The mission of the Colts Drum & Bugle Corp is to “…use music and excellence to teach each other about success in life.” In 2003, new Instrumental Music Teacher Becky Long served under that mission as a member of the marching band. Now, as an educator, she continues to hold that mission near to her heart. Mrs. Long shared this mission and what inspires her to teach with the students in Upper School on Tuesday during the latest installment of the “Why I Teach” series.
Mrs. Long came to MICDS this fall, having previously spent time at Palen Music Center, Rockwood Summit High School and Webb City High School. In her speech, she stated that her love of music starts with her parents, who are band parents for life. Music has been a part of her life from a very young age as her father served as a musician in the Air Force Band.
“My dad’s music took us around the world. I grew up attending concerts and ceremonies, meeting dignitaries and well-known entertainment figures that my dad was fortunate enough to perform with,” she states.
Her first instrument was the flute, handed down to her from her mother. From then on, she was all about music and was especially intrigued with marching bands. Mrs. Long auditioned as a college student for a select group of the top marching bands in the country and was respectfully selected by the Colts Drum & Bugle Core. Through that experience, she was not just a member of a band, she was able to travel all over the country performing and competing, honing her craft as a musician and eventually meeting her now husband. Even though the band that selected her was not her top choice, if she hadn’t been selected by the Colts, she may not be the person she is today with the life she now has. She loves imparting the love of music in the next generation, including her own two little ones.
To close out her presentation, Mrs. Long read the storybook Mole Music by David McPhail. The story is about Mole who has always led a simple life, but lately, he feels something is missing. When he first hears someone playing the violin, Mole realizes that he longs to make beautiful music, too. Through practice and patience, Mole learns to play. And even though he plays alone in the privacy of his underground home, his music has an effect on others which is more magical than Mole will ever know.
“I believe in using music education to empower students to achieve more than they ever thought they could,” states Long. “If you can develop the grit and perseverance required to play that hard part in the music and understand that everything you do musically affects the people sitting in the ensemble next to you, then I believe that a brilliant musician will be the person that changes the world. I believe that a musician, who is also an accomplished scientist, doctor or researcher, will find a cure for cancer or bring peace to the most war-ravaged places on our Earth, just like Mole did. Why do I teach? I teach because we need the opportunity to use music and excellence to teach each other about success in life.”