Summary: Discipleship principles gleaned from my years of participation in band.

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Band Lessons

Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD (Psalm 150:1-6).

MUSIC CLASS WAS REQUIRED when I was in grammar school. Like countless of pilgrims before me, I was introduced to that little black thing called a recorder. I remember at the time wanting desperately to move on to the trumpet, but was told that I had to learn the basics. There would be plenty of time later for a trumpet. Even though I was greatly disappointed, I can honestly say that upon reflection, that music class opened up to me a whole new world. Music would become an integral part of my life, and the lessons I would learn from participation in it would benefit me for years to come.

By the seventh grade, I felt I was ready for the big move up. I approached the music teacher and said that I wanted to play in the junior high band. He welcomed my interest but said that the only position open was French horn. French horn? I wanted to play the trumpet or drums! But he said it was the French horn or nothing. So I began taking lessons, and shortly thereafter found myself in junior high band.

By the time next year rolled around I was asked to move up to the senior high band. They were in need of French horn players. As an eighth-grader, to be accorded this opportunity was quite an honor. This promotion was not so much about talent as it was about desperation.

I was too small for football and basketball so the next most popular thing on campus was the band! Oh, how I loved that uniform---concerts, traveling to competitions, marching in parades and at football games. Those were grand days to be sure. But without a doubt, the most advantageous aspect of this participation was in the life principles I learned. Let me share a few with you.

LESSON ONE: PRACTICE! It always showed up in the performance. It contributed to a sense of self-confidence. So it is with our relationship with the Lord. Spending daily time in God’s Word, memorizing key passages contributes greatly to our growth in Him and usefulness to Him. After all, a true musician wants to be at his best. One time a committee asked Enrico Caruso, the great tenor, to sing at a concert that would benefit charity. The chairman said, “Of course, Mr. Caruso, as this is a charity affair we would not expect much from you. Your name alone will draw a crowd and you can merely sing dome song requiring little effort or skill.” Caruso drew himself up and replied, “Gentlemen, Caruso never does less than his best.” And something tells me that Caruso practiced often in an effort to be constantly at his best. O, may the Lord help us to have that same attitude in our service to Him…being prepared at all times, so that we might be at our best when the Lord calls upon us.

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