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#548911 - 08/15/05 11:25 PM Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
SinspawnAmmes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 147
Loc: Houston, TX
I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this, but I will try anyway.

I'm in a rut, and really unsure of what to do. I love the piano and want to keep playing, and I, for lack of a better term, suck bawls (pardon my french). I'm never had a single lesson in my 9 months of playing, and what I play even sounds bad to myself! However, I can't get a teacher, and let me explain why.

1) I have no way of raising the money necessary for lessons. The allowance I get from my parents weekly is not even close to what is necessary to fund consistent lessons (pretty much a fact universal to all teenagers, not just me).

2) My dad both dislikes the piano, and doesn't want to pay for lessons. I'm not sure if we can afford it or not, but as far as I know, he's not enthusiastic, and he wants me to take defensive martial arts classes anyway. No money coming from him.

3) I am a high school senior, so my schedule is extremely busy. Hence, getting a job would not only be an extreme hassle, but a threat to my grades and extracurricular participation. In addition...

4) I am one of those advanced student who skipped grades, and as a result, I am 15 as a senior. Here's the problem. In my state, I can neither drive (the license age is 16), or get a job (the job age is 16 as well, 15 if you can get a hardship licence). So, even if I got the hardship licence (not going to happen, because my family's income is far above the level needed to qualify), I won't be able to drive myself there, and the distances are huge in Texas (Houston in particular). And worse, even if I COULD get a job, drive myself there, and make money, I wouldn't have time to juggle both that, piano lessons, the martial arts classes my dad is forcing me to take, and my schoolwork and extracurricular activities. I wouldn't sleep.

I am desperate. Every time I sit at a piano, I wallow at how horrible my technique is, and I know I can't achieve my potential without guidance. However, even when I find a willing teacher, there are so many obstacles in the way that it is nearby impossible to get anything started. You couldn't imagine how depressed this has made me.

Do you have any courses of action, advice, etc? I don't want pity or condolences, but some sort of lead I can take that will help me actually start some instruction of any kind in piano.
_________________________
Demi me, please!

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#548912 - 08/16/05 01:37 AM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
bach enthusiast Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 847
Loc: Tucson Arizona
I don't like your fathers attitude. He sounds like one of those guys who starts a brawl at a little league game over a strike that should have been a ball. He would be my primary concern, time and money will come soon.

take it from me, there is nothing, nothing, nothing, worse in life than looking back and saying, "damn I should have..........."
take charge of your life. I once had a guy tell me in a bar one time that "if you do what you love, and do it well, the money will come." He was a drunk idiot. A rich one, and what he said is so true. Life is funny that way sometimes you hear things from people you don't even know and remember it forever. anyway, I don't know if music is a carrer choice or just a passion for you, but either way do what you love. Don't let closeminded people ruin what you want to do, even if it's your parents. It is my theory that If people really want to do something, they always find a way to do it, no matter what the odds. Think about that.

you don't get a second chance in life. Make it count.

good luck
_________________________
JOHN

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#548913 - 08/16/05 02:12 AM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
SinspawnAmmes,

I am sorry to hear of your current struggles.

Do you have a piano at your disposal? If you do, you may be able to get some teaching videos that will tide you over until you can (and you will) have lessons.

In addition to videos there are several good books you should read. I will compile a list as soon as I get a few minutes and perhaps others here will chime in with recommendations.

You wrote:

"2) My dad both dislikes the piano, and doesn't want to pay for lessons. I'm not sure if we can afford it or not, but as far as I know, he's not enthusiastic, and he wants me to take defensive martial arts classes anyway. No money coming from him."

I'm afraid I have lots of questions:
How does your mother feel about your taking piano lessons? (Pardon me if that question is inappropriate since I do not know your situation.)

Does the fact that your father doesn't want to pay for lessons necessarily lead to the conclusion that he won't?

Have you asked him if you can afford it?

Is there a relative (an aunt or uncle) who can help you persuade him?

I'm not sure how his desire for you to take martial arts classes would impair your ability to take lessons. Are they mutually exclusive? Or is it a money issue?

Do you have a good relationship with your father or is there lots of friction? Will it be a major struggle to convince him that lessons would be a good thing?

