“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Charles Dickens
I have to admit something; I am crazy about college basketball. And I came a bit late to the Big Dance. It wasn’t until after my first child was born and I was bleary-eyed those first few weeks I even knew there was a NCAA basketball tournament. It was during that March, when all sense of time was suspended because Baby needed to be fed, I came to watch my first game. My husband was a rabid fan I came to know, and we took turns holding and burping our young son while we yelled “De-Fence” or some such at the TV.
As many of you read this, the first game of the 2017 NCAA championship tournament has begun or has already been played. Our family remains rabid fans of the Big Dance; so much so, the greater extended family has a yearly Tourn-Amenta which pits everyone’s picks against everyone else’s picks. Mothers and fathers play against children, aunts and uncles play against nieces and nephews and cousins play against cousins. Clever trash talking, without rancor, is encouraged. Last year’s winner was my 86 year old mother-in-law with my 13 year old nephew coming in second. It is the one time of year we are united in interest and come together without the usual family hierarchy. It is fun for all, and that is an accomplishment!
There is always a “Cinderella” team in the tournament and this year is no different. “She” hasn’t been invited to the Big Dance in 78 years and wears purple and white. I know there are a few alums from that august institution reading this right now. So, in your honor I shout, “Go ‘Cats!”
What does the NCAA Tournament have to do with music or choirs, you may ask? I am getting to that, don’t worry! March, in addition to our Madness for basketball, is also National Music in Our Schools month, isn’t it? But are we as Mad for Music? Do we promote music the way basketball is promoted? Is it us, or is it them? And how can we get the word out about music, in our schools, during March?
If you teach school music, I hope you do things to promote your program during March. If you don’t teach in a school program, I hope you do what you are able to promote and support those who do. If you know children who participate in your local school’s music program, I hope you not only do what you can to support them but ASK what you can do to support them.
It is our responsibility to support music in our schools ALL THE TIME but especially during March. We won’t have singers in the future for our programs if they haven’t had the opportunity to sing and participate in music while they are students. If basketball is in our schools and folks go Mad in March, why can’t everyone go Mad for Music in March as well?