All right, just forget American Pie for a second.
Geek is chic these days, people, and no where has geek pride had a longer standing tradition than marching onto the field at halftime and livin’ it up at band camp every summer.
If you want talented kids, then what’s more demanding than learning to play an instrument, high-step through a routine and sweat bullets in a full suit of polyester in August? That’s the kind of discipline every parent dreams of for their kid and there’s one place to get it: the marching band.
So, take a look at this awesome list from Mir Kamin at Alphamom and get ready for hours of practice and an experience they’ll treasure for a lifetime.
The uniforms are terrible. As already acknowledged, no one on the planet looks good in a marching uniform. This is not a bad thing. While the cheerleaders are making sure their high ponytails are just so, the girls in the band are simply stuffing their hair into their shakos (yes, the dorky hats have a special name) and forgetting about it. You know who looks stupid in a marching band uniform? That awkward, pimply kid who snorts when he laughs. You know who else looks stupid in a marching band uniform? The drum-playing Ashton Kutcher lookalike all the girls are giggling over. Everyone. Stupid uniforms are the great unifier. The playing field is completely level (pun intended) for the band kids on the fraught topic of looks, and this can be a real relief for kids who are constantly worrying if they measure up.
Those terrible uniforms are dry-clean only. In the recent past I’ve have two different friends with sports-playing teens send me pictures of giant mountains of laundry and encroaching piles of smelly pads and other equipment, lamenting the stench and work that is being a sports parent. We have none of that. The uniforms get sent out for cleaning, and for most of the season here in the south, the kids are wearing as little as possible under said uniforms, because it’s a bazillion degrees outside. No laundry monsters for us! (Just, uh, resist the urge to sniff their marching shoes. You’re welcome. Sprinkle some baking soda in them periodically and stay back.)
Marching band directors are saints among us. Any high school that has a marching band worth its salt is run by a band director anchored by four guiding principles:
1) A love of music.
2) A love of teenagers.
3) Expectation of complete dedication.
4) Zero tolerance for shenanigans.
I know this is true in our band, and in talking with other band families, we’ve all concluded it’s universally true, because there is no other way a high school music teacher can turn a hundred-odd hormone-addled adolescents into a well-oiled production machine. The marching band director will push your child to excellence in a way that settles for nothing less, but somehow he’ll do it in a way that your kid willlove. (Don’t ask me how. I can’t even get this kid to pick up her socks off the floor, so clearly the band director possesses superpowers.) The work that gets done on the field is amazing enough, but it doesn’t end there—this extra set of watchful eyes brooks no transgressions elsewhere, either. There is a code of conduct and it is taken very seriously. Which leads us to…
Full story at Alphamom.
Photo credit: Wikimedia CommonsAuthor on Google+