With seven children, all boys except six girls, spread throughout the band program over all those consecutive years, we had enough musical instruments around the house to start our own music store. A flute, a clarinet, a bass clarinet, a cello, a trombone, a trumpet, a coronet, a piano, a French horn, and various percussion instruments—it seemed we had them all. Listening to each child as they learned to play was a sometimes wearisome task. Just when one had begun to make melodic sounds, another would begin with the squealing or bleating sounds endeavoring to make music.
Why, many have asked me, would you do that to yourself? It wasn’t about us; it was about our children. Let me share what two of our children have shared with me.Daughter number two, a warrant officer in the U.S. Army, said, “Mom, the training that I use most with my troops comes from what I learned in leadership training while I was in the band.”
Our son, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, said after graduating from Basic Training at the age of 23. “This is the most that I have felt needed by someone since being in the marching band in high school. I needed others to complete tasks, and I know that others depended upon me to complete tasks. It takes united efforts to make a mission successful.”
And so the cycle begins in our home again…One of our grandsons comes over frequently to practice yet another instrument, the saxophone. I love that squawk because I know another young person is learning to love music and is learning life skills to help make his future a brighter one.