A student mentioned in class she isn’t interested in college marching band because it is so different than high school and, she implied, therefore lesser than. They are different, but I don’t know that one’s better than another.
HS competitive marching band is about perfecting something over the course of months, developing individual skills, collaborative processes, and mental/emotional discipline. Mr. Meyers has continued the excellent tradition of the GHHS band, and I am very proud to have been a member (1,000,000 years ago).
That said, college bands are very different. You already know how to focus on details and how you fit into the big picture, so you can quickly learn a new show with music and drill. And you have to move quick, because you’re learning a new show every week! No matter what, Saturday you’ll be out there performing for 60,000 fans. That’s a very different focus and process than taking a whole semester to perfect a more complicated show but they’re both vital to real life. As a teacher, every single day I need to prepare to teach an APUSH and American 2 class to 100 AP, Honors, and Academic students. I’m bringing a ton of resources together, thinking about where we currently are, what we’ve done, and where we need to be in two weeks and two months. Some lessons I spend weeks refining, like my Hamilton lesson which I presented to the NC Council for Social Studies in 2016. Some are the result of patient set-up with collaborators, like Duke sociology professor Dr. Healy, or USC MD Dr. Thompson, or the PE teacher at Yates Mill, Mrs. Parker. But all of them are indelibly influenced by the simple fact that students will be in my class at 7:25 and they deserve a great lesson every day, not one perfect lesson a week from now.
We need all these lessons. As goofy as band was and is, I feel very lucky to have learned these lessons with friends in a safe place. So while I humbly acknowledge that, for some, halftime is an opportunity to visit concessions and while Jessica and I will always exchange catty comments if the flag feature isn't together, I'll always love band and hope that my students are lucky enough to learn the lessons it can teach.