Have you ever played in a band? Tell us all about that experience of making music with friends. If you’ve never been in a band, imagine you’re forming a band with some good friends. What instrument do you play in the band and why? What sort of music will you play?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us PERFORMANCE.
Music has always been a big part of my life. I always enjoyed a good pickin’ and grinnin’ session. Dad would grab his guitar and Grandpa played a couple of different instruments. When I was growing up, they would play in church and then we would hang out at home playing O Danny Boy and John Denver. I loved it. I would clap and sing along with everyone else.
In 6th grade, I got to pick an instrument. I chose the flute. I think it was because it was what Mom and Dad could afford but I didn’t care. I liked it. 6th grade band was horrible but it was our first year. Grandpa made it all better though. He was so excited to be helping me practice and teaching me songs like When the Saints Go Marching In. It was so much fun to play with Grandpa and Dad.
In 7th grade, we ended up in high school band. Our school was a little weird and we really should have has another year but 7th grade was the best year in band. I made friends with upper classman. We did a parade and the most awesome Christmas and spring concert. The pieces of music were so hard but when we finally got to rock it, we really kicked butt. You would have thought we were playing in the big leagues.
Football season was also in its prime that year. We actually were going to State. We sat in the bleachers next to the fans and played We Got the Beat and Hang on Sloopy. Our band director would rock out this solo during part of Hang on Sloopy. It always blew everyone away. He could play a mean sax. We ended the football season with our tails between our legs and a busted drum head but it was totally worth it.
Basketball season was just as good if not better. With the acoustics of the gym and getting out of class a little early to make it to the gym for the home games that were during class, we jammed out to those too. Pep rallies were pretty awesome too.
When that year was over, it was like the music really had died. The football team stunk after that. The band director left for greener pastures. There just wasn’t the same heart.
I stayed in band until midway through high school. I had a disagreement with the band director. Her strict fundamentals and marching band mentality drove the soul of why I was in band out.
It was my Grandpa and Dad that kept me playing. We played every time we would go see my Grandpa. Any chance to grab my flute and play… Mom bought me a better one off eBay. She was so proud and I was even prouder. We played in the talent show my Grandpa, Dad, and I. I played in my Grandpa’s band called the Joyful Heart at church and even at a nursing home.
When tornado season came, it was no longer my child hood teddy bear that needed protecting. I would grab my flute and head to the cellar. I think my Mom and Dad looked at me with approval. I had a real passion for playing the flute. I could play the drums and oboe, but drums weren’t as fun and Mom would always start looking for the 12 gauge when I played the Oboe. It wasn’t that I could play some magical piece like some of the great flute players. I can’t even name one. It was the feeling of being with the ones I love and being a part of something.
We were making memories. Memories that I didn’t realize would be the best gift ever. Grandpa flew away a couple of years ago. I taught myself a little of the guitar this past year and plan on working on it some more this year but I still love to grab the simple music book Grandpa let me borrow and play a song or two.
I hope generations after me can find the soul of the music like I have.
It really is priceless.
I’ve still got the beat, Grandpa.