A Salty Response To The Snare Drum

(read in Welsh accent)

A Salty Response To The Snare Drum

Hi. My name is Asa Khalid, and I recently joined the Berkeley Carroll community as a freshperson, part of the Class of 2022. When I first thought about applying to BC, my favorite thing about this school was the music program. I’ve always been a really big fan of music (especially drums because they are the backbone of the entire situation) so I thought that if I got into this school, the music program would be something to look forward to.

Fast forward, to when I FINALLY got into this school (after being put on the waitlist for 3 million years) I knew exactly what electives I wanted to do. Choir and Jazz. They were gonna be so much fun! And so easy! I mean, if Squidward (WHO IS A SQUID, NOT AN OCTOPUS) can play the Clarinet, why should drumming be so difficult?? But liTtLe dID I kNoW…

I think the main issue with me being so salty towards the music program is that I forgot one teeny weeny little thing. YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY BE TALENTED TO PLAY INSTRUMENTS. AND DON’T HAPPEN TO BE VERY TALENTED. Which is very inconvenient in high school because it’s basically your last chance to do things before you go to college and get lazy and sad. And because I had to be that one extra kid in middle school, I decided to apply to private school and I think we all know that every single private school student has played at least 30 millions of some useless instrument that they’re not even gonna remember how to spell once they become adults. But before they forget how to play a quarter note, they are EXTREMELY pretentious about the fact that they can play Fur Elise backward on a flute, while playing the trombone upside down, while playing some ugly Bach piece that high-class people think is “a revolutionary work of art”, while tap dancing the entire dance routine for “The Boys Are Back” from High School Musical.

However, the issue isn’t that they’re constantly showing off their talent. No. I mean, I know if I could play an eighth note, it would be completely over for all of y’all. I would show that off every single millisecond I could. The issue is that they expect normal people to the same. “Normal people” my untalented potato self.


So on the first day of Jazz, I was so excited. I thought that playing lead snare drum in 5th grade—which I’m now realizing was 4 years ago—would prepare me for the Berkeley Carroll music curriculum and I would know exactly how to play everything. That sadly was not the case.

The issue at first wasn’t that I didn’t know how to play the drums—not yet—no, it was that I was in the wrong class. See, because I had only played classical percussion, I knew diddly squat about how to play Jazz. But I thought that because I’ve listened to Jazz all my life (my grandparents are cool) I would just know.

Again, I spent my whole life thinking I would just know how to play the drums when the time came. So when I explained that I have only played classical, Dr.Holsberg was like, “Well you actually belong in wind ensemble” And me being my dumb self, I said yes and shrugged it off as if I would just naturally know how to play everything based just off of sight reading.

Word to everything I love, I will write a strongly worded letter to the next BUM that tells me that playing the drums is easy. I mean, the drums are supposed to be easy. For smart people that is. It’s just a little difficult to be stupid sometimes.

Anyway, I went into wind ensemble feeling myself or whatever. Break it down like a lysosome and explain to me why I come to this class and I forget how to play an eighth note. Honestly, it was a real yikes. Sometimes I think back on that terrible day and wonder if everyone else cried themselves to sleep because of my horrible and off beat drumming. Because I know I did!!

But the great thing about this whole situation is that even though all of my friends make fun of me for not being able to play, on October 5th, 2018, this middle schooler that was in the music room told me that I “sounded really good” so now obviously, I’m the best percussionist to have ever lived. Except for on Monday when I have to play Bolero again.



On some day in history, all friends came to a solid consensus that they were tired of me whining that I can’t play the drums so they told me to shut up about it because apparently: “Nobody cares anymore,” “you’re just making people in wind hate you more because you keep on talking about it,” “you’re still trash at the drums and crying about it on Instagram won’t make you better,”  “you’re actually lowkey good now,” and “your eyes are too far apart.” But what they don’t know is that I wrote a whole article (this one here!) whining about not being able to play. So oh well.

Extra Update:

Dr. Holsberg told me I was improving (basically meaning that I should become Beyonce’s new drummer when she goes on her next tour) so essentially, nobody can tell me anything. I’m the next Shelia E.


(I know that this whole article was just one blob of a run-on sentence but if you ignore that I will too.)