My granddaughter is a gifted French horn player. She also practices a lot. She has been a freshman in high school this year.
In the olden days, bands practiced, starting in the summer at 6 am and going till 8, when the heat started. They marched. They played. Every week, we got a different halftime show. There was no UIL. I was in orchestra, so I don't know, but I bet bands worked then as hard as they do now.
It has changed. There is competition. There are Standards. I recently saw a video of the Texas all-state winners this year. It was magnificent. Amazing.
But I am not writing about that except--since competition is the key, the marching band performed, and played, the same music over and over for four months.
My granddaughter doesn't know it yet, but she will never forget that music, nor her part of the tune. It is embedded.
I once spent four months as a teenager playing Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nacht Musik". My spelling may not be perfect. I can no longer finger the notes. I remember the bow strokes. And I jump to attention every time,50-some years later, when I hear it again.
There is a certain exhileration. Joy in the music. Remembering the actual feeling that I helped that sound to be made.
I hear business-minded idiots saying that music doesn't matter, that we should just pay for readin' writin' arithmetic. Actually, that no longer fits state standards, thank goodness.
I recently went to a band concert where half was the directer talking. She said music expands the brain, the intellect, and she pointed out, of the 10 best students in America recently, 7 had band credentials. The other three had orchestra.
I don't know where that leaves voice students. Anyway.
My granddaughter will carry this music with her lifelong. She doesn't know it yet.
It will enrichen her life and broaden her parameters.
I know. It did so with me. My instrument was the violin. I practiced at home in the early years. I had forgiving and hopeful parents.
I listen to Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony". I listen to Handel's "Messiah", and I remember both playing it and singing it.
I remember being part of the music.
My granddaughter will, too.