Those of you who are more musically inclined have probably been thinking about the inability of Penn State crowds to keep a steady beat for some time now. For all of the awesome things that Penn State fans can pull off, we still can’t quite keep the clap or sing along with the band.
Some of the more egregious cases of the lack of collective musical ability among Penn State fans include the drum line entrance onto the field at Beaver Stadium and the Alma Mater.
You’ll notice that the chants of “Let’s go State!” fizzle out after three or four rounds as the drum line takes the field. Why is that? Because before long, the student section is rushing the beat and listening to the surrounding people without paying any attention to the band itself. See below for a look at this in action.
The final verse of the Alma Mater provides an even more striking example of fans’ tendency to rush. Much to the chagrin of the minority of beat-keepers (if you will), the intensity of “May no act of ours bring shame!” is often lost after the crowd realizes the band hasn’t come in for that part yet. If you don’t believe us (or have never noticed), just give this video a watch.
So we propose that Penn State offers a class to teach students how to keep a basic beat. If Penn State graduates can go on to run Merrill Lynch, work as astronauts, and play in the NFL, they should be able to keep a steady beat.
Maybe it should be called INART 409: How To Not Ruin Stadium Songs. We’d like to propose that Jimmy Frisbie comes back as a special guest lecturer for obvious reasons, as the former Blue Band drum major clearly has penchant for keeping the beat.
If you’re a Penn State fan, but no longer a student, you may want to buy a metronome for practice. Or maybe a cowbell. Whatever you do, please don’t rush.