Reply To: Too Many Skill Levels In One Band. Can I Make It Work?
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I’m drinking my Saturday morning coffee and shaking my head in empathy. What a challenge you face! I shared your post with my husband who, incidentally, is also a music teacher. He suggests that you try (and you’ve likely thought of this) having capable older students work with the newer students in like-instrument ‘group lessons.’ Keep the objectives very simple, like ‘Good King Wenceslas’ from the method book, or lower tetrachord of the Concert Bb scale, etc. I would offer that you might work with the advanced kids 2 days a week on harder stuff while the younger ones do written theory work, and then trade off . Or, do a 2-2-1 arrangement, with 2 days devoted to the older ones, 2 to the younger ones and 1 day for combining. Have the older students ‘sit in’ with the younger kids, playing the easier arrangements, with the understanding that they’re ‘ringers.’ On the days you work with the older kids you could also require younger students to sit alongside a student who plays the same instrument and observe. If you have a Booster group or capable parent (and your district allows it), an adult could supervise practice for the younger ones while you’re working in another room. Tough situation. Why so short a meeting time?