Jump to content

Never Feeling Like I'm Good Enough.

Recommended Posts


Long Post Ahead.


Ever have one of those days where you just don't feel like you'll ever be good enough? How about a week? A month? Several years?


I think I'm a well rounded person. I'm pretty involved in school, I get decent grades. I'm friends with several good people who I can rely on if I need to but I'm also pretty good about standing on my own two feet. All and all I'm very happy with myself.


Except for one aspect of my life.




I've been involved with school band since I was in 4th grade. (I'm now in 12th) It's at the point where I don't really know why it's important to me Maybe because I've been doing it so long it's just a habit now? Or maybe because it was important to my dad (he died just before my freshman year)? Or maybe deep down I really just love and care about music? I dunno why but it is. I've been playing sax for 8 years. I've worked hard. Put lots of hours of practice in and yet I still just don't seem to be "good enough".


I've never really had any natural talent for music, I've allways been a bit tone deaf and have a lot of trouble with rythm -but I've allways kept trying.


I guess my Issues with this really started at the end of my freshman year of high school. As a freshman in band It's kinda normal to feel a bit blown away everything that the group does. So I was totally cool with playing second part for marching season, I knew I simply wasn't skilled enough yet for first. And I tried my best to learn all that I could from the juniors and seniors in the group. I guess it's kinda important to note that my freshman year was also my director's first year of teaching. So end of Marching season we have chair auditions. I ended up right in the middle (was 5th of 9) I was pretty happy with that. So end of Freshman year I try out for Jazz band (since jazz was the reason I wanted to play sax) I didn't get in, but I was ok with that. a tad upset at first but I figured "hey, just gotta try harder next time" So onto sophmore year. Well all of the upperclassmen of my section quit. So we had a handfull of sophmores and some freshman. because of that we allways got lumped together with other sections. The section as a whole wasn't too great but we were never really "picked on". Now because all the upper classmen had left, I figured that I was going to play 1st part, and the freshmen would get 2nd. Well I ended up playing 2nd. Once again I was a tad upset but figured "Hey. this is best for the group on a whole basis" So Chair Auditions come along, and I'm in the top 3rd! This is awsome. I'm still playing second but That's gonna change next year I'll be a junior! So Jazz auditions come up and I work my * * * off. Practicing several hours a day. Auditions come around and I play probally better than I have ever played before - and I don't get in. That same day I also find out that I'm gonna be playing 2nd for marching band -and one of the freshmen was playing first. So this time I'm a little closer to being devestated. I skipped the next day of school and once I got back I just kinda went along with everything for the last couple of weeks.

So junior year rolls around and over the summer I kinda shrugged off everything from the previous year. Until I found out that one of the other kids who tried out for Jazz Band didn't get in and now the director was letting him play in it. So I was irked and I ended up having one of those I don't care attitudes. By the Chair audtion times I didn't practice, and ended up somewhere in the middle of the section. And by the end of the year I didn't sign up to take the class my senior year - I had quit. Well our school's guidance counciler ended up pulling me out of class one day to talk about why I was quitting. And long story short she had convinced me to take band one more year. So we have section leader tryouts for any junior or senior who would like to lead the section (creative name for the job huh?) Well me and 2 other people tried out for it. We had to do this little intervew thing. And when I was asked why I wanted to do this. My answer was simply "It's expected of me". Don't ask me how but I ended up with the job. And this year was hell for my section. Alot of the songs featured the saxes. Well, the section wasn't great. So I did my best to try and help them out the best I could, I stayed after practice with some to teach them how to march. I gave up my free time to help with memorizing music. But alot of the section just wasn't getting it and it seemed like we were allways being singled out. And everytime that the group screwed up I knew that it was my fault. Several times I stayed after practice just to run my drill again figuring if I knew where I'm going then they could guide off of me. On top of all this one of the members of the section (he had tried out for section leader) was allways giving me guff about how he was a better player than I am and the fact that he had the sax solo (My section was the only one where an underclassman had the solo instead of a senior -I was the only senior-) I spent the better part of the fall stressed out. At one point I ended up having a chat with my director about all of this (pretty much everything that I just wrote) and he had told me that at the beginning of this (my senior year) he honestly had no confidence in me. But i guess in the end it worked out. The band made it to State Competition and my section did pretty well So marching season has been over for a while and we are now in the midst of concert season. My school also participates in a solo and ensemble contest. I had talked to my director about what type of solo He'd choose for me if I dd one. He said probally a class B piece that will by difficult. Well my solo ended up being a Class C and it's not very challenging. Also another member of my section (same kid who had the solo) came up to me and asked if I'd like to do an ensemble with him. Now he's a really good player, probally the best in our school. And even though he got under my skin a few times we've allways been friendly towards each other. At first I said no to the ensemble but I caved and ended up in a group with two of the best saxophonists in my school. Our piece isn't that hard, and I know all the notes and rythms, but I've been having the hardest time playing it together in the group. I've stayed after school 6 or 7 hours to work on it (Both members of my ensemble are in jazz band and they have practices in the evening) Practicing on my own the majority of that time. It's down to the point where I can play it with one or the other we just need to put all 3 parts together. One of the members of the group wanted to quit and I was behind him on the idea (the director nixed it) so we've toughed it out. And I still just don't feel confidant about the piece. Anyways we got our chair tryout results back today. And I worked relatively hard on it. I went in and played my best. The result - I got 2nd out of 7. Now I was ok about this until my director said "Great job! You got 2nd" or something like that. I just kinda mumbled yeah and went on through practice. I don't really no how to describe how I felt. Kinda like I wanted to cry but I was holding back the tears. Musically I fell apart after the first couple of measures and I would end up just kind of sitting there staring at my music thinking 'I can't play this. I just can't'. After practice. My director was talking to me and he said "You Ok? You kinda gave me this look when I told you good job earlier" and I said "Yeah I'm fine" then he said "You should be happy" and I said "I am happy."and then "Second is really good." so I answered with "Honestlly I dont really care what I got." And he tells me "You should be proud of how well you did. I am." and I just said "alright. Bye." Then I left school. Cutting out of Music Theory class (taught by the director afterschool). On the way home I just started bawling. I was yelling and screaming. I just kept yelling to myself "No matter how hard I try, I am never going to be good enough, am I?" I've done this once before too, at the Winter concert when the Jazz band played their songs. I ended up leaving the Autotorium and just sitting out side yelling and screaming to myself that I'm just never gonna cut it.


I don't know why I get so emotional over this. I mean I'm crying as I write. I mean there are other activities that I'm involved in where I'm not the best, some of them I'm not even good in but I am still able to be proud of what I was able to accomplish I just don't understand why I can't be that wway concerning music. I Honestlly just want to adopt that "I don't care" attitude again and get through the rest of this year. Forget staying after for extra practice. Forget taking my horn home to practice every night (Tonight is the first night in months that I have not brought my horn home with me) I mean it's not like I'm going to do anything with music in the future. Other than flip on the radio- so why should it matter????


I just feel like crap. I don't want to do this anymore!!!


Sorry this was so long. Any words of advice? Even if it's just to say "Suck it up and move on."





Link to comment

It sounds like you've put a lot into this. Its kind of hard, but you're doing your best and that is good enough. It doesn't matter what your school band or anyone else says. If you love playing, then keep playing. Do it for yourself. Sometimes life isn't fair. That shouldn't stop you from enjoying your life. You sound like you have a great life. And if you love music and playing, keep doing it. If your just sick of it, take a break and maybe go back to it. Don't stop doing something you love or getting frustrated because someone else doesn't say you're the best. Who cares what anyone else says if it makes you happy?

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...