March Forth

Today is the 4th day of March. Is it March Fourth or March 4th or March Forth? Many years ago, my grandmother’s funeral services were held on March 4th. My uncle spoke and said that he felt his mom (my grandma) would wish for all of us to march forth with our lives and strive to be better. Let’s briefly look at what it means to march forth as a musician and as a person.

Merriam-webster.com defines forth as “onward in time, place, or order”. Dictionary.com defines it similarly and also as “forward…go forth…out, as from concealment or inaction; into view or consideration…to journey forth.”

Onward in time.

In relation to music, the beat goes on and continues to move forward. You especially know this if you’ve ever played in a band or orchestra or other group setting such as a choir. If you make a mistake, you must move onward to the next beat and not dwell on the past as the rest of the group moves on. As you practice individually, you continue to improve so that you don’t make mistakes and can keep the underlying rhythmic pulse consistent and marching forward. This is a critical underlying principle of music fundamentals.

How do we move onward in time as a person? Just like music, we can’t dwell on our past and must move on with our lives. The present is a gift; maybe that’s why it’s called the “present”. I know it’s easy to think of the mistakes you’ve made in the past or the injustices you may have felt. However, the past is past. Leave it there and learn from it and move on to a better present because of what you’ve experienced in the past. Guess what? Tomorrow you’ll have another chance to move forward and improve yourself.

To “go out, as from concealment or inaction [and come] into view or consideration.”

We should bring our talents out from concealment and share them with others. Young students are sometimes petrified to perform in front of others. When I was growing up, my dad was always so proud of me and would make me play my flute each time someone would come to visit. How I dreaded that! But now, I’m grateful for his persistent prodding and encouragement for me to share my talents back then. Now, I love to play for others and have obviously made a career of it.

God gave us the gift of music (or the gift of art, or dancing, or smiling, or speaking, or forgiving, or cooking, or creating or whatever gift you have been given) so that we could share that gift with others. Come out into view for others to see. Whatever is holding you back from practicing, setting or reaching those goals, or striving to give more effort at becoming your best self, think about how you can “March Forth” or “journey forth” and do better or be better in some small way as a musician, and more importantly, as a valuable person.

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