“This is 4/4. You need to keep reading ahead in the music to stay on time!!! Don’t just look at what you’re playing, now! That is like driving a car and looking at the hood ornament!”
My high school band teacher was full of wonderful sayings dripping with sarcastic humor. I spent an hour a day in his class for four years, and to be honest, some of his snarky comments are still a part of my inner monologue today.
My favorite came up in the hall this morning, when talking with another English teacher. She commented that her kids were trying to write using quotes from a text, but weren’t bothering to copy them word for word.
“Almost only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and nuclear war.” I rattled off.
“WHAT?!” she gawked.
I repeated the adage that is such a familiar part of my inner monologue. Then I explained, “You can’t almost hit someone with a nuclear missile. You can’t almost be on the beat of the music, and you certainly can’t almost quote a text…Just share the maxim, and then draw a mushroom cloud on their papers when they ALMOST quote something. They’ll get it,” I smirked. (Disclaimer: I was being sarcastic!)
My band teacher would be proud to know that his legacy lives on.