Students wanting to drop band mid-year
January 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm #34369
Does anyone deal with students wanting to drop during the middle of the school year? How does your guidance dept/admin handle this? Do they allow it to happen? I try to pick at least one “fun” piece per concert, take them on a trip every year. I don’t feel at the HS level I should have to put on a dog and pony show to keep students- they should intrinsically have the drive to be there.January 14, 2014 at 5:22 pm #34386
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.January 16, 2014 at 2:17 pm #34438
Our arts department policy is that after a semester begins, you cannot quit band. If you want to get out after a semester is over, it is possible, but you have to have a VERY good reason to do so, because it messes up the other arts classes, which are all intertwined and assembled based on numbers.
Quitting band just because you feel like it or don’t like it is not a good reason. If a kid doesn’t like band, they need to talk to me. I can’t remember this ever happening, but if it did I would suggest them switching their instruments to something they liked or have them suggest a piece of music they like for the band to play.April 27, 2014 at 10:57 am #36677
Our administration has nothing to do with it, they stay out of it since band is an after school activity in HS
Peer pressure really works, kids in our band motivate each other, when someone wants to quite we demand seeing the parents, although I must say after 8th grade we rarely have people quitting, usually by 9th and 10th grade students settle down and stay…just need to make it through 5th – 8th grade.
Juniors and Seniors take a trip out of the country together which also help them stick to it, and the others take a trip a year plus they perform around the country.
do you have a tri-m chapter? that will help them stay motivated when they know it’s not all about music only.
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