By Nikki Velarde, The Belton Journal
With the start of school this week, Belton High School’s Marching 100 finished up their Summer Band rehearsals with the Parent Shadow Night as their culminating event. Friday, August 3rd marked their last day of Summer Band and students were eager to show their parents just how much they’ve learned.
M100 parents observed their students in rehearsal while the band directors shared information on everything they have accomplished over the summer, to include how the show is progressing as well as how a marching rehearsal is conducted.
The M100 demonstrated and performed the initial portion of the show that has been learned up to this point. Afterwards, parents joined their students and shared a spot on the field with them and received some individual instruction of their own. Parents learned how to hold the instrument and how to march to some basic set points. They then had the opportunity to actually march a few of those sets with their child, and then even try out the sets a couple of times on their own.
“They make it look so easy,” said M100 parent Penny Ray. “My music experience is limited to piano lessons I had as a child and playing the hand bells at church. Nothing like this. Growing up, the school I attended had no band program.”
“The experience for parents is very entertaining and enjoyable, especially for those who were never in marching band when they were in school,” said M100 parent and BISD Coordinator of Fine Arts, Richard Thomas. “Of course, the students also get a big kick out of having their parents out on the field marching.”
“Music programs don’t just teach kids how to play instruments, it give our students practice and experience with life skills,” commented Ray. “They don’t realize all the experience they are gaining that will have positive impacts on them.”
There is discipline learned through long rehearsals, drills, and memorization as well as time management skills as a good chunk of the students’ time is devoted to rehearsals, football games, and contests during the band season.
Not only is marching and playing at the same challenging, but then you add in that students often march at one tempo while playing in another. The multi-tasking a student learns while marching is a very important skill to have as an adult.
In psychology today, resilience is an often discussed topic. Being able to bounce back after setbacks or mistakes is an important skill to have throughout life. This skill develops by being practiced and experiences and there sure are a lot of opportunities to practice in marching band.
Band members get an opportunity to see the benefits of sacrificing for the good of the team. There is amazing satisfaction in coming together with a team and working alongside your fellow students to perform a show. Unlike the teamwork seen in sports, the teamwork in marching bands is about individual and group self-improvement while competing and comparing results over time.
Other life skills learned include sportsmanship and generosity, flexibility and creative problem solving, trust in fellow band members, camaraderie over shared experiences, manners, respect, self-awareness, and even education in the histories of music. Also, learning music also involves utilizing math skills. Not to mention, playing music is a great mood booster.
It’s been shown that learning and practicing these life skills dramatically benefit students during their school years and beyond. A Harris Poll showed that adults with more education and higher household incomes were more likely to have had music education and that nearly 73% of CEOs from Fortune 1000 companies were involved in music programs during high school.
“I’m so proud of my kids,” Ray added as she watched the students busy with rehearsal. “I’m so glad they have the opportunity to march.”
To see the full list of rehearsals, contests, games, camps, auditions, and concerts for this school years Marching 100, please visit bisd.net/Page/6655