future for band musicians?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mimic, May 14, 2009.

  1. Firestas'1

    Firestas'1 Piano User

    471
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    Dec 21, 2006
    New Jersey
    I think part of the problem with the dropping interest level is that so few kids are exposed to any sort of live music. Most elementary kids experience with music is completely electronic, they have never sat in the audience and heard a person breathe into an istrument and produce a beautiful sound.
    There needs to be a campaign to get more people to attend live performances with their children to expose them to how magical live music can be.
    There are so many opportunities to hear music live, especially if you live near a college, and most are free!
     
  2. mimic

    mimic Pianissimo User

    159
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    May 3, 2009
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks, this is so true. I think one of the reasons my kids all took up playing is the constant exposure to live performance. Every time any of the local groups play we try to see it. Thanks for sharing this. My family is somewhat befuddled as to why every saturday evening I make them watch reruns of the Lawrence Welk show. I tell them that there are real people making the music in their ipods and boom boxes and this is my proof.
     
  3. Firestas'1

    Firestas'1 Piano User

    471
    1
    Dec 21, 2006
    New Jersey
    Absolutely.
    I take my wife and son to at least one performance a week during the academic year and whenever one comes up in the summer we're there as well. There is also a weekly organ concert at one of the local churches.
    The organ concert is probably the best example of how bad the problem has become; world class musicians perform a 30 minute concert free of charge but sadly the normal audience does not usually exceed 13 people.
     
  4. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

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    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    This may be true for some of the smaller schools or school systems in rural area, not to deminish these school systems, many of which are struggling due to reduced budgets. However, many bands are thriving and music programs are thriving.

    My son's girlfriend, a recent graduate of Indiana State University's School of Music has given me an update on bands. First, band programs are competing with several other programs now, such as soccer and other activities that they did not have to compete with when we were younger (well some of us anyway). Second, some programs go to the extreme and are almost year-round programs having band practices in the summer, even before football starts making many students drop out. This is the down-side.

    However, for the good news and a positive note. Here in Indiana, several band programs are flurishing and growing. This is primarily in the marching band sector, however the concert programs are growing also. At the Indiana State Fair, we have a Marching Band Competition that is very competitive with attendance that equals the state basketball finals! Schools like Avon HS, Warren HS, Lawrence North HS and New Palestine HS to name a few (granted these are in or near Indianapolis..sorry if I did not mention others) that have programs that are the envy of many. Each that has semi-trailers to carry their equipment to contests.

    Now for my editorial comments:

    Yes, music programs are deminishing, but so are some of the other extra-curriularactivities in school systems. Why, money and priorities. As you pass a high school, look at the football field, basketball facility and track fields. This is where schools are allocating funds...not to the arts which have been proven to benefit students. Those in music programs have better grades and their analytical skills are better than most athletes.

    It is not until many our school systems put their priorities in place and put the arts on the same level as sports programs. Unfortunately this will not happen, especially when city governments place value higher than education. I site the example of my hometown of Indianapolis. The Capital Improvement Board has put HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS into Conceco Field House (Pacers Basketball Fieldhouse) and Lucus Oil Stadium (home of the Indianapolis Colts) while the Indianapolis Public School system is vertually going broke and can not afford to pay teachers and having to lay off 400 of them. Why put money into these facilities..$$$$. (Which they can not pay for now and is putting Indy in a financial hole). If the students of today can not get an education, they can not get a job and therefore go to the ballgames in those multi-million dollar stadiums.

    I ask you, which is a better return on investment? A well funded schools system or a pro sports program?

    This is only my opinion and of course, not that of the "intellictual" polictical leaders that we have elected and do the bidding of the PAC that fills their political pockets.
     
  5. mimic

    mimic Pianissimo User

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    May 3, 2009
    Pennsylvania
    I think you said it best rushtucky. There are as some have pointed out on this thread some great young musicians out there doing amazing stuff. The problem is not with the talented it is with developing alot of talented musicians. There are just fewer and fewer venues out there to use that talent. I have heard live some of the best musicians in a setting where not even 50 people showed up yet over a 1000 will show at our little h.s. to see a not very talented football team lose every time.
     
  6. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    One other thing that you guys may not have considered - parents.
    If the parents don't care at all, then the kids have no incentive to work at it - after all, who gives the rewards at the end of the day?
    I worked at a theater camp where one of the parents tried to have their kid not come to camp the day of the performance - and none of the kids had been doing very good with memorizing their lines. I wonder why if the parents don't care...
    Another thought...
     
  7. Bill Martin

    Bill Martin Pianissimo User

    53
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    Apr 1, 2009
    Id (summer) CA (winter)
    In my home state a really big problem is the number of required subjects a student must successfully take before they can graduate. If they fail and then must repeat even one, band is often eliminated from their schedule. Too, many high schools offer advanced placement classes (college credit) - this also crowds out music participation. In my opinion classes such as Algebra ll, Chem. ll, Calculus, Advanced Lit/Comp. can be offered at the university level. Then, our kids could broaden their participation.......
    Bill Martin
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  8. andy-rockstar

    andy-rockstar Pianissimo User

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    When I was in HS (class of '98), most of us kids in the AP classes were in band as well.
     
  9. Jurandr

    Jurandr Pianissimo User

    183
    1
    Feb 23, 2008
    Illinois
    This is very true. My father has never been to a single one of my performances. He has not seen a solo contest, a concert, a marching band contest, an awards ceremony, anything. He hears me practicing the tough lines and that's about it. Last year when I announced that I had made all-district, I was met with a blank stare. He didn't care at all. The way he acts towards my music is incredibly dispiriting and I honestly have no motivation to practice whenever he's around. The only thing that really keeps me going these days is the feedback I get from the band directors and my private lesson teacher, and the comments that judges write on the back of my adjudication form. If it wasn't for them, I'd probably be doing like Rowuk said and played an iPod instead of a Trumpet.
     
  10. andy-rockstar

    andy-rockstar Pianissimo User

    72
    0
    Jan 6, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    School systems would rather "invest" their money in a new football stadium, or a new basketball court, because sports theoretically create a return on that investment when parents, students, and locals pay to see these games.

    Parents now would rather be a "soccer mom" than a "band booster club" mom. They'd rather run their children into the ground to chase a pro sports dream than let them do stuff just for fun.

    I currently play in the Community Concert Band, and I'd estimate that 80% of the band is over 40. And at least 50% is over 50. I may be wrong, but it sure seems that way. We had 6 trumpet players this semester, and I was the youngest by at least 10 years (I'm still south of 30, for now ;-)).
     

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