Music to My Ears
Just as our favorite shows and movies use soundtracks to boost the emotion or action on the screen, we, too, can use music to elevate our real life experiences to move our crowd. If you’ve ever been to a college game day, you’ve had the chance to see and feel the power of the band, cheerleaders, dancers, crowd, mascot and sports team working as one, creating not just an event, but an emotionally fulfilling experience you never ever forget. Once the band plays the first few notes of your favorite fight song, an unexplainable feeling takes over. Besides the music being great in and of itself, the music arouses all your senses and takes you straight back to the sights, sounds, smells and feel of that packed stadium.
Do you have to wait until you are in college to get this feeling every game day? Of course not! You have all the elements right there at your high school. You just need a leadership team to see the bigger picture, coordinate with the other school groups on campus, and make time to plan and practice.
Step 1: See the Bigger Picture
If you have not done so already, run, don’t walk, to set up a meeting with the band director, drum major and band section leaders. Although you are in the thick of football season, you still have more games left and a whole basketball season to prepare for! You probably already have a set routine to your main fight song, but are you taking advantage of the rest of the song library and cadences the band has to offer? Being able to perform to live band music adds such an extra element of excitement, but you have to know what the band plays now and what they are willing to learn.
Step 2: Coordinate With the Band and Other School Groups
You have a bunch of cheers and sideline dances from camp. Your band has a ton of drum cadences, band songs and fight songs. Are you working in your own silos during games impatiently waiting for each other to finish so you can each have your turn OR are you coordinating your efforts to complement each other to best lead your crowd? Think creatively about the material you learned at camp and how you can use it with your band songs and cadences. Add roll-offs, signs, stunts, levels, formation changes, etc. to enhance the beat of the music. Then, add some simple motions in that your crowd can learn as well to pull all your student groups together to add spirit to your games!
Do you have a drumline? If allowed, have them come down to the sideline with you during the third quarter to fire up the crowd and draw them back in after halftime.
Step 3: Plan and Practice
Evaluate what worked well during the game and where there are areas for improvement. Perhaps you practiced your band dances at a certain pace, then during the games it felt like double time! Communicate between or among your leadership teams so everyone is on the same page for the next game.
For the latest rules on music you can use for competitions or other performances, including new slides on using music played by your band, visit https://www.varsity/music.
Music and your musical selections can completely change the atmosphere at your rallies, game days or competition routines. On that note, never forget that a single song can change the whole mood of your day!