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to be pissed of with school about this?

(103 Posts)
Bogeyface Thu 29-Sep-11 16:59:25

DD came home last week saying that they were going be learning brass instruments. I said that as much as I would like her to learn an instrument, I didnt brass would be a good idea as we have problem neighbours (they have been reported and warned about harrassment, they have also made false allegations about us to the police and been warned then too). I dont want to give them any ammunition at all. And that is quite apart from the fact that we have a young baby in the house who went ballistic with fear when DD blew the damn thing. Because today she comes home with a trombone!!!

She also had a letter stating that every child is to learn brass, that they must practice for atleast 20 minutes three times a week, and that if the instrument is damaged we must pay £60. My initial reaction was to be angry with DD for bringing it until it transpired that she had no choice. She said that she told her teacher that she couldnt do brass and the teacher basically said tough, everyone is doing it. I checked with another DDs mum, and she said that her DD said the same and she is pissed off too. I have to sign the letter to say that she can bring the instrument home, except I havent signed it because she brought it home with the damned trombone.

AIBU to be pissed off with the massive assumptions the school are making? They are insisting that she bring home an expensive item, and that I pay for any damage to it despite us not wanting it! They are also insisting on practice that simply isnt feasible and are not allowing an "opt-out". DD doesnt even want to learn the trombone or any brass at all, she said that she would have liked to learn flute but they werent allowed to choose, they were told what instrument they were getting, and that was that. Not sure that a flute would have been much better, with out neighbour issues but atleast it is easier to carry grin

cazboldy Thu 29-Sep-11 17:02:03

that sounds really odd to me.... If I were you I would take it back to school yourself tomorrow, and state that she will not be learning it. Then perhaps see if you can find a flute teacher....... smile

rhondajean Thu 29-Sep-11 17:02:57

YANBU, I would trot it back to school tomorrow with a few suggestions as to where they can put said trombone.

DD1 was given a violin some time ago, but here they "test" the children and give instruments to only those with some musical ability and interest. I had to sign for it, which I did. After the novelty of the first week or so, she refused to practice, so after trying for a bit I made her take it back with a letter saying I felt another child was being deprived of an opportunity for it to sit in our dining room.

Are you sure every single child has been given a brass instrument??????

Bogeyface Thu 29-Sep-11 17:03:54

Thanks Caz, thats what I was planning. Or atleast asking if it can be kept at school and use her lunchtimes to practice, as DD suggested but said that she didnt think would be allowed.

And I Pissed Off, not Pissed Of grin

HerHissyness Thu 29-Sep-11 17:04:00

How on earth does a school think kids will learn anything about music if they FORCE parents and children to learn what THEY tell you to? angry

Take it back tomorrow and state that unless she can practice in school premises, she will not be able to practice.

It is a massive assumption and really rude.

MummRaTheEverLiving Thu 29-Sep-11 17:04:11

Whilst I would luuuuuurve the opportunity to learn to play trombone, I totally understand your POV.
Take the brass back to school tomorrow and politely but firmly insist your child will not be learning to play it. If necessary, explain your situation with the neighbours.

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Thu 29-Sep-11 17:04:45

YANBU! tell the school to stick it where the sun doesn't shine!

LoveBeingAMummyAgain Thu 29-Sep-11 17:04:59

No child is going to keep up with that practice fir an instrument they weren't allowed to choose.

Take it back.

Bogeyface Thu 29-Sep-11 17:06:35

Rhonda, yes! I didnt pick them up today, my mum did and she said that all of the kids came out with a black case in varying sizes. She also said that there were alot of not very happy looking mums.
This must be a new thing this year as older DD didnt do this.

I AM Pissed off, must learn to proofread!

EvilTwins Thu 29-Sep-11 17:07:51

Are you having to pay for the lessons? I ask because I am Head of Performing Arts at a rural school and every year I get kids coming to see me about instrumental lessons, which their parents then say they can't afford. Just one of those things, I guess, but it's sad for the kids- learning an instrument, ANY instrument is such a benefit to a child. If you're getting the lessons for free, then I think YABU. Try to find a point in the day when she can practise without upsetting anyone, or see if she cam do it at school, before the day starts or at breaktime.

worraliberty Thu 29-Sep-11 17:10:23

I don't know. The kids don't get a choice in our school either and I shuddered when my yr 5 son brought home a violin a couple of years ago hmm

But since then he's done brilliantly and still learns it now in yr 8.

