Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kids these days


I had the opportunity last night to attend the Annual High School Jazz Festival. Nothing brings me to tears like experiencing the passion someone has for something s/he does. 
Last night I had the opportunity to hear passion in the form of music.  Listening to the music through the ears of a parent, I heard perfection.  It never ceases to astound me that these kids can produce such music. 


I know many of the musicians in the band and I know that their abilities run the gamut and it is amazing to me that these kids who, bobbing their heads deep in concentration so to be able to jump into the tune at just the right time, are the same kids that 6 or 7 years ago I watched at soccer practice trying to figure out just which way to kick the ball.

Their talents are endless!  They are well-rounded in such a way that I would never have considered when I was their age.  It is true that a good number of the Penns Valley Jazz band know how to wrangle a calf and have done it and received awards for doing so.  I’ve witnessed the shooting prowess of at least one trumpeter and saxophone player at a recent shooting competition. I know that a certain member (someone very near and dear to me) recently received the eighth grade award for excellence in math.  One of the kids in the band is someone to whom I’ve listened since he was about kneehigh and played his guitar and sang for the residents of a local nursing facility.  I’ve seen these kids on the soccer field, at elementary school concerts, at Boy Scouts, in Church, all over the place.  These kids seem to excel at everything they do and they want to do so much!  I know there is a lot to be said about letting kids have time to be kids.  And I think I’ve been successful at that with my own kids.  But I also know that they are building some very strong skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. 


Music will help them deal with stress, show leadership, demonstrate initiative but most importantly, music will give them a path – has given them the path – to touch other humans at a level that other modes of communication cannot possibly replicate.  They’ve crossed that safe line and made the choice to not simply enjoy music passively.   They are grabbing life and with these skills, will change the world.   If this is what the world is coming to, I hope to remain a part of it for a very long time.