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Little Drum Major's (Composition #3)

Theme: The sooner we recognize the gift, the sooner we can enhance and properly develop the ability...


* Shifting the approach of discovery...

* Raising standards and expectations...

* Embracing the passion of uniqueness...

Hello world! Welcome to Efforts of Harmony - the virtual headquarters of "Success 4 the Future".

Today's topic is catered towards the age old question: What do you want to be when you grow up? Sure enough everyone reading this has been asked this question. And, if you're old enough, I figure that you've asked someone the same thing.

But, before we dive into the subject matter, let me set a scene for you. It's a beautiful fall day on the hills of Alabama A&M University. Maroon & white is everywhere, the grills are fired up, music is heard all across the campus, and the fans are piling into the football stadium for an amazing day of school spirit and competition. No offense to my gridiron athletes, but this is the atmosphere set for band season. The football game was just an exciting additive. The halftime show and battle of the bands is why people came to the game. If you are familiar with HBCU's, you know exactly what I mean.

Well, bands are headed by Drum Major's. These individuals are responsible for leading rehearsals, being the primary disciplinarians, making sure that members are thoroughly prepared for the performance, and entertaining the masses with their unique skills and abilities. You're in the front and there's quite a bit of pressure. Everything basically rests on the shoulders of the Drum Major.

I personally believe that young people are little leaders in their own right. They simply need the guidance and exposure to amplify the qualities that reside within them. However, only when they gain confidence, will we witness the true manifestation of this claim.

Kids are involved in clubs and other extracurricular activities even when they are in elementary school. They also have an idea of what core subject they enjoy learning the most and the core subjects they best excel in. From these experiences, the imaginations of young people expound to levels that many would never think about. And too often, adults are the reason that young people don't become what they are destined to be. Why aren't we looking at what children are doing and aligning their futures with their current interests? When will we create an academic platform that embraces and propels the individual interest of learners?

I would believe that adults, because they have been influenced by their own elders to follow a certain pathway in life, pass down the same concepts and understandings to the young people after them. This has to be stopped! Unfortunately in today's society we are afraid to challenge youngsters to reach their full potential because we don't think that they can. Yet, young people are waiting for a chance to be the best that they can be. Who's at fault here?

I remember when I started arranging music for high school bands, and the band directors would tell me that the music I wrote was too complicated for their students. I would then respond by saying: Give me a chance to teach them, and they will prove to you that they can handle the task at hand. Nonetheless, even while playing college level music, the kids would always execute and impress their music instructors. The students simply needed someone to believe in them and show them the way. They already had the talent and desire to be great. Why do we think young people aren't capable of going above and beyond the ordinary? How much has society missed out on because we didn't nurture the gifts and energies of our youth? We must do something different moving forward.

I always tell program participants: Don't worry about fitting in. Stand out! Love your uniqueness, and contribute who you are to all of humanity. All people are simply minute pieces to the larger puzzle of life. Though different in our aspirations and ambitions, we each makeup and contribute to the beauty of the world we live in. And, without every single person fulfilling their purpose - we all suffer. Imagine a world completely filled with dream chasers and difference makers. Oh how great this place would be.

I challenge each of you to examine your inner child, and think of that dream of yours that belonged to no one else but you. Consider the belief you had, when you just knew that this dream would come true. Right now we have to be an outlet for those young people who dream bigger than adult circumstances will let us comprehend. The great innovative discoveries, meaningful interventions, and useful amplified concepts of tomorrow rest in the hearts and minds of our youth today.

Let's do our job of recognizing, at an early age, what young people have to share with our society. Instead of just imposing our views and standards on young people, let's show them how to be responsible with their own positive ambitions. Humans are products of their exposure, especially young people. So when our youth share their ideas and they seem too far fetched, let them dream, help them find an outlet to bring that dream into fruition, or simply get out of the way. Everything we need here on Earth, is already provided. Will we find it and utilize it is the question. God bless!

- Reggie

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