Forgotten instruments – Beg. band
- This topic has 9 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 7 years, 9 months ago by nafmeadmin.
January 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm #34689
I need some fresh ideas for how to deal with those kids who forget to bring their instrument on band days (I have 5th grade beginning band students). We have extras lying around, so I think some of the kids have gotten the idea they don’t need to bring their instruments, because one will be available. It already effects their grade, plus I don’t want them to sit there with no instrument since they miss out on the lesson (though maybe I’ll try that again). I also don’t want to give candy or anything like that as a reward for bringing the instrument.
Thanks!February 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm #34920
If a kid forgets his or her instrument once in a great while, then I’ll let them use a school horn. But if they forget more than twice in a marking period, then they have to sit. I keep track of when they forget, so I’ll know. And if they forget an inordinate number of times, it is reflected in their grade as well as in their report card comments.
No, no rewards for doing what they’re supposed to do.February 11, 2014 at 4:18 pm #34946
I also keep track of when they forget and when I was only teaching at one school I would hand out “Parking Tickets” 3 parking tickets and it was 30 minutes of detention.
I am in a situation where I don’t have extra instruments lying around so I make them “Pencil Practice” or play the fingerings on their pencil and either sing they Rhythmic Counting or note names so everyone can hear, if they choose not to do that I have them do it by themselves. My one rule is you do your job with the group or you do it by yourself while everybody is watching. I also make sure to ask them all the questions so that they do not want to forget their instrument.
Also agree, no rewards for doing what you are supposed to do!!!February 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm #35010
I have seen a situation you have depicted while observing some schools. A method which seemed to work for one school was to have the student write a reflection paper covering the topics covered during that days lesson they forgot their instrument. This way the students still must pay attention, and you are also assured that they are going to pay attention. Another method which has worked was when this occurred having the students sing along and work on fingerings with a pencil. With this method it continued to work on the student aural/ oral skills. Outside of these two situations this was a rare occurrence.
I agree that rewards are not called for in this situation.February 19, 2014 at 4:36 pm #35028
I think assigning the student a short reflection paper covering the day’s topics is a great idea. I wonder if a student could be assigned a practice assignment in conjunction with the paper. If the student has access to a cell phone he or she could play short sections of the music covered in that day’s rehearsal and send it to the instructor to make up for their lack of participation.
Not bringing an instrument to class is usually an issue of responsibility, and using negative reinforcement though a paper or recording might encourage students to keep better track of their (expensive) musical instruments.February 20, 2014 at 12:19 am #35038
If a student forgets instruments regularly there could be an underline condition being ignored and punished. This was me all through middle and high school. I just learned in college I have a disability causing short term memory issues. I’ve been punished for something I had little control over for my entire life, just things to consider with students. Even in college I have issues remembering small things such as music, reeds, seat or neck straps, I have openly discuss these issues with my teachers and am registered with the school for these issues. I can’t control these things, maybe students who have this issue are like me. Just something to take into consideration, teachers ignoring clear signs of learning disabilities made school difficult for me and has made college even more difficult.
This is the whole reason I want to go into the education field, to help students with clear issues being ignored and punished for something they can’t control and need help with.February 20, 2014 at 1:19 pm #35054
If a student is chronically forgetful, there very well could be an underlying issue involved. I am in a similar situation and my K-12 experience was difficult, but I was never checked out because my grades were good.
As someone hoping to continue his education in the field of School Psychology, I can say that there are students who pass under the radar because their teachers have not noticed a significant-enough impairment to refer them for assessment. If, as a teacher, you firmly believe the student has an underlying problem causing their behavior, contact the school psychologist; they will do the digging.March 6, 2014 at 11:00 pm #35459
I have young, elementary school students in my beginning bands, so when they forget their instruments, they either play on a pencil, showing very clearly their fingerings, OR they are conductor for the day. I teach them the simple “down-in-out-up” 4/4 pattern with their arms (because it’s the most common time signature we’re using in beginning band) and they really have to focus and work on their steady beat. Students not only learn to look at someone new standing in front of them, but they also start to appreciate what conductors do! This also allows me to move about the room to attend to individual students needing help. It’s worked great so far, through some students see being a conductor for the day as a reward… so I may need to try something different.March 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm #35840
A former colleague told me that he had his students put their instruments by their shoes the night before. That way, if they forgot their shoes they would know it the moment they got outside and walked on the gravel, dirt, etc. This would remind them to get their shoes AND their instrument.
I have told my students that, if they don’t have their instrument they better not have their shoes, either.
And, yes, there are grade consequences for forgotten instruments. I do like what I have read regarding pencil practice and make-up papers.August 6, 2015 at 1:20 pm #61307
I make them mime and sing their music. Small instruments hold pencils like they would their instruments, larger ones just put their hands up, and percussionists mime in air. This typically gets my students to remember their instruments. For the most part, not having their instruments is motivation enough when everyone else gets to play and they don’t.
Also, my students earn daily participation grades: if they don’t have the instrument, they get half credit.
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