Is it possible to get someone (a music teacher from school maybe) to write your father some letters explaining the many benefits of piano lessons? You know I've always thought there was a correlation between piano playing and the martial arts. They are both disciplines that help us work on and further ourselves.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like to discuss further, I'd be happy to help.

Will get back to this thread shortly with some video and book recommendations.
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#548914 - 08/16/05 02:23 AM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
dvdiva Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 249
Loc: Manila
Perhaps there's someone at your school who would be willing to give you some music lessons after class? A music teacher, someone in the band, or the choir master maybe? You could explain your family & financial predicaments to them and let them know of your desire to learn music.

And I wholeheartedly agree to the suggestion regarding books and videos, although you probably won't have money to buy them, so you should try checking your school library or local library to see what's available. \:\)

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#548915 - 08/16/05 03:19 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
Boxer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 210
Loc: Chicago
 Quote:
Originally posted by SinspawnAmmes:
Hence, getting a job would not only be an extreme hassle, but a threat to my grades and extracurricular participation. [/b]
Well, duh! Time learn about prioritization. Do you want to learn to play the piano? Obviously you will need to figure out which of your other extracurricular activities to cut out. A hassle? Again, life isn't easy, although it sounds like your life may have been so far. Which is fine. But at 15/HS Senior, you're going to have to start making decisions that will by definition exclude other opportunities and entail sacrifice (college to attend, major to choose, instrument to play, job to take, etc.).

I sympathize with your plight regarding your Dad, but where there's a will, there's a way. Sounds like BS that he's 'forcing' you to take martial arts lessons, but have you really just told him you don't want to do it? Find a solution. My guess is that as long as your grades don't suffer, he won't mind you doing what you must to get your lessons. But make your preferences (and reasons) clear and known.

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#548916 - 08/16/05 04:29 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Well, this situation seems insoluble, but
here are some thoughts on it anyway:

1. I remember you mentioned in another post
that you can play one of the Beethoven sonatas
after only a few months of teaching yourself--
that's darned good, and you must be better
than you realize.

2. When you enter college you might be
able to take piano performance courses in
the music school, and possibly minor or
double major in piano performance.

3. You might try to use some psychology on
your dad. Some people seem to like to prevent
people from doing the things they like to do,
thus not letting you take piano lessons. So
start to "like" martial arts and start talking
about going into Ultimate Fighting. Then
he might stop you from taking martial arts
and force you to take piano lessons.

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#548917 - 08/16/05 04:29 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
virtuoso_735 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 996
Loc: California
You're senior, so you are probably going to college next year?

If you are, you could probaby get cheap piano lessons form the piano students. I heard that a good and cheap alternative to a full time teacher which will charge much more.
_________________________
"If music be the food of love, play on." -William Shakespeare

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#548918 - 08/16/05 04:36 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
Contrapunctus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 808
Loc: Whittier, California
 Quote:
Originally posted by bach enthusiast:
It is my theory that If people really want to do something, they always find a way to do it, no matter what the odds. Think about that.

you don't get a second chance in life. Make it count.

good luck [/b]
I like that. I hope it's true! It's what I always think.
_________________________
I don't know what the meaning of life is- I'm too busy to figure it out.

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#548919 - 08/16/05 05:12 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
Steve Chandler Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2625
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
This situation doesn't look to me as difficult as you think. I say that as a second degree black belt in Taekwondo. Your father wants you to take a martial art, you want to take piano lessons. As someone who does both I say why not do both? Tell your father you'll take martial arts if 1) you get to pick the school and 2) he also funds piano lessons. The martial arts classes will cost about the same as piano lessons so don't let him BS you about any undue financial burden.

So why do I say you should insist on picking the school? There are many styles of martial arts and martial arts teachers. Visit at least 5 schools and pick the combination of teaching style and martial arts style that appeals to you. I would suggest looking for a school that places an emphasis on keeping students over military rigor. Some schools take an "only the strong survive" attitude, others place an emphasis on teaching values and retaining students. I prefer the latter.

