This Friday night my son, Brayden will perform in his first halftime show. In thinking about this momentous event, I was reminded of a blog I wrote five years ago. I shared it with my son, and thought you might enjoy it or want to share it with your students or parents.
FRIDAY NIGHT FIRSTS!
Admit it... There's a secret part of you that’s excited that the football season is FINALLY here. Gone are the long hot days of band camp and basics and now it’s finally time to see the kids in uniform! YEEEESSSS!
You're likely just as, or more excited than your students.
For many of your students, this Friday night will be full of some very special firsts;
First high school football game
First time loading the bus
First time putting on a uniform
First time performing in front of a large crowd
First time under the stadium lights
First post performance pep-talk
It will also likely be full of some not so special firsts:
First wrong notes and bad tone
First missed drill spots and out of step students
First "time tear"
First electronic malfunction
First time where the melody can't be heard because of the drum line
First time a freshman cries out of fear and another out of joy!
Yes, today will be full of firsts, but not "lasts." All of these things will likely occur again (and again and again). Yes, not all firsts are good ones, but they are still special none-the-less.
Knowing how special this entire evening of firsts is, I encourage you to sit back, enjoy, and try and take it all in. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Celebrate the firsts for what they are, a starting point to a longer journey. There will be plenty of time for reflection and rehearsal afterwards, but THIS performance is different, for your students and for you!
For just ONE night, set aside your well trained ears and teacher goggles and enjoy the smiles on your students' faces. Take pride in the the memories you helped them to make. Enjoy the tear filled eyes of your freshman parents. Enjoy being under the lights instead of the burning hot sun. Enjoy the feel and smell of fresh cut grass instead of hot asphalt. Enjoy the friendships this activity fosters and the life lessons that are being learned. JUST ENJOY!
Saturday? That can be about analysis and correction.
Friday is about celebrating the process and not the product, the people and not the performance. It's about celebrating the children who choose music and the impact you have on them.
The first performance will be far from perfect. It may not even be good. But it sure beats the alternative, kids who have nothing to do, no friends to do it with, and no music in their lives!
Enjoy the firsts!