Reply To: Students wanting to drop band mid-year

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I had a problem with that my first year at a new school. Apparently the students were under the impression that band was a semester long “class”. I explained that that was not how I ran my program. I found that the more I challenged my kids (not too much at once though-that backfires), the more they responded.

I had a few beginners (5th grade students) quit mid-year, but it wasn’t a large number and it was usually due to the lack of financial ability of the family (low socioeconomic area). I had a policy for ALL band students (5-12) that stated, “Once enrolled in band, students may not be removed without the written consent of a parent. Accordingly, a conference with the band director and site principal is required prior to any removal.” I held firm to this policy. I always had a conference with the student first to discover the justification. This gave me a way to find an alternative (i.e. switch instruments, get hooked up with a private instructor, solos/ensembles, district auditions, personal issues with other students in band, etc.). Whatever the result, I always did what I felt was best for the student and program. In the long run, I had VERY loyal students.