Because we see the kids growing as people. Gaining confidence. Surpassing their self-imposed limits. Setting higher goals and achieving them. Working as a part of a team. Learning to appreciate the hard work. Figuring out that they can perform at levels they never realized. Learning to prioritize time. Learning how to schedule multiple activities and meet all the obligations. Becoming better musicians.
Are these things easy? Never. Are they always convenient? Nope. Are the long hours of work enjoyable? Not always.
But some of life's most valuable lessons are learned through this type of immersion in a worthwhile activity. The things that stick with you for the next 10, 20, or 30 years are not likely to be the answers to a quiz or the homework paper you turned in. They will be the experiences you had as a part of the band.
At exhibition tonight, I was approached by a gentleman in a North Cobb shirt. He said, "You don't remember me, but I was in the band your first year of teaching...at Redan HS 1984..." We caught up on memories from decades gone by...and he told me that his kid was enjoying the band experience. Shortly after, a former Pope student who now teaches at North Cobb stopped by and told me that all of her four kids were either in band or planning to be. We reminisced on some of the "olden days".
The lessons last. Celebrate your time in band and create some great memories. You'll be glad you did!