I am a band parent. A proud band parent. I was in band many years ago. I had the privilege of being in the Spring/Westfield band program in Houston, Texas. The high school was divided into two separate schools my senior year, and I attended Westfield. The Spring and Westfield band programs both went on to win the ultimate marching band championship - Grand Nationals. I also attended college on a music scholarship. Many of my friends from college are band directors in Texas and other parts of the United States. I play clarinet in my church orchestra. I have been immersed in music for well over 35 years.
Band programs have changed over the years, much of it due to lack of funding. I do not remember my parents ever holding a car wash, a BBQ, or working at a fair all hours of the night, while still working a full time job, to purchase equipment, uniforms, and instrument repairs for the band program. That was taken care of by the School District. My involvement in band, and the lessons that I learned while in band, have made it important for me to ensure that my daughter has the same opportunities that I had. I am thankful that Erin has been involved with the West Nassau High School band. Mr. Eason, the students, and the parents work hard to ensure the continued success of the Warrior Band.
I want to share with you some of the valuable lessons that I learned from being in band, and the lessons that I am thankful my daughter is learning.
Hearing and playing music is good for you. Especially playing. There is even math involved in playing music. Music is uplifting. It teaches multitasking. Marching and playing at the same time. Marching backwards while playing. Marching sideways while facing forward and playing. Multitasking will be helpful throughout life - as a college student, while on the job, and even as a parent.
Being in band requires discipline. Many hours of rehearsal are required. Memorization of music and show is required. You must be on time for rehearsal and performances. This is important for all areas of life after graduation.
As a band member, you are part of a team. Everyone is important and everyone contributes. Others are depending on you. This team is different from sports - bands are not out to defeat one another. It is about improving yourself, and improving as a group. You are your own competition.