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Have you ever seen a movie so many times you’ve memorized all the lines in it? This is the movie Drumline to me. Though I am a drummer in a high school marching band, I do not choose this movie purely because of its subject. The movie Drumline emphasizes the value of all music, teaches discipline and leadership, and shows that unprecedented perspective can promote wellbeing.

In the movie, Devon Miles, a young, conceited drummer with extraordinary talent, humiliates his section leader in front of the other drummers by playing a piece faster and cleaner than the section leader. The band director, seeing this, decides to test Devon by playing the same piece with him. After the director defeats Devon in skill, the band director says to him, “You have to learn to follow before you can lead Mr. Miles.” This quote is stating that leaders are not those with the loudest voices or best abilities, but those of greatest understanding of the task at hand and how to complete it without complaint or questioning. Those at work who do this well tend to be promoted to everyone's surprise, yet no one's denial. Those who are narcissistic need to be shown this discipline before aspiring to higher ambitions.

    Later, Devon learns discipline and teamwork. The band throughout the movie chants the motto “One band, One sound” which shows Devon that no one individual determines the success of many. Despite that, the drumline section leader, rather than dismissing Devon’s talents as arrogance, uses him to influence the drumming styles they play. Eventually Devon humbly presented his perspective which they used to lead them to victory at a Marching Band Championship Competition. The section leader, being the good leader he is, decides to use Devon’s ideas.

    Fresh and new ideas should never be ignored. The band director, Dr. Lee, had been continuously and stubbornly choosing to perform classical music. While their band was playing archaic pieces like Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov, other bands were playing adaptations of modern music like Move by Ludacris. In Dr. Lee’s defense, he concentrates on education and classical music contains more complexity and depth than modern day hip-hop. This is similar to how you will learn more by reading Edgar Allen Poe rather than reading Clifford the Big Red Dog. However, marching bands across the nation are fighting to stay alive. The majority of the marching band’s listeners are young adults and therefore they are more likely to enjoy modern day music over classical. In the end, Dr. Lee and Devon find perfect bridge between classical and modern day music. An aspect that is also stressed is the hard work and dedication that goes into creating these shows, an aspect people do not understand or realize. I have never regretted exposure to many kinds of music and as William Shakespeare once wrote, “If music be the food of love, play on.”

    Many people do not know the importance of these virtues, but can learn through the story of Devon Miles and his curvy path to success. For discipline takes strength and focus; both things I advise all to learn. Leadership takes both courage and understanding. Music is the language of the soul, something we are all born with in our hearts. Whether it is expressed through the man in the elevator, tapping his foot to the beat of the music or the Maestro of the orchestra, conducting complex medleys, music is something that should never be hidden but heard by all. And the best movie I know to share these crucial elements of life with the world, is Drumline.

 

 

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