He's on the G&T register for it and has played with the London Symphony Orchestra (one of the highlights of his life according to him)...yet he'd never shown any interest before arriving home from school with one day with it.

The school are BU about the cost of repair/replacement though because we just pay £16 per year insurance.

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Thu 29-Sep-11 17:12:05

Just another example of schools over stepping their boundaries!

Reality Thu 29-Sep-11 17:12:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eaglewings Thu 29-Sep-11 17:12:48

Totally out of order. Dd's school teach lots of instruments (thankfully not the recorder) but it is all in school time and they change regularly unless they really like one.

It's great they get a go at unusual instruments but not that they have to bring it home. I'd take it back with the un signed note

Sounds as if an enthusiastic teacher hasn't thought this through

kelly2000 Thu 29-Sep-11 17:15:13

Take it back into school with the letter unsigned, and say you do not give permission for it to be at home and are not signing responsibility for it at all. Speak to other parents if need be, and get them to do the same. If you all make complaints and refuse to allow them home it will be difficult for the school to insist on it. It sounds like one daft teacher who thinks they are in Brassed off.
The teacher is also stupid for sending it home without getting you to sign for it. If every single one got wrecked the school woudl be hard pressed to get the money back.

Scoundrel Thu 29-Sep-11 17:15:52

Good lord, are they being sponsored by brasso or something? have a brass band competition in their sites? How very strange, I've never heard of a school forcing the kids to learn an instrument let alone one that gives you no choice as to which instrument you must learn shock

Tell them most adult brass players are drunks and womanisers. They were when I was a kid and my dad was an orchestral musician so I know of such things <taps nose>

Bearskinwoolies Thu 29-Sep-11 17:16:05

YANBU - forcing a child to attempt to learn an instrument is definitely not a good thing to do - especially when the school is laying out as described. If she isn't interested/doesn't want to play, then return it, with a 'nice' note smile

littleducks Thu 29-Sep-11 17:16:23

I wouldnt be happy at all. It is one thing supporting a hobby that you child chooses to do but this sounds like more homework!

It all seems a bit odd tbh, what if you now kept/broke the trombone and they didnt have a signed agreement saying that you would pay for a replacement.

LineRunner Thu 29-Sep-11 17:18:51

I remember fondly grin the day my DS arrived home with cello which was twice as big as he was...... having walked home from school with it for over a mile.

The music teacher was fantastically dedicated and inclusive; but we did have to negotiate down to a smaller instrument simply for logistical reasons!

soverylucky Thu 29-Sep-11 17:24:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bogeyface Thu 29-Sep-11 17:49:01

For those that are saying IABU about the lessons because they are free, I can see your point but we havent had any choice in whether she does it and what she learns! I agree with the posters above that say that forcing a child to learn an instrument that they wouldnt have chosen is not going get them engage with it. Its counter productive surely as you will higher number of children giving up learning (when they are allowed!) than if they had been allowed to choose their instrument.

Its the lack of choice, the assumption of financial responsibility and the assumption of available practice space/time that annoys me!

worraliberty Thu 29-Sep-11 17:56:40

That's not how it works though

They can't possibly all be given a choice because the school is allocated a certain amount of instruments per class.

Each class must have the same instrument so the teacher can teach the class together.

They're no more 'forced' to give the instrument a go than they are to learn Maths, English and Science.

And for every class of say 25 children who gives learning the instrument a go, there may be 5 or 6 who go on to learn it for years to come.

They don't know if they don't try...that's why they're given the opportunity to find out.

Bogeyface Thu 29-Sep-11 17:58:42

Ok Worra, but why should I have to assume financial responsibility for it when she has no choice? And school has assumed that everyone can practice when she and I am sure alot of others, cant.

worraliberty Thu 29-Sep-11 18:01:03

I agree about the financial responsibility...they should be handing out insurance forms.

The practice thing, well I'm sure most can manage 15 mins 3 times per week.

auntpetunia Thu 29-Sep-11 18:01:37

To be fair to the school they won't have had any choice in what instruments the children learn, most year 4s in this and the adjoining county get brass or clarinet for half the year. If they still want to play the next year they can choose from flute, violin or woodwind.

I don't think school have BU, they aren't to know you have nutty neighbours . We didn't get a choice but to be fair to dd she loves the trumpet and is really good at it, so much so shes kept it on this year.

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