Our school district band has got it right. Mix the little kids with the big kids.
This last Friday evening, the 5th and 6th grade band students had the chance to march with the high school band at the football game.
It was a big day for him. The kids got to walk across to the senior high building after school and have pizza with the senior high band members.
Now this could have gone either way. My son was incredibly excited to be able to march out onto the field for the PV pre-game show just as his sister did several weeks ago. Being matched up with a cynical senior could have totally destroyed his sparking interest in the marching band. It would be so easy for a senior, a nearly all grown up student, to ignore this little kids he had been assigned to mentor for the afternoon. But this drum player choose instead to take his role seriously. And what an impact he had.
The entire way home from the game, my son recounted his evening with this young man and what this 'senior' told him about playing the drums, about the games they played during dinner, about a million other things. My son was so impressed that this young man -- and a young lady, too--that they took the time to actually hang out with him. He couldn't remember his name but I knew who he was talking about because I had seen during the game when they were sitting in the bleachers how he interacted with my son. I wanted to hug him.
My little guy knows that he will never play football, will never play any type of contact sport aside from possibly continuing soccer. How important it was for him to hear of something that wasn't a sport being a way to excel, to be unique. But his face when I looked in my rearview mirror that evening, said it all:
I'm gonna be a drummer.
Thank you Senior-boy- who-is-the-drummer!