The Students Become the Teachers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
College essay on experiences in marching band.

Submitted: December 14, 2010

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Submitted: December 14, 2010

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The Students Become the Teachers Since the band was instituted at my school, there has been an annual Football game in which the “middle schoolers” from various schools would come to have a taste of the high school marching band experience. The middle schoolers come for the opportunity to have the full experience of a typical football game. The trombone section, in which I reside, usually assumes the role of welcoming one or two younger trombonists on these events. Ordinarily bad members wouldn’t tell the younger students anything more than necessary to play the given music, just to get more time into laughing with fellow band members. The middle school visitor game went differently on my junior year. As an upperclassman, I was newly able to personally help out a young middle schooler, one-on-one. Immediately after asking him his name, which incidentally was the same as my own, Max, it became apparent that this was a visitation with my old self. I used to be very much like this younger boy, not knowing much in the way of trombone, yet able to sustain myself musically in the group. Around five minutes into the game, I asked young Max about his unique lyre (a lyre is a device that fastens sheet music onto an instrument). The school had given him the wrong lyre and nearly ruined his ability to look at the sheet music. I quickly told him that he should take my own lyre. I locked the liar onto his instrument, leaving my trombone bare. I was left without the written notes, but not without the memorized notes that I had gained over years of experience. In a flash of time, the end of the second quarter neared. The band, complete with the middle schoolers, had collected at the edge of the field. It would be little time before we would take the field, but young Max had not been present for the marching training. I acted calmly and quickly, teaching him the basics: to stand tall, to be in step, how to hold the horn, and to never grow weary of his surroundings. The half-time show was a success, not by the standards of music or visuals, but by the effort that was put into it by each and every one of the kids, especially Max. I saw him next to me, puffing his chest, trying his very best. It brought back a multitude of memories and revelations. In essence, history was repeating itself that night. I was continuing the cycle of knowledge spreading throughout the intellectual universe. I had learned from my own upperclassmen when I myself was new to the marching band. Now I am sharing that knowledge to others. I gave young Max everything I could give him to benefit him in his marching band experience; this was not done reluctantly to look good in front of the bad director or my peers, but given with passion. If I was able to improve this child’s learning experience, I was also able to, in turn, make Max into a better man, unafraid of what he does not know and eager to both learn and master the seemingly impossible, a trait that I had acquired myself, with the help of my own upperclassmen guides.


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