In my old band room I had huge letters painted on the wall that read: The 4 ingredients of a Superior Band: 1) Practice 2) Self-discipline 3) Good Attitudes 4) More Practice The band director that took my job when I left (heâ€™s still trying to take my place) painted over that recipe for success. In four years he has taken my program of 411 (when I left) and it is now down to 130, and next year I understand they will be lucky to have 100. We had 25-years of straight superior ratings, and about a 95% retention rate with kids that came from the poorest neighborhoods in our district. I was so proud to say I was the band director at that school. Eventually things just got so bad with the administration that I couldn't take it any longer and had to leave to preserve my sanity. You put those 4 ingredients together and you get PRIDE, and pride is what makes a band good. My kids would come before school, after school, and at lunch to play in the band room. All lessons were free, but I got paid back with respect, and had fun with bands that could play the dots off of the page. At my new school we are just starting to get the pride flowing, and now students from every part of my school are coming and asking how they can join the band. Funny thing, when I mention getting lessons and working with me over the summer to start getting caught up with the kids that are already in band, many of them walk in the other direction. They want the fun with out the work that goes with it. One of the nicest compliments I got this year from a student in band was â€œâ€¦you talk about work, we never work in here. We just play our horns!â€ Itâ€™s great when you can work hard and practice at something and it has become fun to do so! Some kids just donâ€™t understand that concept. My fear is that they may never be great at anything because they donâ€™t want to put in the time and effort to become great at something.