As I sat enjoying the West Marshall concert they had with the ISU Wind Ensemble, I started to really look at the kids in the band program. I looked at how many kids played both athletics and were also in the band. Do you know how many do both? Not nearly enough.
I was lucky growing up in a school where music was a big deal and you were actually in the minority if you weren’t in the band or choir. Am I slightly bias because my dad was a choir teacher for 25 years? Yes, and I openly admit that. However, my parents always encouraged us to be well-rounded individuals and so that’s how my siblings and I grew up. We were involved in sports, music and drama, along with a variety of other extra-curricular groups at school. I have never ever regretted being actively involved in so many different things.
I know there can be a certain stigma and dividing line drawn between athletes and musicians. Do any of you watch the show, “Glee?” I just started to this season and I’m kind of addicted. Anyway, on the show, despite the fact that there are a couple of football players and cheerleaders in the Glee club, the group as a whole is treated pretty badly by the rest of the athletes at the school. I’m afraid it’s a little true to life and I find that extremely sad.
Not every person is going to be able to dribble a basketball. Not every person can sing on key. But, I’m willing to bet there’s a lot more musical talent out there than what’s actually participating.
The great thing about band or choir is that it’s a lot more like athletics than you think it is, judging by the life lessons it can teach you. Hard work, discipline, success, failure, teamwork and perseverence, just to name a few. They are both “teams”, in essence, going out there with a “play” that needs to be run to do well. This can be a hook-and-ladder in football or a piece of music played by the band.
I know for a lot of students who read this, it may be too late to learn to play an instrument, but I hope for the youngsters or maybe their parents, they encourage their child/children to get involved and broaden their horizons when it comes to extra-curriculars. How do you know what you’re going to like, unless you give it a try? Just something to think about, but that’s just the way I see it.