This can be a win win situation. I know you're probably not interested in martial arts because you're not interested in fighting. Neither was I (nor am I now). But 7 years into Taekwondo I'm in the best shape of my life and feel very confident that should I ever need to defend myself (something that was far more common in my young 20s) I'd be able to. So have a discussion with your Dad, ask him why he feels you need martial arts? He's probably concerned that as a 16 college freshmen you might get picked on (not an unreasonable supposition). His concerns may be valid, so by giving him what he wants he should help you get what you want. It's a technique called compromise, it's one that's made this country great and it's a valuable lesson to learn at your young age.

Go for it!

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#548920 - 08/16/05 05:23 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
SinspawnAmmes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 147
Loc: Houston, TX
Thanks for all your replies. I haven't been too clear, so I think I can explain further certain things.

Do you have a piano at your disposal? If you do, you may be able to get some teaching videos that will tide you over until you can (and you will) have lessons.

I have a keyboard. It's not very high-quality, but you can at least control dynamics through the speed of the key attacks.

How does your mother feel about your taking piano lessons? (Pardon me if that question is inappropriate since I do not know your situation.)

Thanks for the discretion. My parents are divorced, unfortunately.

Does the fact that your father doesn't want to pay for lessons necessarily lead to the conclusion that he won't?

This is where it gets complicated. My dad has heard me play and he agrees that I've made a lot of improvement; also, I asked for lessons around Christmas time of last month, and he said he would hire a teacher, and I periodically reminded him over the next four months or so, and he pretty much avoided/dodged the issue. I suspect it's a financial issue at this point; at first, it was his pure unwillingness (we're not a very musical family, so I had to convince him, for example, that music and television are not the same tier of entertainment), but his stalling convince me it's a financial matter. This makes sense, because he's going through a very financially intensive period (preparing his small businesses for the incoming Christmas season), but he has never explicitly stated it.

What frustrates me is that he doesn't seem to place piano lessons very high on his list of priorities. He recently bought a $13,000 car for my now 17-year-old brother (who really needed it, so I won't complain, he gives me rides, after all), and has even considered doing such relatively expensive things as replacing our central AC system (again, a necessity in Texas), and had at some point considered sending my brother to basketball camp (the 17 yo one, who is very talented, I might add). It doesn't seem that there is THAT much of a lack in money, just that my dad doesn't really want to sacrifice other things he sees as more important (personally, I wouldn't mind having to endure 100 degree summers w/o air conditioning in exchange for a $40 lesson every week).

Have you asked him if you can afford it?

I've never overtly done so, but I'm sure we can. Of course, we can't mindlessly make such an investment, but we can afford it, definitely.

Is there a relative (an aunt or uncle) who can help you persuade him?

My father is close to his brother, my uncle, but it's not so much a matter of persuasion as it is prioritization. He puts it off and takes care of immediate problems, which isn't a bad policy, though it's delayed the lessons by a long time.

I'm not sure how his desire for you to take martial arts classes would impair your ability to take lessons. Are they mutually exclusive? Or is it a money issue?

The martial arts become a time issue. I'll explain further on down in response to another post.

Do you have a good relationship with your father or is there lots of friction? Will it be a major struggle to convince him that lessons would be a good thing?

Our relationship is good, no doubt. I don't think he denies the beneficence of lessons, just their urgency. It will be hard to convince him of the latter.

Is it possible to get someone (a music teacher from school maybe) to write your father some letters explaining the many benefits of piano lessons? You know I've always thought there was a correlation between piano playing and the martial arts. They are both disciplines that help us work on and further ourselves.

I'll try that. Thanks for the advice.

Well, duh! Time learn about prioritization. Do you want to learn to play the piano? Obviously you will need to figure out which of your other extracurricular activities to cut out. A hassle? Again, life isn't easy, although it sounds like your life may have been so far. Which is fine. But at 15/HS Senior, you're going to have to start making decisions that will by definition exclude other opportunities and entail sacrifice (college to attend, major to choose, instrument to play, job to take, etc.).

