My ex - Lizzie's father - is a band geek in denial. He was in band throughout high school, went to Texas A&M because "they have a good band," dropped out because he couldn't handle the non-Music classes, and is currently living out his mid-life crisis fantasy as a music major at a local college. The part that makes him a band geek in denial? He thinks its cool to be a forty-year old undergrad music major. Maybe when he was in his twenties, but add twenty years to that action and he's totally channeling Tim Robbins' character from High Fidelity (minus the Patchouli stink).
Since Lizzie's dad and I no longer share a bank account, I don't much care about his latest hobby. What has raised a major red flag, though, is his steady indoctrination of Lizzie into thinking being a "bandie" is cool. If he knew Lizzie at all, then he would know she's more into Entymology than Euphoniums.
But he doesn't know her. Otherwise, he would not have suggested she attend a school for the performing arts next year. Yes, she likes music. She plays both piano and violin. She sings in the shower and has been in choir a time or two. But, that's not all she's about! She also likes soccer and ballet. I want to scream at him "she's only ten years old! Don't pigeon-hole her just yet!" But, I know from personal experience that screaming doesn't work with him.
So, I agreed to look at the research he had done about a local fine arts school. I listened as he made his case for sending her there. And, when he left, I promptly threw all the information into the recycle bin.
My readers know that I've been agonizing over choosing the right middle school. My goal has always been to find the perfect school fit for a really smart kid, who enjoys the fine arts, but loves being silly, too. In my opinion, a specialty school that does not balance a child's need for educational growth with their need for random silliness is just not a good choice for any child.