With marching band season coming into full swing, I cannot help but think back on my high school years. In high school I was one of the band geeks. There was marching band to musical pit band to jazz band to pep band to show choir band to concert band... If it had something to do with the band program, chances are pretty good that I was involved with it at some point. But that is something that I was definitely not ashamed of then and I am still not ashamed of now. Band taught me so many lessons in life, but marching band taught me the most.
1. Hard work.
One thing marching band teaches you is hard work. Everyone thinks it must be easy to walk around a field and hold an instrument. Why wouldn't it be easy, right? Wrong. Marching band is tough. It is trying. And at times, trust me, you feel like giving up. To those who think it is easy- try learning 60 sets (that is what those forms that we move to are called), the music for four songs (can I add that your music has to be memorized?), and move halfway across the field in 16 counts. However, learning hard work through marching band can help set the tone for your work ethic for the rest of your life.
To be in marching band, you have to be dedicated. You give up a week of your summer for band camp. For one week, you are on the field at 8 a.m. sharp learning the basics of marching. There are also early morning or late night rehearsals. There are times when you are at the school until 9:30 or 10 at night just to fit in those last sets; that takes dedication. You also commit to giving up at least four weekends of your fall and miss out on sitting with your non-band friends at Friday night football games. There is a lot of time and dedication that goes into being a part of the marching band.
Positivity is another lesson that marching band teaches you. During those early morning or late night rehearsals, the last thing you probably want to be is positive. You are exhausted, you are stressed, and you are about ready to yell at the person next to you for forgetting their spot for the fifth time that rehearsal. You can't do that though, because yelling would only make matters worse. Marching band teaches you to constantly encourage those around you and to be positive in all situations, even if you are in the worst of moods.
That is a small word that holds a lot of meaning for me when it comes to marching band. There are many times that you do not agree with the director, the drum majors or the section leader. However, out of respect for them you do not fight it. Those people are in charge of you and in order for things to run smoothly and for you to be the best you can be, you have to respect them. And if you are lucky, they will return the same respect back to you.
Nothing brings more pride than representing your school and your community all over the state and the country. Many directors push this on their bands- pride in what you are doing and pride in where you come from. Being proud of where you come from and what you are doing is essential to participating in marching band- the pride you have really does show when you are out on the field performing.
Family is by far the best part of marching band. Marching band connects you with so many people who you might have not otherwise found. It is easy to find your best friends in marching band, and you know that you are part of an organization that will always have your back. Whether it be a rough day at school or a serious problem at home, the family that is formed within the marching band will always be there to listen to your struggles and be your shoulder to cry on.
Hard work. Dedication. Positivity. Respect. Pride. Family. Those are all lessons that I learned in just four short years of marching band. So you see, being a band geek is not really that bad. Sometimes being a band geek can teach you the best lessons you will ever learn.