I know you don't mean harm, but my life right now is full to the brim. I'm taking four Advanced Placement classes (Calculus, Physics, Spanish, Chemistry) on block scheduling (so I have half a year to complete the entire course, 3/4 a year for some), I have 7 college applications to juggle, my three SAT II tests, and the 2-3 hours of piano I try to squeeze in before I go to sleep. Could you imagine the chaos if I had to, in addition, drive to and from work and work for 8-10 hours a week (which is a paltry figure in the first place)? Trust me, if the lessons were available, I would make time for it, but they aren't in the first place, and there's little I can do about it by myself. I can neither drive or work; the former is illegal and the latter would get my employer's license revoked for child labor (and this has happened in my area.)

1. I remember you mentioned in another post
that you can play one of the Beethoven sonatas
after only a few months of teaching yourself--
that's darned good, and you must be better
than you realize.


It was only the second movement and half of the third, and it was far from performance level. You have to consider, I have never had a lesson; in fact, I only know one or two other serious piano players, and they are the only example I have (besides Chang's book, which I read not long after I started).

I think the best course of action would be to reappeal to my dad; maybe, he would cough up a bit more dough or we could come to an agreement as to how to bring about lessons. I've tried it before and have not gotten any headway, but where's the harm?

I'll post whatever comes up...
_________________________
Demi me, please!

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#548921 - 08/16/05 05:28 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
SinspawnAmmes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 147
Loc: Houston, TX
Great idea, Chandler!

I was also looking into Taek-won-do (I even suggested it to my dad, since he was so adamant about martial arts!), and it might be a good bargaining chip. I think I just need to assert my desires more; so far, I've been not pushing much, not wanting to burden my dad as he worked on the small businesses, but they must be picking up if he buys a car so suddenly, and at such a relatively hefty price (13k is not bad for the first car of a 17 year old.)
_________________________
Demi me, please!

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#548922 - 08/16/05 05:28 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
John Delmore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 373
Loc: Shreveport, LA
Hmmm. Fifteen year old senior. Good-ole-boy dad. Texas. Not surprising.

I forsee a scholarship in your near future. In any respectable college, you MUST have credit in the arts. Perfect excuse for piano lessons. (YOU earned the scholarship, not dad, screw the jerk) In the meantime, there are many avenues to pursue. Go to a music store (the kind with REAL sheetmusic, not Sam Goody's) and look through the instructional material. Ask for suggestions. Find something that suits your current knowledge and mental grasp, don't go for the kiddie stuff. As suggested above, talk to the music staff at your school, they'll likely be more than glad to help--these people usually LIVE for stuff like this. Depending on what kind of music you want to play, check out some of the mail-order products--I just got the one from "Music Unlimited", and am enjoying learning a new way to play (Classical from 3rd grade, pushing 40, can't play a lick by ear, sad, I know). Most of all, remember that we all "sucked bawls" at nine months! Hang in there, and Good Luck.
_________________________
John Delmore
PTG Associate Member
"You don't have a Soul. You ARE a soul. You have a body."...C.S. Lewis
Bienvenue!: http://louisianaskyline.net/forums/index.php?

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#548923 - 08/16/05 05:37 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
John Delmore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 373
Loc: Shreveport, LA
Okay, you replied while I was writing, and now I feel that I was a little rough on your dad. Sounds like he's not so bad, just maybe uninformed, and seriously busy. Sounds like he's raising at least of couple of good kids. My advice, I think, still applies, just read with a kinder tone, please.
_________________________
John Delmore
PTG Associate Member
"You don't have a Soul. You ARE a soul. You have a body."...C.S. Lewis
Bienvenue!: http://louisianaskyline.net/forums/index.php?

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#548924 - 08/16/05 06:33 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
pianoanne Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/02/04
Posts: 649
Loc: Pacific NW
John Delmore raised a good point, that playing an instrument would look really good when applying to colleges. Especially if you are looking into the top competitive schools. There will be so many applicants with a perfect GPA and high SAT's that they look at these extracurricular activities and essays to weed out applicants. Try telling your dad that you need to start lessons soon so that way you can put on applications that you've been playing for a while. Explain that by waiting so long, and starting lessons right before applying to college could look to them like you are taking lessons just to put it on the application. Sell him on the fact that you would look well-rounded by saying you did martial arts, music and took all of the AP classes at the age of 15.

Also, If you are planning to go away to college next year, just hang in there. Look for a school that also has a decent music program. School's like that will usually have lessons available for non majors.

