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A Look Into My Life,  Music

The Fourth Whistle

This is the beginning of an exciting project that I am starting as a component of my website. This project is my own personal blog. In this blog, you will find various experiences that have occurred in my “professional” career here at Drake University. Most of which are quite embarrassing, but so very funny that I couldn’t resist sharing with the world. Please enjoy.

I would like to start off by acknowledging the fact that this is a really strange title for a blog post. But, you will understand why this title is absolutely necessary here in a moment. Before we get any further, let me bestow upon you the background of this story.

I am a Music Major, and a member of the Drake University Marching Band (bonded to this band through the threat of a disappearing scholarship). What’s a marching band you ask? Well it’s a group of music-loving nerds who walk around on a field playing instruments…it’s harder than you think and how I just described it to be. Anyway, I am one of three drum majors, who conduct the band while they march. Given this information, it is also essential that you know that each drum major counts time using a whistle, so the band can hear them and begin playing or marching at the correct time.

So here is the story. I stood, very nervously, on the metal podium for the first time waiting to conduct a show I had only practiced a few times. The band was lined up beneath me ready to march onto the practice lot. I gave the signal to the lead drummer to begin the marching cadence, and soon everyone was aligned on the lot in front of me. I raised my arms to begin counting off and blew the first count into the cold whistle. Then the second. Then the third. And finally the fourth. But instead of the fourth whistle count, my breath caught in the middle and the wind intended to exit my body, sucked right back into it. All that was heard on this fourth count (that, by the way, I will NEVER live down as long as I am here at Drake) was a huge “QUACK!”

Never had the pit of my stomach dropped so far below my knees than at that moment. Fortunately, my instincts (that had come from years as a drum major) kicked into overdrive and I began the show as though nothing had happened. There were members of the band heaved over beyond their knees in laughter, while others were still in their spot-wide eyed with shock. Still others chuckled nervously as our professor waved dramatically to cut us off-in tears of laughter from the incident. I myself was in tears of laughter at that moment, realizing what I had done.

There is nothing in this world that is better than having nervousness calmed by a humorous mistake. In this snapshot of time, I was so nervous to mess up and make a mistake, and here it was, in all of its glory. And it was received with laughter, not at me, but with me. I learned a valuable and humorous lesson during this rehearsal. The fear of judgement only comes when you think others are judging you with negativity. Nothing prepares you for when you will be graced with laughter.

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