Music, Marching, Colorguard, Percussion...

Editorial: Valuable training that translates for life!

This past weekend was the first Championship for the USSBA Indoor program. After a few false starts we finally began this long talked about program, thanks to the tenacity of the USSBA team, and the support of Beverly Brahan, Dennis DeLucia, and area guards and percussion sections. 

Sitting above the action, I watched for some time and yes, I had been to indoor shows before. But at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, N.J., at the center of a fiscal battleground for school systems and the state government, one has to think of these young adults and our responsibility to provide the keys to a future. 

Arts education is not just about the ARTS! Yes, I love music and yes, art at all levels needs to be supported and cared for and encouraged. But the kids I am watching right now - most will not dance professionally and we know there are no real jobs for snare drummers in the world. Just look at me! But, the education in life that these folks are receiving; well, to maintain that opportunity means everything in the world to me, and to most of you. 

How much work does it take to toss a six and catch it perfectly with five other girls? How many hours and days does it take for a snare line throw down 32 note patterns at 180 beats per minute while on the fly?  We know the answer! Endless rehearsals and yet more endless practice! Over and over, again and again, all in the quest for excellence. 

These lessons, the lessons regarding excellence, are the very same lessons that will carry these young men and women for years and years to come. 

When college courses are challenging, the lessons of marching music and pageantry come into play. When a job is lost, or a relationship crumbles, the self image one created through years of performance can assist in redesigning life. How one handles the competitive nature of life. Teamwork – even with those who may not be your best friends.

Learning to take what life delivers and to react in accordance with our beliefs and teachings. 

There is so much available to youth, and to us, as adults, through the world of art education and performance. And yes, it’s a damn shame we as a movement, are caught in the middle of this economic crunch.  But, what is … is! We need to react to the situation and learn to be more outspoken to the great stuff we do with kids and for kids. 

So often, we are dismissed as simply an EXTRA! Music. Marching. Colorguard. Percussion. IT’S NOT EXTRA - it is a training that will and does translate to life! 



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