Reply To: Sports v. music

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The 2012 January Chorus Mentor, sopranolynn1, added

This is a tough situation that I think most of us face at one time or another. There probably isn’t an easy solution to it, either.

How early do you schedule your concerts? I try to put my dates on our school calendar before the first day of school, so that I can give the dates to the students and parents in our handbook. We, too, have a school master calendar, and must go through administration for approval. However, athletics has to deal with other school/league schedules, so there are inevitably going to be conflicts. The county track championship happens to fall on the day of our spring concert, and I’m likely to lose a couple of students because of that. But, because of the relationship I have with the track coach, she’s going to try to see if they can schedule the individual events so that the chorus students will be finished in time to get back for the concert.

Clearly, you need to meet with the AD, but I suggest getting the principal or other administrator who has oversight of athletics involved in the meeting. As was already mentioned, the issue of academic class vs. extracurricular activity is an important one that needs to be understood by all. A few years ago, a new AD fought me about our winter concert until he found out that the concert served as nine-week assessment grade for my chorus students (our district has a policy that, for middle school, each class must have a nine-week assessment that counts for 20% of the student’s grade for the marking period).

On a personal level, when I have to deal with someone who is very inflexible, I tend to respond the same way. Sometimes, you just need to take a deep breath and a step back before you try to deal with a situation like this.