Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Music to our ears

It was a proud moment tonight when my daughter performed as a fifth-grade trombone player in her first All-City Band Concert. Unfortunately, it was a proud moment out of a concert made up of several million moments. Band after band after band after band after band took the stage after my daughter's group was done, with fifth-grade parents trapped in the room by the promise that their players would be out later for a finale. I've now seen the future for my girl in instrumental music -- the sixth-grade band, the seventh-and-eighth-grade band, the high school band, and various jazz bands and orchestral combinations in between. Having stayed to the very end and listened to every note, I can report that the playing does improve as the kids get older, though maybe not as much as the conducters who chose the music thought; that the district's recently added string program still has a long way to go; and that the high school marching band rocks.

The good thing about all this is that our district has managed, in a time of tight budgets and property tax wrangling, to maintain a thriving music program. The possibly less good thing is that, if my daughter keeps working hard and practicing, we will be sitting through many, many endless concerts like this one in the years to come. Perhaps music fosters discipline and perseverance in parents as well as students. But I saw an awful lot of high school parents sneaking in late.

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