Music as a Social Connector

2018 March April Publishers Letter

In a world where technology connects us more than ever, it may seem counterintuitive that the very same technology can also divide us. Social isolation is a big problem, especially for our youth. Whether due to bullying, the fear of missing out, or electronics addiction, people are having a harder time connecting positively face to face.

We need to fix these problems as individuals and as collective groups. I have often encouraged my kids to reach out to people who need support, to join clubs and activities, and to be as inclusive as possible.

Luckily for us, being involved in music education is a great way to create social connections. The music itself allows us to relate to our own emotions while participating in ensembles leads to lifelong friendships as well as an affinity with something larger than ourselves.

Band allows us to form interpersonal connections in more ways than we may realize. As the first female drum major of the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band, Julie Siberts knows firsthand how serving in the role of drum major also makes her a role model for current and aspiring musicians. Read her personal story, “Major Firsts,”.

The connections built in band are so strong, in fact, that many musicians refuse to let the music stop. Instead, they participate in multiple ensembles at the same time. Read our feature article “Balancing Band with Band” to see how students and directors juggle their musical responsibilities.

Especially for at-risk youth, music classes are instrumental in encouraging a greater interest in school. That’s why the new Dr. William P. Foster Project celebrates and encourages educators in underserved areas. Learn about this year’s national Award of Excellence winner in “Fostering the Underserved”.

No matter what type or how many marching ensembles you belong to, you will have similar types of experiences as other musicians around the globe. You’re in on all the same inside jokes, making band humor popular material for memes. Relive some of the most popular memes in “Do Re Meme!

Being in band also allows us to connect with our communities. Read about the band at Pinole (California) Valley High School, which prides itself on performing in a wide range of events—from the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade to elementary school Halloween parties.

In the end, we’re stronger when we band together.

Keep on Marching,
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

About the author

Christine Ngeo Katzman

Christine Ngeo Katzman has played the flute since the age of 8. She marched in the Northwestern University Marching Band, including the 1996 Rose Bowl and 1997 Citrus Bowl. She graduated cum laude from Northwestern with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1997. Since then, she has worked in the publishing industry as a writer and editor and helped launch Play Music, a magazine for recreational musicians, sponsored by American Music Group (now Music and Arts Center). In the summer of 2006, Christine worked at Yamaha where she interacted with staff and students in various marching bands and drum corps. Christine earned her MBA with honors from the University of Southern California in May 2007.

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