I have spent the last few months going to football games and marching contest to watch my oldest son Matt play the tuba in his high school marching band. Every time the crowd cheers for their performance, I get choked up thinking about him being a part of something that is bigger than himself. He is a part of the band and that means he is contributing to the music and the orchestrated marching.
Today’s story took me to the New Horizons Band practice in Denton, TX. The band is a product of the University of North Texas music department. Over the past 14 years they have taught dozens of senior citizens how to play a musical instrument and helped those who used to play re-learn their instrument. There are two bands, one for beginners and an advanced band. The advanced band has about 50 to 60 members and has a lot of fun playing music together.
The beginners band is a lesson in perseverance. It’s kind of funny to see these older men and women reverted back to sixth grade band and the squeaking and squawking that goes along with learning a new instrument. I have a sixth grader who is trying to learn the alto sax, so I’m familiar with the squeaking and squawking. It’s just not something you expect to hear from someone who looks experienced.
My hat goes off to all of those who took that leap into an unknown world of music and picked up an instrument and tried to master something new in their retired years. No matter how badly you play right now you are part of the band and you are contributing to the music.
Learning to play an instrument is on my list of things to do someday, and maybe when I retire I’ll finally get a chance to do just that.