They Won’t Change the Key.

Dylan can’t comfortably sing the opening song of the school musical – although it is his job. We had expected that the school band would play the song in the key of G.

Since we are working on self-advocating, Dylan went to the choral director to ask about getting a key change for the opening song.

“She said they won’t change the key,” he told me later. “She kept saying it was just a student band, and I guess a student band can’t change the key.”

With six weeks left to practice, it seemed unlikely that they weren’t already learning the song in the right key. After all, our voice coach had emailed the band director two months ago. It also seemed unlikely that a band as good as our high school band was incapable of a key change.

I pounded off an email to the band director. The play can be opened on a strong, positive note, I explained. Or it can open on a weak note, with Dylan sounding like a weak singer. If it’s not done in the key of G, it will not be a strong, positive opening.

The band director sent me back a four-paragraph expose on what the band does, really, and how much work it is to change a key. As a layperson, of course, I had no idea. I begged Dylan’s voice coach to do something, but it was too late. No one could do anything.

I felt like Diva Mom, barging into an already half-learned production, saying, Stop everything! My SON needs to SING!

I don’t want to be Diva Mom. I want Dylan to be flexible. But I’ve heard the incredible way he sings the song in his key. It could have been awesome.

But Dylan will be performing the song in some other key, and it is going to be rough. Dylan will do his best, of course, but he simply can’t sing that high.

I was so looking forward to the play, until now. Now I almost dread it.

Dylan is such a strong singer. It’s a huge talent, and a wonderful gift from God. But he’s basically been backed into a corner that can only allow him to perform in a way that – he will believe – is subpar.

He takes music very seriously. “Music is my life,” he says.

The voice coach will work with him. The band director and choral director have offered to work with him.

But I can’t imagine that it will do any good.

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