Listen To The Doobie Brothers

We go through our lives, often times facing stress, disappointment, despair, and sadness as well as gratitude, elation, self-fulfillment, and joy, experiencing the full spectrum of what life may hand us in the daily uncertainty of our existence. At all those times in our lives, be they highs, lows, happy, sad, successful or not, encouraging or disappointing, there’s a constant that probably helps almost everyone be able to celebrate the ups, and get through the downs, and that constant is music.

Music is all around us. It’s a calm in stormy times. It’s a pick-me-up when we may need one. It’s often part of a celebration of accomplishment, joy, or happiness. It’s a way to hope and pray. It’s a mood changer, tonic, an escape, and a soother.

How many of us seem go through each and every day, never hearing any music? I’m guessing, not many of us. If we turn on a television, go to a movie, wear headphones/earbuds while working out, or do home projects, do we not enjoy music while doing those things?

How many of us crank up certain songs we hear on our car radios, and if we’re alone, do some karaoke, many with windows up, but some I’ve heard with glass down too.

If music wasn’t popular, and so widespread, why are there so many Music Award Genres and Awards Shows these days. If music wasn’t something we all need to have, why do so many look forward to Super Bowl Halftime Shows (some more than the game itself), American Idol, and The Voice?

In 1972, a group many have heard of, The Doobie Brothers, released a song titled Listen to the Music, which climbed to #11 in Billboard’s Hot 100, and was on the lips of many rock star wannabees belting out songs in their homes, cars, favorite watering holes, etc., whenever they heard it played. The lyrics of that song, tell just how much music means to anyone who listens to it, and that’s a huge audience.

Those lyrics:

“Don’t you feel it growing, day by day

People getting ready for the news

Some are happy, some are sad

Whoa, gotta let the music play

What the people need is a way to make ’em smile

It ain’t so hard to do if you know how

Gotta get a message, get it on through

Oh, now momma don’t you ask me why

Whoa, oh listen to the music

Whoa, oh listen to the music, Whoa, oh listen to the music

All the time

Well I know, you know baby, everything I say

Meet me in the country for a day

We’ll be happy, and we’ll dance

Oh, we’re gonna dance our blues away

And if I’m feeling good to you and you’re feeling good to me

There ain’t nothing we can’t do or say

Feeling good, feeling fine

Oh, baby, let the music play

Whoa, oh listen to the music

Whoa, oh listen to the music

Whoa, oh listen to the music

All the time

Like a lazy flowing river

Surrounding castles in the sky

And the crowd is growing bigger

Listening for the happy sounds

And I got to let them fly

Whoa, oh listen to the music

Whoa, oh listen to the music

Whoa, oh listen to the music

All the time

Whoa, oh listen to the music

Whoa, oh listen to the music

Whoa, oh listen to the music

All the time

Whoa, oh listen to the music

Whoa, oh listen to the music

Whoa, oh listen to the music

All the time”

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Tom Johnston

Listen to the Music lyrics – Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Recently, the JHS Marching Band Program has been in the news, and though word is the school district is going to interview for a new director to try and fill the shoes of Meghan Murray (who did a phenomenal job in her many years before stepping down), some may be thinking this valuable choice for students, may not be available much longer. That, not only would be a tremendous loss to many students, but a highly unfair loss one as well.

Jamestown’s High School Marching Band, for many decades, has provided countless opportunities to students, giving them, obviously, a tremendous music education, and among so many other positives, has allowed students to become even more well-rounded young people. They’ve learned through traveling as our band has done often, performing in Orlando, Fla., New York, N.Y., Pasadena, Calif., Chicago, Ill., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and made appearances on the David Letterman Show, The Today Show, along with competing in, and winning many, band competitions throughout their long history. These are opportunities many kids never get to experience, which additionally includes learning about other parts of our country while emphasizing the life skills of hard work, preparation, dedication, perseverance, teamwork, and sacrifice, all qualities that can help them in years ahead.

Being in a music program also gives students a sense of belonging, which many kids need, maybe to overcome shyness, fear of challenge, or to meet other students from the other schools they came from prior to high school. It provides opportunities to add a line or two to college, scholarship, or job applications, employment resumes, etc., which is the part of the definition of education, the part that covers preparing/helping students to do well in society. Some students need music, just as much as some need Athletics, Drama, Debate, Student Government, Volunteer Groups, and any other opportunities they have the chance of taking advantage, in their education and future lives.

I’m choosing to keep believing the JHS Marching Band will continue to be an integral part of the history of music in the Jamestown Schools, because I know losing it would result in a huge hole in our school district, and other districts, too. I know of three young people, all graduates of the JPS Music Program, who have earned, and now carry, the title, “Dr.,” in front of their names. One is Dr. Carrie Pawelski, presently working in the Music Program in Jamestown, and two others, Dr. Michael Palermo who’s had a highly successful career as a Band Director and Mentor in Ohio, and Dr. Kristina Weimer, Visiting Asst. Professor of Music Education, formerly in Texas, now at the University of Northern Colorado. All three have spoken at numerous prestigious Music Education Workshops and Symposiums, showing that Music Education in Jamestown is also affecting band students in other parts of the country.

Our district needs to do anything/everything we can to continue to make sure all students, and people, have the opportunity to heed the words of the Doobie Brothers for many years to come. “Listen to the Music!”


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