Why band must be a year course and not a semester course:
Tagged: Year semester
- This topic has 4 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 1 month ago by nafmeadmin.
March 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm #35419
My administrator is considering making band a semester course. I need to give him rationale as to why this would destroy my program. (I teach Middle School Band.) I’d appreciate any points you can come up with. I need specific reasons why it would be harmful to the program. Also, why band is different from technology, woodshop, art and why it must be a year course when the others can be a semester course. Also, I am fortunate to have an elementary program and I need justification for why we can’t get rid of it and have students just start in Middle School. Thank you in advance.March 6, 2014 at 11:06 pm #35460
Unfortunately, I don’t have any personal advice for you, but LAUSD just recently made this same decision and we are outraged!! I’d recommend following LAUSD (or CMEA) because they will undoubtedly be disseminating music advocacy materials in the coming months for the support and revival of their program.
Here is the article:
Good luck!April 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm #36161
This is a fight I have to fight frequently with my administration – they think band and strings should be offered as QUARTER electives (8 weeks) like many of the other electives in the middle school. If anyone has any research or advocacy materials that I can share with them, please please share them here! Every time I meet with my admin, they make it clear that they think I am being unreasonable and not a team player for insisting it be a year long commitment. My arguments about consistent practice and progress, developing as a group, preparing for performances and festivals that do not line up with the quarters, and needing to choose appropriate music based on ability and instrumentation….are falling very flat. I will definitely be looking to CMEA and LAUSD for materials too!April 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm #36162
In my further reading on this site I did find something else that may prove helpful:
Opportunity-to-Learn Standards for Music, which include recommendations for scheduling, facilities, and staffing, and mentions that middle school ensembles should have the opportunity to meet as a unit for the entire school year.April 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm #36172
You can try to point out how playing an instrument is a skill that must be developed over time. Just like reading we do not show Kindergardners how to read and than never have a reading class again. It is a skill that must be used or it is lost. Unlike Shop classes, technology classes or other electives there is not one project that can be accomplished in instrumental music that will allow a student to than go out into the world and create on their own. It is a process/skill that must be developed over a long time. Instrumental music is also something that is gradually learned so someone who has never played before cannot just “sign up” and fit easily into the ensemble without a great deal of extra effort like you can in a shop or technology class.
Don’t think that you are alone in this. Check out the Advocacy section of this site you may be able to connect with someone that has research to back you up. Also talk with your band parents in the Elementary, Middle School and High schools. Let them know that there is an issue and that their children’s music opportunities are threatened. At an advocacy weekend I found out it only takes 5 contacts for government officials to take notice, if I remember correctly. What if an administrator(s) started hearing from parents.
I would also try to find out WHY he/she is pushing for this change. That may help you combat the problem as well.
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