Reply To: Administration not seeing eye to eye
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I would also be interested in the “back story” as far as what brought on his comments.
1. I would agree with him. Yes, band should be “fun!”, BUT just like a sport we must learn the skills necessary to compete and than in the competition (or concert in our case) the fun occurs.
2. I would point out that band is a class and you are trying to give the students, parents, administration and school board their moneys worth of your professional education and training. Pointing out the national standards, and showing your administration how your assignments will make it more “fun” might also help is showing them that music/band/chorus/orchestra is a class.
3. Get suggestions from your other colleagues especially if you are in a large district/building. Talk to the choir/orchestra/general music teachers and get suggestions from them. Or even the classroom teachers.
Something you could try, with the correct preparation and support from colleagues, would be to put on an “informance” instead of a “performance” where you perform music, exercises and demonstrations that demonstrate WHAT you do in band and the journey you take to get a concert ready. I even know a friend who at every concert sight-read a piece of music just so the audience had an understanding of where the ensemble starts from when they have a new piece of music.
I will add that having a piece of movie music is great inspiration for students, but only work on it once they have accomplished everything else you want them to do in the rehearsal.