I have been musing for the past year….

How do I get a group of young musicians to perform a piece of music?

A little background.  Band directors all know that performances are a critical aspect to their curriculum, but how many actually teach “performance”?  What I see most bands do, and what my band usually does should be called “group recitation”.  The students are simply reading what’s on the page, and not really performing the music.

For a performance to occur every child MUST have internalized the music and made the choice to experience the music.  Every individual must make the choice to experience the music on a personal level on their own.  No teacher on this Earth can force a student to feel the music on this level.  The only thing a teacher can do is try and inspire deeper thinking about the music to his/her students.  I make a point of taking time out of rehearsal to talk passionately about the music, and try to convey a sense of deep importance in the music they are rehearsing.

I would love to hear about the conversations other band directors have with their students.  Some of my favorite teaching moments occur outside of class in my office with a small group of students just talking about the music.  We might have some playing on the stereo, and every once in a while I will say “Did you hear that?!?” and launch into a deep conversation about how the deep hues of the low brass support such a rich character for the ensemble, or wome other inflated artsy comment.  The students are able to make a more personal connection with you and they are able to see that music ins’t something that happens once a day (or in my situation once every other day).

If there are other stories about conversations you have had with students, or a way in which you can get kids to think about music outside of your room, let me know.


OOPS….you caught me with my pants down…..

OOPS!  I noticed after posting the last entry and then re-reading my older posts, that I already posted the article about recording your band….boy do I feel silly….

WOW!!!!! It has been a CRAZY year!!!

I haven’t blogged since last June as I was ending my first year teaching.

There I got that off of my chest.

If there is anyone out there at least a little interested in learning about my experiences as a high school band director, read on.  Contact me if you want to contribute as an author!

Anyway, a ton of stuff went down this year…along with the economy.  I started the year trying to get out of summer mode, and failing miserably at it.  Someone please enlighten me as to how to do it without seeming like the biggest flake on the planet for the first month of school.  Also, I hosted my regions large group contest this year.  WOW….that was an experience.  More on that in later posts.

Probably the most important thing I did this year was begin a parent group to help support music in my school.  This was a critical step for my program as the arts were hit pretty hard because of budget cuts.  Those parents are going to save by backside next year, because I am teaching Band AND Choir.  It is going to be as crazy, if not more crazy, than this year.  I am a little stoked to take on such a big job, but also petrified.  Stoked in that if I pull it off, I have proven myself a techer of some merit.  If I fail, the whole program goes down with me.

On my other blog “Music as Necessity” (http://musicessential.wordpress.com), I posted a way to record your band for contest, all-state, etc.  I think that post was supposed to come here, but I screwed up.  Oh well….

Anyway, I wil be posting to this site quite a bit in the coming weeks, and also pusing hard to try and expand its scope.  If you would like to help me add to the pantheon of knowledge for music education, JOIN THE FUN!!!!