Reply To: Small Program Woes

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Building from the bottom up can take some time to see the results at the HS level. When I was in HS we had about 20 in band and it does make it difficult for pep band. What I would do (and still do even with a larger band) is see if any of the kids have guitar experience. I play bass with the kids and then find either a bass player in the band or train a guitar player to play the bass. If you don’t have a bass hopefully you will have a keyboard and you can play the bass line on that. Have another kid (or someone from the community, or even yourself) play the drum set. Adding those two things will help out the pep band a ton! But of course there is always adding the electric guitar in there and having a three piece mini band to play some stuff. My kids love goofing off and just playing stuff. The other kids in band that won’t be playing those songs will really enjoy dancing to it and just having a good time. Therefore, others see that and want to be apart of that. Use your hs students as a recruitment tool. Can you have them come into the jr high band class some time and have them play with them? Or even come and talk to them about joining band in hs? I take band trips (florida and NYC). These trips do keep a lot of kids in band because they want that experience. Yes you have to fund raise and it is extra work but it is soooo worth it in the long run. Find surrounding band teachers in your area and ask them for help. Ask them what they do and they might even come and help play for pep band games too.