Wynton Marsalis Discussion Forum


middle school jazz band


Total Posts: 1

Joined 1969-12-31


Dear Mr. Marsalis,

My 12 year old son is a 7th grader and plays the alto sax. His school has a jazz band for which there are no tryouts.

The teacher is a yeller and my son was reticent about joining in the beginning of the year. He decided to join in January. He is very shy but asked the teacher about joining. The teacher told him he would get back to him. My son waited a week. I called the asst. principal and asked him to get involved. He talked to the jazz teacher and told me that the jazz teacher would get back to my son. Five weeks passed until the jazz teacher (who is also my son’s regular band teacher) told my son it would take too much to catch up.

My son is a talented musician. He has played two piano concerts at Carnegie Hall. He is also very well behaved.

I am appalled that this teacher has said no to a boy who wants to get up at 7 a.m. on Wednesday mornings to play jazz. I think it is just sad. I think children, especially at his age, should be encouraged, not dissuaded to learn and play music.

I’d appreciate your comments and insight. I am meeting with the principal tomorrow.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Laurie Wilson


Total Posts: 89

Joined 1969-12-31


I’m not Mr. Marsalis. But that’s dispicable, i’m right with your son, i’m 14 years old. and i get up right in the morning just like he does and practice. Now i’m homeschooled, so i have an independent jazz orchestra. But that’s just terrible they said no to him. plain out terrible. And i’m happy you’re going to talk to the principal tommarow. you go get him in that orchestra! It ain’t a free country if a cat can’t swing where he pleases!