From Band Director to Band Dad

September 1, 2010

This year my Daughter started high school, and I’m really excited that she has decided to join the marching band.  She is not attending the school where I teach (band), but that is a long story for another time.  I have been a band director for 22 years, and one of the biggest reasons that I chose to become a teacher is the fantastic experiences that I had when I was in school band- the work ethic, the family atmosphere, and of course all of my friends and the great times we had making music together.

As my daughter begins her high school band experience, I find myself remembering and sharing stories and it brings us closer together.  I am so proud to see her enjoy the experience so much! In anticipation of her beginning high school, knowing that she did not want to attend my school (again, looong story- don’t worry the reasons are really pragmatic), I could not bear the thought of not being able to share the moments that I know are sure to come for her.  I have been fortunate enough to be in a position this year- taking a leave of absence from my position to work on my doctoral dissertation- to be able to “be there” with her, taking her to band camp, band practice, football games, competitions, and all that comes with the experience.

I have to say that it was a bit surreal chaperoning a high school football game as a band parent and not the head band director!  She is in a fine band program headed by one of my oldest and dearest friends, so I know that she will have a wonderful education and I have of course volunteered to be at every event.  It really is proving to be an eye-opening experience being on the “other end” of the band experience!  I look forward to a season of hauling water, taking students back and forth to the restroom during away games, cheering like a proud papa at competitions (that’s my girl!!!!), and being the taxi for her and her friends to the pizza party after the big game.

I know that she will have experiences (just like I did) that she will remember for the rest of her life- I am also glad that I have the opportunity to just be “dad” and shower praise and affection liberally and often rather than having to worry about the perception of favoritism that would always be in the background if she was in my program.  So, here’s to a wonderful year of being…dad.