Section Leader Tips?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SophiaPetrillosBuddy, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I'd better not answer....................
  2. SophiaPetrillosBuddy

    SophiaPetrillosBuddy New Friend

    Dec 19, 2012
    Well, I only say that due to section leaders having authority over our section. That's the ways it's been for my section in the past and every other section in band. We handle our members unless they become unruly, in which we go to the band director. But honestly, if you've been in band a total of three years, you should have some capacity to read notes and rhythms. When you offer help (clapping rhythms, playing with them, helping them get the music), but they decide to play while you're talking and won't listen when you tell them to stop, unless you threaten to get the band director, you kind of have to be mean and stern. Some even said they don't listen to me, because our last section leader would always shout and command us.
  3. SophiaPetrillosBuddy

    SophiaPetrillosBuddy New Friend

    Dec 19, 2012
    I'd like to hear your input.
  4. Hornlife98

    Hornlife98 Pianissimo User

    Nov 16, 2014
    Our high school trumpet section is really, really tight-knit, but I'll try best to relate.

    1. Try to foster a relationship within the section with non-band related activities, outside of on the weekends. This will translate into the band room.
    2. Compliment the people who are good (or try hard to be good) and are dedicated.
    3. Give a clean slate to all the troublesome members for the next week or two weeks.
    4. Implement a three strikes rule; if you are assisting someone and they disrespect you, tell them to stop harassing you or you will stop helping them.
    5. At sectionals, firmly state that you will not tolerate people going on. If there's nothing with which you can threaten them, then look tough LOL.
    6. Depending on your section, you could implement a trumpeter of the week deal. This is risky. You could lose their respect if they perceive it as corny, or they could strive for this honorable award :p.

    Good luck!
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    first of all since I'm an "old guy" --- I am obligated to offer you advice. OK, so this girl doesn't know fingerings and such (I'm reminded that way back in high school, some kids had to "take band", or more likely it might be mandatory for her from her parents -- (in which case, maybe she doesn't really take band seriously) --- another thing might actually be a memory problem. (For me, after nearly 35 years of trumpet, that is easy to me, but taking up the trombone as a second instrument, I find that my memory, actually doesn't help me with the notes of the Bass clef, really determining the notes and slide positions, even after 3 years is still NOT WHERE IT SHOULD BE)
    SO might I suggest --- that you find out from her "what she views as the problem" ---- BETTER YET, does this young lady have someone in the band that she really trusts and likes, and is friends with? perhaps another trumpet player, a clarinet player --- SOMEONE who you also have good report with --- you see in this way, by having someone else to be with you (someone who you both trust) --- this eliminates the possibility that the young lady RESENTS you and your Authority, or if she does it might get out in the open, and be something you all can solve ((which might be the case)). YES, your a senior, and YES your a section leader ---- but with authority comes RESPONSIBILITY -- not to just lay down the law, but the RESPONSIBILITY for you, to lead, to teach, to encourage, to solve problems, and to develop good character in yourself and with others ------ yup, soon you will be tossed into the big world, college, business, jobs, etc. ---- and to be a leader is to be much more than an authoritative "voice" in command -----
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  6. SophiaPetrillosBuddy

    SophiaPetrillosBuddy New Friend

    Dec 19, 2012
    That's great advice! I think she may have a memory problem. I would try to help her with someone else she trusts and is friends with, but the majority of people in band don't seem to like her much. If I can find someone to help, I'll try this method. Thanks, kingtrumpet!
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    OH MY GAWD!!!!!! Talk about paralysis through analysis!!!!! She likes you and is looking for an excuse to talk to you! She's even willing to run afoul of the director to get your attention! Is she pretty?? ;-)
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am an old school type of trumpeter. I think that Sophia is trying to do a good job, but in a school situation there are limits to what you can accomplish - and the others know it. That does not make her a weak section leader, it means that some more basic things are missing in the process.

    Sophia, I think that you have moved yourself too close to the problem and that you need to take a step back.

    I think that you agree, the best section would be only consisting of first trumpeters. That requires a skill set and an attitude. My suggestion is to sit down with the band leader after you have given some thought to what the skill set requirement should be for 1st trumpet 1st chair, 1st trumpet 2nd chairs, 2nd trumpet 1st chair, 2nd trumpet 2nd chairs, 3rd trumpet 1st chair, 3rd trumpet 2nd chairs.

    I'll give you a hint:
    1) scales and arpeggios, tonguing speed, site reading
    2) audition piece (can be a part from the concert program)
    3) soft skills like preparedness, organisation of the sheet music, on time for rehearsal
    4) schedule auditions at least 2 months before a performance. After the audition announce the players chairs for the next concert. There should be a lot of honor in a 3rd trumpet first chair position compared to a 2nd trumpet 2nd chair!

    If you had all first trumpeters, you would rotate the section for each piece and still maintain the top quality. As you currently have no enforcable standards, you become the "bitch" when you stand up to the lazy. Set those standards with the band leader and after winter break set up auditions. There is no rule that a section of great players get a specific book chained to their ankles. There should be a rule that successful players get opportunities. Help make success happen. Set standards and make them known.

    Weak players that don't even have fingerings down should get a photocopied fingering chart and then a statement that allegedly comes from Beethoven: "the finest music is made with pencils". Make a bunch of photocopies of the chart and pass it out when necessary - making a note of who it was given to and a week or two later, if it helped.

    One last thing. Make it clear that rehearsals are NOT THE TIME TO SORT OUT PERSONNEL PROBLEMS or change seating. Management decisions are better made offline.
  9. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    One way of breaking the fixed heirarchy jealousies is to ring the changes and swap the parts around every now and then.

    In concert band, we had a piece called Hootenanny, which was a fairly easy end of concert foot-tapper. I'd often grab the 3rd part and push the higher parts down the line to give the other desks their chance in the spotlight. I actually quite enjoyed playing 3rd but it just so happens that the 3rd part shunted up an octave made a pretty good descant line for the last verse so the whole section got to live life in the fast lane and enjoy it.

    Just a suggestion.
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    well, I always say -- "strangers are friends that we haven't met yet" --- and this of course could apply to her ----- since she isn't liked, it's probably a self fulfilling prophecy in her life (you feel people don't like you, then you develop a "defensive attitude", and lo and behold, it ends up that people don't like you) -- and maybe that is in her life also ----- who knows, parents could be going through a divorce, financial problems --- there is a whole host of things that can contribute to tension in an adolescent (not to mention -- the onset of those feminine hormones -- which by your "stage name here" -- I suspect you understand all of that -----
    am I making excuses for her?? not really, it's just that there are many problems associated with growing up and being a teenager ---- but you will find a way, to solve the problem, that's how leaders are born, they are born through trials under their command ---

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