Dropping Marching Band
Friday was the last football game of the season. This was the last time I got to see my kids march on the field in High School. It was incredibly cold and windy, but I was prepared.
I always chat with the parents that sit around me. Since I don’t particularly care for football, it passes the time. The Mom I was talking to was the parent of an 8th grader who is in the middle school band. This child has decided to stop playing in the band because he thinks that the marching band is “too much work.”
Our marching band practices marching on a field in front of the school. They have one week of “band camp” that lasts from 8 AM to 8 PM. The rest of the time is half days or 9-5. On days more than 4 hours, they are “fed and watered” (as I call it) frequently. The entire town gets to see them practice. The road is the main route through town. Evidently this scares the kids because it’s “too much work”.
The kids need to learn to march in formation and learn the program. This is the first time the freshmen are exposed to walking and playing at the same time. There is not enough time to teach this after school starts, with the first game the first Friday of school. Football practices all summer, too.
It is a bonding experience for the kids. My boys started Freshman year with 90 good friends. Many were upperclassmen. They had been running around the school for weeks. They had new nicknames. I wasn’t sure who “Bill” and “Jiffy” were, so would just hold out the phone, and one of them would grab it.
They lost weight, shaped up, and complained about all sorts of aches and pains. I think it was boot camp for band. The next three years were much easier.
They have had the chance to travel. They have had to raise the money to go on these trips. They have had to learn responsibility. My children are much better at being on time and remembering to bring all their things. Plus they have become better musicians.
There are rewards for that hard work. I feel sorry for the children and parents who don’t see it.