How Sixth-grade Band is Similar to Financial Wellness [Certified Financial Wellness Professional]

I never realized how much admiration I have for sixth-grade band teachers until the other night. A neighbor invited my wife and me to his son’s end-of-year, sixth-grade band concert at school. We went and were treated to songs about spring, patriotism, and school spirit. In between numbers, the teacher reminded us that the students in front of us were completing their first year as full-fledged musicians. Students at this school are allowed to participate in band for the first time as sixth graders. At the beginning of the school year, these students had no concept of playing together as a single unit, not to mention playing a single note, reading music, or even holding their instrument correctly. 

My neighbors’ son, Calvin, plays the trombone, which is part of the “low brass” family of instruments. The band teacher pointed out that one challenge for novice low brass instrument players is learning to play chains of notes that are not the melodies of the songs. Low brass instruments typically play more harmonic notes that support the melody rather than be part of it. Trombonists don’t usually get the affirmation of “knowing” the song they are playing sounds “right” in the way that some of the musicians do whose notes create the melody. 

 Why do I have a newfound admiration for sixth-grade band teachers, and what in the world does a middle school band concert have to do with financial wellness? 

 I had the epiphany that the true genius of a sixth-grade band teacher comes from their ability to create order out of chaos. They take beginning drummers, flutists, and trombonists and help each create a plan that maximizes their own individual growth while at the same time allowing them to come together and play as one band. They provide guidance at a one-on-one level during a 45-minute class period but motivate each student to go home and practice the same piece of music over and over until mastery attainment. They meet each student where the child is and do not subscribe to a one-size-fits-all mentality. 

Your current and future clients want an advisor who can create order out of financial chaos. They desire someone who can help them tailor a financial wellness plan that suits their individual needs based on experience, confidence, and budget. Beyond investments, taxes, mortgages, estate planning, or simply helping with budgeting and credit counseling, clients want industry experts who are solid communicators, behavioral scientists, financial mentors, motivational coaches, and overall wellness gurus. It’s one thing to say you possess these traits. It’s another to have the certification to back it up. Some of the greatest minds in wellness, finance, and consulting have collaborated to develop the Foundation for Financial Wellness’s Financial Wellness Professional Certification™.

Engaging in the Foundation’s certification training will unlock seven modules with a multitude of courses and chapters inside each. The modules cover topics like behavior change, counseling and coaching, facilitation, and education. Participants will also get access to the Foundation’s world-famous 5 Essentials for Financial Wellnesscurriculum. Upon completion of the program, an exam allows the practitioner the opportunity to show competency in all aspects of financial wellness. Pass the exam and receive a certification mark that will show both current and future clients that your practice goes beyond analyzing the market and making recommendations. You care about the overall wellbeing of everyone with whom you encounter. The certification program caters to the busy professional. Approximately 20 hours of coursework can be completed at a go-at-your-own pace prior to taking the certifying exam. 

Once certified, you will join a community of like-minded wellness professionals and have access to world-class livestreams, videos, and curriculum curated by the Foundation for Financial Wellness. Annual continuing education requirements for certification renewal provides further opportunities to show your commitment to the wellness of your clients. 

Help your clients make beautiful music while creating order out of financial chaos.  

For more information and to enroll in the certification program, visit We are a not-for-profit entity, looking to make a difference in the world. Learn how to Handle Life (and money) Better. 

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