Walk Up Music in School?
If you’ve ever attended a Major League Baseball game (or many other sports for that matter) you are familiar with the concept of “walk up” music. It’s used to recognize a certain player by fitting them and their personality, hype up the crowd, and even intimidate the opponent.
Sometimes the walk up song is just meant to bring a smile. Some famous examples are: “YMCA” by The Village People, “Jump!” by classic ‘90s duo Kris Kross, the always recognizable “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood, or “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Sometimes the walk up music is chosen by the player, and sometimes it’s assigned by the team. Whatever the case, it usually brings a smile, and the crowd can’t help but sing along.
As we teachers and administrators prepare to do our own “walk up” to the first day of the 2021–2022 school year, it makes me think, “What’s my walk up song as a K–8 principal?” Is it Chumbawamba’s “I Get Knocked Down (But I Get Up Again!) or maybe a little Vanilla Ice—“All right STOP! Collaborate and LISTEN!” or maybe “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” the classic, from Toy Story. What would I pick for myself, and what song would those around me say suits me? Do my words, actions, and leadership reflect a positive outlook to those I come in contact with —from students, to staff, to parents? Most importantly, would they see Jesus in me? Would my song be “Amazing Grace?” Or when I walk into a room, do people think of boxing announcer Michael Buffer famously chanting, “Let’s get ready to rumble!!!!!” After I spend time meeting with a student sent to the office, or I speak to a family in crisis, or I counsel a teacher who is struggling, is the song that resonates I “Love God and Love People” that Danny Gokey sings?
I’ve always believed music is a powerful tool to use in any school and classroom. I’m not gifted in the musical way that many of our Lutheran teachers are, but I still love and appreciate the gift of music, and I love to share it. My prayer is that God will always guide my actions and words to reflect His love, grace, and forgiveness to those I meet. May my walk up song be less “Welcome to the Jungle” and more a very clear knowledge that “In Christ Alone” this will be an amazingly blessed year!