We're marching to a new beat

There are pivotal times in our lives where our own children remind us of exactly what it was like for our own parents.

Starting at the beginning of this school year, the West Hills STEM Academy put forward a band program.

The band program is a before-school activity that seems to be gaining in popularity and members.

Depending on what type of instrument a child plays, that child has band practice on varying days of the week.

Most members will practice three times a week.

My son, Nick, has chosen to play the trumpet.

According to him, he is very good at it.

According to my ears the jury is still out on what his definition of  “good” means.

I started playing the clarinet in the fifth grade. I continued to play all the way through high school.

Being a part of the school band was a wonderful experience and no, I never attended band camp.

I did however get to march in some of the Puget Sound region’s premier parades and during my senior year, our high school won the state football championship.

It was a very cool time to be in the band.

My parents were hard-pressed to keep up with my extracurricular activities at times.

Their goal was to keep me so busy with parent-approved adolescent activities, that I would not have time for the activities that were frowned upon.

It worked.

In fact it worked so well that it ran them ragged too.

I am working to keep Nick busy with experiences and coordinated activities.

Now is the time in his life where he should be trying new and creative things without fear.

Before- and after-school programs build on the education foundation that is constructed inside the classroom during the typical school day.

These extra activities round out our kids with a more complete view of the world.

They provide outlets for existing passions as well as those yet to be discovered.

I am extremely happy that the Bremerton School District decided to move forward with a band program at West Hills this year.

Music is an important part of our lives and having the opportunity to experience it in school is important.

I would also like to thank Ted Brown Music.

The rental programs that they offer keeps a wide variety of instruments both affordable and available to the young up and coming musicians of our community.

Colleen Smidt is a longtime Bremerton resident who writes weekly on political and community matters that are important to area residents.

To contact Colleen, email her via lkelly@soundpublishing.com.


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