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Giving Thanks

by Aaron Noë

The turkey is thawing and Rebekah and I are enjoying a relaxing day before Thanksgiving. As I sit here, I’m reminded of a hymn from my childhood, Count Your Blessings. Every year in the month of November we would sing this song and the pastor would remind us of God's work in life and tell us if we take a moment to “count [our] blessings” we will see how truly blessed we are regardless of what is happening around us.

Thanksgiving, more than other holidays, causes many of us to pause and ‘Count our blessings.’ It falls at the perfect time for band directors to reflect on where they have come from and where they are heading. The long marching season has come to an end and we are busy moving ahead with preparations for the holiday concert, encouraging and helping our students hone their All-District solos & scales, and looking ahead to the spring festival repertoire. Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to pause, take a deep breath and be thankful for all we have.

If we turn on the news (something I am avoiding more and more lately), it’s easy to become burdened with the latest headlines shouting the woes of a weak economy, political instability, global threats, climate troubles… the list is endless.

As I prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, I am going to take the advice of the old hymn from my childhood and count my many blessings and “ them one by one.

  • I’m thankful for my wife and the support she gives me and the love we share.

  • I’m thankful for being a band director and having the opportunity to make music on a daily basis.

  • I’m thankful for my students and the opportunity to share an activity that has the potential to change their lives for good.

  • I’m thankful for my colleagues who support the band in their concert performances and their travels.

  • I’m thankful for the support of the administration to help with resources to teach band.

  • I’m thankful for the positive growth in the program after the return of students from the pandemic.

  • I’m thankful for the support of the parents in encouraging their students to pursue music in school.

  • I’m thankful God has placed me where I am at this moment to touch the lives of the students in my classroom now.

As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, take a moment to “Count your many blessings. & “Name them one by one.” You may be surprised to “...see what God has done!”


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