I could say a lot about this “hymnal appreciation” article from theologyinworship.com, but I think it speaks for itself. Many of the “reasons” have been obvious to me for most of my life, but this author articulates them more clearly than I could. My favorite: “Hymnals give congregational singing back to the people.” Give it a read.
Marching Band. People seem to either love it or hate it. Many musicians say it’s unmusical. Orchestral players sneer at it. And yet, almost every college and university has a marching band. The same is true for high schools. Those in the bands often love it and are willing to devote to it a huge amount of time and energy.
First the musical argument: Ok, we know that the band directors and drum majors basically say one thing – play louder! It’s hard to teach musicality when there are three dynamic levels: loud, louder, and blow-your-brains-out. Orchestral standards are often rearranged and sometimes butchered in an attempt to do a familiar piece. Not much listening is involved since everyone is usually playing all the time while marching on a field 30 yards away from the other sections. However, maybe many of these students have no regular involvement with anything that resembles good music. This could be their only exposure to music that’s not rock, rap, or death metal.
Second, the participation argument: Not many cons here. Most bands are proud, tight-knit groups that enjoy spending time playing music together. Regular weekend football games and competitions are great ways for students to interact outside of the classroom and collaborate.
Lastly, the time argument: Band camp is usually a rough two weeks before school starts of nothing but marching and playing. But hey, it’s summer and most kids are probably not doing much of anything anyway. Once the school year starts, students often spend early mornings and school nights rehearsing, even leaving school early to travel to other schools. However, when it comes down to it, the amount of school missed is probably not as significant as we would think. Marching band members tend to be pretty good managers of time and as a general rule do well in their other classes.
Conclusion: If the interest is there, marching band is a great thing for kids to be involved in. And while I only did it for two of my four years of high school, I look back on it now with fond memories. Band ten hut!