Let me tell you about a conversation I overheard recently between two high school students who were days away from starting this new school year. I don’t know if they knew I was listening, and I doubt it would have made a difference to them. After hearing many of their thoughts about how weird it was going to be, who they liked and disliked, how bad the food would be, and that they were sure they had forgotten everything they knew, I heard a sentence that made me smile from ear to ear: “But, I can’t wait to start band.” And there we have it. Not another subject was mentioned positively. Just band.

So, of course, that got me started thinking about how special that family of students we call “band” is in our lives and in their lives. Think about it. For many, it is where they feel safe, where they feel welcome, where they feel accepted, where they feel successful, where they feel a part of something bigger than themselves. Quite simply, where they feel at home. I know that was true for me, and I bet it was true for you. We could fill pages discussing what band is for students and what it does for students, but all that truly matters is that it continues to be a beacon, a rock, an island, an oasis, or whatever metaphor you choose for a very special place they call “band.”

Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
KHS America

About the Author

Dr. Boonshaft, Director of Education for KHS America, is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. Dr. Boonshaft is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music. He was honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education.”