Reply To: What do you think?
I’m going to go ahead and raise the scapegoat flag. Calling most students lazy, unmotivated, or only wanting immediate gratification or the easy road is a scapegoat. I have been teaching for nine years in a suburban elementary school, general music, band and chorus, and I have found that students will work very hard when they believe in what they are doing and when they enjoy what they are doing. My band students work HARD and they are normal kids. They stay in band because they enjoy playing instruments, have identity with the group, and they get personal fulfillment from being in the group. If you have many students leaving band for chorus take a hard look at how the group is run. Are your lessons engaging and performance based? Are the kids successful? Are there clear expectations? Are they making progress? (that last one is especially important, because nothing drives students away like frustration). Do students learn to set personal goals? Do you have the students develop goals for the band, so they are unifying and working together towards common goals? Now go look at the choral program. Are they fulfilling students’ needs in a way the band isn’t?
These are hard questions, and it’s very hard to put ego aside to take a hard look at reality. But it may be worth it to turn around your program.