Dear Editor: In the early 1960s in Springfield, instrumental music education began in the fourth grade. The school system also offered a "summer music camp," so directly after my third grade year, I started my quest to play the trombone.
Through the efforts of dedicated teachers and prodding parents, I proceeded to play the horn throughout my elementary, junior high and high school years, and played with the Drury College band for three semesters.
A change in major caused me to stop playing, and then work, marriage, children and all the other complexities of modern life kept me out of active participation in instrumental music. But when my oldest son started band in the sixth grade here in Cassville, I dusted off the old horn and proceeded to give him lessons. My two younger sons also played horns, trumpet this time around, but I continued to play with them throughout their high school years, mostly in a brass quartet at our church.
About 10 years ago, I was approached by Greg Beck with an offer to play in the Hometown Sound band for The Show, and I'm still playing with them.
Even though I put the horn away for 17 years, the lessons of music education never left me. Being painfully shy and not very athletic, I had very few opportunities to excel, except in the band. I learned a lifetime work ethic in performance preparation and overcame youthful self-consciousness by participating in performances, recitals and half-time shows. Music education truly prepared me for my working life of meeting and serving the public, both in my business and in my civic involvement.
The music education program in the Cassville R-IV School system both needs and deserves our total support.