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#548925 - 08/16/05 06:59 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
try posting a note a local music conservatory - explain your situation - see if a music ed student might take pity on you...

Alternatively - a neighor who has studied?

Offer to trade services with a music teacher in your area - will work for lessons \:\) - mow their lawn in exchange for lessons

K

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#548926 - 08/16/05 07:08 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
Tezzie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 59
Loc: London, UK
I can relate to your problem alot! I am also 15, and am unable to get piano lessons. My mum can't afford them (parents divorced - won't bother asking my dad for help), and she doesn't see it as a high priority anyway. She apreciates how much I love piano (I think) but thinks I am too old, and as it doesn't look like I will have a career in piano, there's no point.
I have just started a job, so may be able to fund the lessons, but then there is the problem of time. I don't do that many extracurricular acitivies, but the coming school year is GCSE year, and with work, I may not have enough time.

I don't care, I'll find a way, though! I think you should probably try to discuss it again with your dad. Don't give up! Find a way. I am absolutely determined to get piano lessons, and I will, and I'm sure you will too! Good luck mate.
_________________________
"Without a piano I don't know how to stand, don't know what to do with my hands."
- Norah Jones

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#548927 - 08/16/05 07:08 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
Boxer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 210
Loc: Chicago
Hmmm...4 AP classes, 3 SAT II tests (what happened to just the regular ol' SAT??), and 7 college apps. 10 of 14 should go away by December or soon after. And you still don't say whether you actually *want* to take martial arts classes.

These are not difficult decisions you are faced with. Life is full of tradeoffs. Time to face up to the beginnings of adulthood. Want to get into the school of your choice? Put off piano until after your apps and SAT tests are done. The world will not end if you have to put piano lessons on hold for 6 months, but getting into a good school can have a major impact on your life.

And even if your Dad still says no, you'll be in college in a year. You can get a job and get lesons without Dad's permission. 12 months max wait.

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#548928 - 08/16/05 07:30 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
SinspawnAmmes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 147
Loc: Houston, TX
I discussed the problem with my Dad. We had a relatively long talk, and I think he's starting to see things through my eyes.

I now know that the problem is entirely financial. He explained to me the entire situation, and I now see that the current lack of funds is the result of almost 19 years of conflict between him and the government of our home country. The situation is a bit confusion, but all I know is that the million dollar villa I grew up in back in my home country, and many other assets, are being frozen by the corrupt government, and that my dad was not left with much after he immigrated. I've known most of this, but had never realized its impact.

John Delmore, had it not been for your second post, we could have had a flame war started. This isn't about my dad banning me from getting a job or a car; it's my own conscious realization that I cannot, while maintaining my grades and hours of sleep, have a job. It's impossible. Also, cut the idiotic Texas bashing. I hate this state too, but it's no excuse to discredit my parent. That was inappropriate on so many levels, and nobody shops at Sam Goody either. We have music stores, for your information.

Anyway, moving on to another topic...My plan was to include a music CD with my applications, and push forth the fact that I got to my level of proficiency in 9 months (I'm not trying to gloat, I'm still horrible, but better than many of the people I know @ 9 months). Here is the dilemma, though: If I include that I am self-thought, I can get away with my horrible technique, and maybe gain a few extra points in the eyes of my admissions officers. Then again, if I start lessons, I would get better, but probably not enough to dramatically improve my playing (after all, applications go out in 4 months, even less, and how much can one improve in 16 lessons). Just musing, I still want lessons.

And, as a response to Boxer...I'm not thrilled about martial arts classes; I understand my dad's reasoning (as a 16-year-old college in freshman, I should know as least some paltry knowledge about how to defend myself), but if I had a choice between piano lessons and Taekwondo, I would choose the former almost immediately. If I could have both, however, I would choose both.

I will entreaty both the music theory teacher (who accompanies many chambe orchestras and is also an amazing sight-reader [she sight-read Minute Waltz at tempo on the spot, I think she was lying when she said she had never played it before]), and the orchestra teacher. The ideal situation, in my opinion, would be a piano instructor who could teach me in exchange for me tutoring their children, or something of the sort.
_________________________
Demi me, please!

