4 Of The Best Life Lessons Taught By Drum Corps
Start writing a post
Arts Entertainment

4 Of The Best Life Lessons Taught By Drum Corps

It's so much more than "professional marching band."

4 Of The Best Life Lessons Taught By Drum Corps
Southwind 2018 FE / Photo: Leigh Persky

As a two-year drum corps veteran, it is no exaggeration when I say that performers are changed people by the end of the season. The challenges of the summer provide amazing learning opportunities that apply easily to the real world back home. Listed here are 4 of the best of these life lessons.

Be passionate in all that you do.

Photo: Ruth Marek

When people are asked to describe me in a few words, one of those words is almost always "passionate." I attribute most of this passion to my drum corps experience, which dictated that a full rehearsal run on a crappy practice field in the middle of nowhere should be filled with the same passion and energy as a show run in Lucas Oil Stadium. Of course, it was very difficult on some days to push through to the end of a rehearsal, but that energy was the expectation that had to be fulfilled.

It may seem to be an exclusive, almost fabled concept that only a select, talented few may access, but newsflash: this passion lives within everybody. Find the activity that sparks yours! Once you tap into that, you're golden. Whatever you do end up doing, you need to do it with passion or not do it at all.

Take the time to satisfy your own needs.

Photo: Patrick Cloaninger

Rehearsal was discouraging, dinner wasn't appetizing, and to top it all off, the showers were freezing. You just feel like screaming at someone. It's a feeling shared at least once by all drum corps performers. Instead of allowing that negativity to create a potentially worse situation, identify the signs of your own frustration. What makes you feel angry? What are your typical mannerisms when you are angry? By learning your own tendencies, you make it easier to tell when you need to take a step back.

Another important aspect of this is actually taking the break you need! Drum corps or not, there is absolutely no shame in taking care of yourself. One of the ways through which I coped with my frustrations on tour was writing in a journal. One of my colleagues brought coloring books with her. Whatever works best for you!

Nurture your relationships.

Photo: Ruth Marek

The friendships you make while on tour with a drum corps are often the best and longest-lasting relationships you will ever have. I have good friends several states away from my time with my drum corps. These relationships would not be as impactful as they are today if I had not taken the time to nurture them. It is exceedingly important to cultivate relationships. Friendships don't just happen, they require effort; the same goes for relationships with a significant other. Without effort, the relationship will fail.

On a more professional note, you aren't going to like everyone you have to work with. There were plenty of days when I wanted to just be done with certain people. That's life. But by reversing the frustrations and turning it into energy toward cultivating relationships between members of your team - a sports team, a business committee, a club, et cetera - you will find that the productivity and positivity of the group as a whole will skyrocket.

Embrace change.

Photo: Ruth Marek

Ask just about any drum corps veteran, and he/she will tell you the same thing: the most valuable trait to have when it comes to drum corps is adaptability. In the world of blazing summer heat and literal blood, sweat, and tears, the best thing you can do is be open to change. Those four measures you just spent two and half rehearsals perfecting? Oh, yeah...they've been cut. That drill move you've been working on since January camp? Riiight, about that...it's now July. And your dot is going to shift. Big time. It's frustrating, but you cannot let it prevent you from making progress.

If you close yourself off to changes in your drum corps bubble, you're only creating a habit of rejecting change in general. The real world will throw obstacles and changes at you like nobody's business, so once you allow yourself to shut down because of these changes, chances are that you won't be getting back up anytime soon. Instead, keep your head up and take it all in stride. Whether you like the change or not, you'll learn from it either way.

Drum corps was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, but the reward was well worth it. I feel that I speak for all drum corps veterans when I say that drum corps gives performers so many valuable life lessons through the hardships.

Take these life lessons and keep pushing. Show the world what you've got. And whatever you do, never stop learning.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments