Interesting Division of Sexes and Instrumentation in Jordan Marching Band
Original post made by Marching Band Lover on Apr 22, 2013
on Apr 22, 2013 at 4:37 pm
PAUSD kids start playing an instrument at school in 5th grade (for most of them). The girls picked the flute, often because it was a small instrument to lug around or the violin because their friends played. Very few boys played the flute, very few girls played the trumpet or clarinet. Most of the kids in the marching band (7th and 8th grade) have been playing that instrument since 5th grade.
On a related note - the Jordan Band teachers are wonderful - both in teaching music and building a nice community of students.
on Apr 22, 2013 at 4:38 pm
Forgot to add - many of the girls are still playing instruments, the string instruments are Orchestra, not Band.
on Apr 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm
You have a woefully small sample to make statements on. I will answer your questions beyond middle school marching band stuff as there is a much broader music world out there, even in the marching band sector.
If your student is looking for an instrument, it is nice to get some introduction to the different categories - some people relate to brass, or whatever, but becoming mildly familiar with the variety of out there is fun and helpful, if music is a growing interest.
Each school, each year, each music conservatory/SOM, each group of YAs (professional calibre young artists), the zillions of those who just play by ear and/or start up music groups are all varied cases. You will find a mix of females and males. Really, stereotypes about instruments don't hold up if you get a wide enough samlpe, trust me.
Remember there are some musicians who strive lifelong for ever increasing perfection, entering major music competitions, auditions, performing at music conventions, performing professionally, studying with all kinds of advanced teachers, traveling frequently (EVEN young people do this, too).
I can tell you for sure that women play all instuments; our family knows a 21YO female at a leading SOM (School of Music) at a major university who plays tuba, for example (and will be a competitive professional - she already has a bigtime music resume); I think there currently is a female in her 20's who is with a major symphony in that capacity, too, Carol Jansch. Know that classical music is extraordinarily competitive and landing a spot with a major orchestra is a big accomplishment, esp at a young age. Also, some classical musicians who are successful/well paid are not anywhere near as recognized by American mainstream media as they should be, trust me, I know.
We know various significant professional male musicians (both gay and straight) who are flutists. Yep, there are also tons of female flutists of all ages and calibre.
Yes, there are plenty of girls/women who play flute in BAND. I think this is likely to be one of the more visible things. That doesn't mean it is an easy instrument, in fact it is one of the more competitive ones, though it is possible to own a cheap flute and play within reason for basic marching band purposes. In no way does this carry over to the more competitive music scenarios.
You should realize that some marching bands are informal, some are competitive/more formal; some are highpowered like Ohio State and etc. Some areas of this country have really competitive HS marching band experiences - it varies.
You know there are also people who play instruments informally/for fun, in regional settings/pits, in minor venues, in major symphony orchestras, in solo careers, in the jazz genre, and rock & roll, international music, in crossover type situations.
There is an unbelievable spectrum of "musicians" out there. Enjoy.