Friday, December 03, 2010

Don't Underestimate the Middle School Band Director

My oldest boy is in the band at school. This is his first year, and he plays trumpet. I love it.

His first concert was Wednesday. There is something almost magical about the way a middle school band director can take a large group of 6th graders, most of whom have never played an instrument and certainly not the instrument they are taking up now, and teach them to make music in a relatively short amount of time. Granted, that first concert isn’t so much about making beautiful music, but the fact that they can play notes in unison and even in harmony after only a few months of working with the band director is really incredible. That first concert is so full of potential. I love it.

It brought back nice memories of my first years in band - and later years, too.

Because after the 6th grade played, we got to hear the 7th grade. Incredible difference, and again I think it’s almost magical how the middle school band director can teach the brass and woodwinds and percussion to make a decent sound together. More complex than that first 6th grade offering, it was really enjoyable, and reminded me again of the potential I heard in my son’s 6th grade group.

And then came the 8th grade. Wow! Quite impressed by now, we enjoyed the band director’s sense of humor as he donned a black robe, wand for baton, and led the 8th grade band in playing highlights from Harry Potter. Because, really, I think you must have a sense of humor to be a middle school band director. And they appreciate him. You could tell by the whoops and cheers as he played the part and got into costume. The final number from the 8th grade band, they were accompanied by the Heartland Brass Quintet. Guess what my son’s public school band played in a Dixie-land, New Orleans jazz style? “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.”

I love band. I’m so glad I have years of band concerts and marching band parenting ahead of me. I sure hope his brother and sister will choose to follow in his footsteps and afford his dad and me even more years of band to anticipate. And can I say again how much I appreciate the middle school band director?

1 comment:

Mrs. H said...

LOL. What a great, positive perspective! Such an encouraging mom! I, too, had many years of band... concerts, football games, trips... and have some fantastic memories. :)