Leader of the Band
The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument
And his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
- Dan Fogelberg, Leader of the Band
If you don’t know this song or the artist who wrote it, you should.
In 1981 Dan Fogelberg wrote a musical tribute to his band director father that shot all the way to number one on the Billboard Music Chart. Through his poingnant lyrics and soulful melody, Leader of the Band spoke in a powerful way to this crazy profession and the impact it has on people. The song and sentiment are truly touching and although the he wrote it for his father, it could have just as easily been written for you.
Your life and legacy live on through every student that passes through your program. Through your teaching you provide students with more than music lessons, you give them life lessons. This tribute song reminds us that teaching music is so much more than a profession and it can be accompanied by as much sacrifice and pain as joy and fulfillment. Music education is a calling, one that chooses us as much as we choose it.
In the coming days and weeks your students will leave you. Some of them forever, but that does not mean that you are gone from their hearts and minds. In part, they are a living legacy to THEIR leader of the band. But before they go, perhaps you could close the door of your office, take a break, sit back, and listen as Dan Fogelberg reminds us of the power of the Leader of the Band.
Next week will mark the end of the eleventh year of newsletters and the start of our communication hiatus. The break is not for us, as we will be barnstorming across the country working with student leaders, but want to give you some time away to relax. Enjoy!