A friend of mine, Wayne Washam, often said, “There are some kids the band needs, and there are some kids who need the band.” This video, which illustrates a true story from my teaching career, spotlights a young man who started as one and became the other.

March is “Music in Our School Month.” It’s an opportunity to focus on the part music plays in our schools if we are truly committed to educating children who grow up whole. I’ll never forget the words of a former superintendent who said, “How many music questions are there on the (high-stakes) test?” I had to hold my tongue to keep from saying, “None…and it’s a shame.”

We are in a period where the pressure is on to teach to the test to the exclusion of all else. There needs to be a voice that says preparation for a rich life, not to mention a well-rounded childhood, includes far more than that which can be neatly included on a bubble test.