Reply To: Implementing my ideas

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I think your ideas are great. You are creating a group for students to play more, learn some new ensemble techniques and repertoire of playing in a chamber group, and this will also provide a challenge for your advanced players. In my mind you should always audition for chairs. This will allow you to make sure you have the right students on the right parts, like you said, provide more motivation for students to practice, and also gives them experience with the whole audition process, which will help students who might audition for music school or other performance jobs. Now regarding your assistant teacher, have you fought for your case stating the educational value these ideas would add for your students? Does she not want to put in the extra time to implement these new ideas? Maybe tell her she does not have to be involved in the beginning; you can get outside help to help with the auditions. If you have enough practice rooms you can hire a person to audition each section and you could probably get it knocked out in a day, or have the auditions before or after school. Maybe find out what her thoughts are and try to sway her to see your side, or find out how you can use the tactics of the old director to implement your ideas, sort of like compromising. It just seems like you need to try and motivate your assistant to these new ideas, which to me is shocking you would have to do such a thing, because I believe your ideas are educationally logical. Hope this helps.

Rob Hassing
Undergraduate of Music Education
Kent State University