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#548929 - 08/16/05 07:40 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5061
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
3. You might try to use some psychology on
your dad. Some people seem to like to prevent
people from doing the things they like to do,
thus not letting you take piano lessons. So
start to "like" martial arts and start talking
about going into Ultimate Fighting. Then
he might stop you from taking martial arts
and force you to take piano lessons.
I like Gyro very much. \:D

Now, then, I would caution you against this, at first, because we do not know the psychology of your father. (He may want you to do the UFC...which would make your plans backfire.)

However, if you're positive your father would not want you doing UFC (or some similar circuits, etc), I can be of assistance "validating your claim". I have two friends in the UFC right now, a third trying out, and I'm a 15 year veteran of the martial arts and hold varying belts in numerous styles. I can give you a line of B.S. that'll make your father think you've been looking this up for months. (But again, it could backfire..."psychology", after all.)

I'm going to move on to a different subject: time-management.

 Quote:
The martial arts become a time issue. I'll explain further on down in response to another post.
This was followed by your explanation:
 Quote:
I know you don't mean harm, but my life right now is full to the brim. (etc, etc)
Let me tell you what my "high school" life was like. Now, it was a long time ago ( :p to all the "old people"), but I think I can remember accurately.

I took all AP classes for all four years of high school, except in courses where they weren't offered (Health/PE was one of them). I was in the band. Now, we had two bands: a concert band and a wind ensemble. They met on opposite days. I was also in the marching band and jazz band. I took private trumpet and piano lessons. Piano lessons were only six miles away, but trumpet lessons involved a 30 minute drive (more if traffic was bad). I was in a group outside of school that played jazz, and we usually played a gig once every two or three weeks, but held weekly practices. (It was just for fun, and to make a little gas money on the side.) That was my music involvements.

I had SAT/AP exams to worry about. I had college applications to worry about (I applied to eight schools, I think). I had all the academic issues you do (just want to make that clear). The only exams I did not take were the SAT-2s.

I was on our Mock Trial team, which met weekly and had weekly court dates. We made it to districts my senior year. I was lead attorney. I had a lot of work to do...including prepping witnesses for what our lead would ask, and also what they should respond, both when asked, and when they were crossed. (I generally did cross/closing, and my co-counsel did direct/opening. I preferred crosses because it's a "think on your feet" thing. ;\) ) I was also on our Scholastic Scrimmage team, though by senior year, I had to sacrifice my seat because I couldn't make all the meetings. I was involved in Student Government, and we had a few important issues that took several hours a week to resolve (there was even a four hour debate one day after school between students and faculty concerning the advent of "uniforms"). I'm pretty sure those were my only senior-year activites (I did several others, but not senior year.)

Senior year, I was captain of the golf team in the fall, and the track team in the spring. Golf is a MAJOR time-consuming event, and being the captain of the team only compounded that. My track events were very different, requiring different types of training for each event (generally different types of lifting). I was our #1 pole vaulter (I actually got hurt senior year...landed on my back on the standards...wasn't pretty), triple-jumper, and long-jumper. My 4th event usually depended on who else was hurt. Most of the time I subbed in the 110 high hurdles. Track practice ran for a minimum of 2.5 hours after school. Golf would run until dark (7-8pm).

I was in a local play, where I played Jesus in the "Living Stations of the Cross". (I almost couldn't perform, because of the pole vault injury, which occurred 2 days before opening night. I was barely able to walk by opening night.) I also played trumpet in the pit of our high school play, and for another local theater group...so I was in the pit for two plays consecutively, and on stage for a third.

On top of all this, I kept up my martial arts, which met 4 days a week, 3-4 hours a day (6 or 7-10). I competed in at least one tournament every two months, including three world championships. (Of all the things I've ever done, martial arts is what I'm best at...hence why I said I could help you "BS" your dad in this category.)

And I worked a job. Usually on the weekends, when I had a few hours. Anywhere from 6-16 hours a week, depending on how many days/full shifts I could get in. (My boss was great, and would work around my schedule.)

Now, stop and think about that for a minute. That's everything I can remember doing my senior year of high school (six years ago). At best, I might have had 20 minutes of peace a day before 10pm...and I usually spent it sleeping through third block. (Yes, I did block scheduling, too.) I'm fairly certain "time" should NOT be an issue if this is something you truly want to pursue. Think about it.


