Episode 07 – “Crybaby Saxophone”
Like most other extracurricular activities, band treads this odd line between being a hobby where one can explore the joys of music and being an incredibly rigorous commitment, particularly due to the demand for perfection – a demand that isn’t asked very often from high schoolers. Because of this confrontation of expectations, it’s natural for those with conflicting devotions to fall off. As we’ve learned, that’s what happened in the previous year at Kitauji where students had hoped for a serious band got a club that just wanted to slack off.
This issue comes up again this week when Aoi feels that band is getting in the way of her path to college, and that’s a feeling I’m all too familiar with, not because I personally felt that way in high school but because I knew a bunch of people who quit band for that reason. In fact, that phenomenon becomes ever more common in college. So many people choose not to continue band in college because they think it’s somehow less important now. I can respect that people have to make priorities and that it’s usually a hard decision to make. No one wants to just give up something that they’ve being so much work and time into, but it’s also a reflection on the society that we live in – it’s a society in which music and fine arts in general are thought to be inherently less valuable.
Apparently, this is a sentiment that’s shared internationally. Given the constraints of said society, Aoi’s decision is quite reasonable. She’s not going to be a professional musician, so why should she have to put so much effort into band? Well, if everyone made decisions working under that logic, we’d likely have no bands left at all. I think we put the time into things like band because it’s worth the effort. Even when things get difficult, even when things seem pointless, in the end all that matters is that music is being made, and that alone is worth the dedication.
“I guess I never really liked concert band that much.” ~ Aoi Saitou