophone on my own! one day everybody forgot I was there and 
class ended leaving me alone! fortunately after a while of not hearing any 
sounds I managed to get to my next class OK but what a scare! Back to the 
subject I was given a Braille music book but nobody know how to teach me so 
I never got the grasp of it.
Afterwards things got worse because in seeing no cooperation in the regular 
band teacher I was switched to piano keyboarding class, art in which by then 
I was already an expert since I've been learning piano for about eight or 
nine years. things got even worse because I was bored in keyboarding and 
switched to journalism which I liked from the start and by publishing my own 
column in the school newspaper my self-esteem went up again. Hoping my 
experiences serve you all well I still have a frustration of never having 
the chance to achieve my passion of participating in the band; since it's 
never too late (I'm now 30 and working) I hope someday I'll have the chance 
I never got, especially out of school where the people are more willing to 
find alternative ways and not be stuck in traditional ways like in school.

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