(To everyone else, sorry about the rant...but now you know more about me. :p ;\) )
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#548930 - 08/16/05 07:48 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
SinspawnAmmes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 147
Loc: Houston, TX
Are you God? I couldn't do half of that without dying/falling asleep.

Granted, I haven't mentioned that the top-tier in our debate team, and that I'm the president of Chess Club, but compared to classes, they don't take as much time.

I see your point, Derulux, but that kind of schedule is terrifying...
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#548931 - 08/16/05 08:06 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5061
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Originally posted by SinspawnAmmes:
Are you God? I couldn't do half of that without dying/falling asleep.

Granted, I haven't mentioned that the top-tier in our debate team, and that I'm the president of Chess Club, but compared to classes, they don't take as much time.

I see your point, Derulux, but that kind of schedule is terrifying... [/b]
I usually picked a block to sleep through. Sometimes my body would pick one for me (usually first block, AP English). :p

Chess Club! Ah, I stopped that one after junior year...but it was fun. \:\)

I'm not sure how I kept it all together, and I found, when I got to college, that when I was no longer required to be so active throughout a day, I no longer wanted to be. These days, I have "good days" (of activity), and "bad days". The good can be 18 hour days...sometimes I'll have a spell where I keep going for over 20 hours; the bad are usually 4-8 hour days and then I'm done.

I suppose a well-rounded diet would've been better...but I have no regrets. I loved everything I did, the experiences gave me great memories, and I have a lot of skills today that, while they may not be the best in the world, I wouldn't have had otherwise. I enjoy being thoroughly well-rounded, and without having done all of those things, I would not be. \:\)

(By the way, I also played baseball, swam competitively, and ran cross-country competitively until sophomore year of high school, when I was required--by school district mandate--to choose only one varsity sport a season. That's when I made the decision to 'take the winter off'. ;\) But I still think my school district made a bad move when they required that one.)
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#548932 - 08/16/05 08:46 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
John Delmore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 373
Loc: Shreveport, LA
John Delmore, had it not been for your second post, we could have had a flame war started. This isn't about my dad banning me from getting a job or a car; it's my own conscious realization that I cannot, while maintaining my grades and hours of sleep, have a job. It's impossible. Also, cut the idiotic Texas bashing. I hate this state too, but it's no excuse to discredit my parent. That was inappropriate on so many levels, and nobody shops at Sam Goody either. We have music stores, for your information.

Mea Culpa, Sins. Living in the South all my life, I know well the type I had in mind. Turns out it's not you're dad's type. A blessing to you both.
_________________________
John Delmore
PTG Associate Member
"You don't have a Soul. You ARE a soul. You have a body."...C.S. Lewis
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#548933 - 08/17/05 08:18 AM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1151
Hi Sinspawn,

Did you say that you live in Texas? Texas has some very ggod schools and most I think have good music departments.

I think someone suggested that you may be able to take music lessons while attending college and possibly minor in music and majoring in another subject. With your academic background, my guess is that you will be given a scholarship - there a many ways of financing a college education - if you can it's a good idea to visit some schools which you might want to attend and speak with the admissions counselors and pay a visit to the financial aid office. With your academic achievements any school will be glad to have you has a student.

Must say that I admire your hard work and determination - you will find a way to achieve your goals. \:\)

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#548934 - 08/18/05 08:08 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
SinspawnAmmes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 147
Loc: Houston, TX
I have a lead, I suppose. A friend of mine, who's been playing for 12 years, has agreed to at least help me record some CDs so I can include them in my college applications. Better than nothing!
_________________________
Demi me, please!

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#548935 - 08/18/05 08:22 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20741
Loc: Oakland
Check with local music/piano stores and junior colleges to see if they give free or inexpensive group lessons. If you get into the loop, you might find a teacher who can help you with your situation.
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Semipro Tech

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#548936 - 08/18/05 08:44 PM Re: Help a troubled teen with his predicament!
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 309
Loc: LA CA
Hi,
Kluur and BDB give sound advice on this thread.
_________________________
Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Two openings in my private lessons program starting in Nov.

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