What is he doing to the band?!?!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpet blower88, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. hkfan736

    hkfan736 New Friend

    Dec 19, 2005
    I am in high school right now and I feel compelled to weigh in. Next year our marching band is going to compete at the competition that coincides with the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona (we are from southern California). It is costing every student $1100 dollars to be in band for next year, including the trip. This year it was $750, but we did not travel (we were going to go to the Holiday Bowl for $350 more dollars per person, but not enough people committed). We have already had a few people (especially the families with multiple kids in band) say they can't do it. Our enrollment is going to drop temendously I expect, even with the 8th graders coming in. We are fundraising like mad though. We are thinking of selling nachos on campus during lunch 2 days a week to earn money. We're doing a cowpie bingo game too. We are doing all we can to make this affordable for everybody.
  2. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    Those were great posts, Tootsall...tpter1. I didn't even go in "that" direction, as the OP seemed so dispondent. But you are right...good things are worth going the extra mile for (even as I stated...looking beyond "now" and focusing on future music life).

    You all are right...this director "does" sound very driven...vibrant...and is working his tail off to keep the program alive. I am also the son of the retired (35 yrs) band director...one of the best I've ever seen.... Thank goodness for guys like him...and your director.

    Keep the faith.....
  3. cmcdougall

    cmcdougall Piano User

    Feb 3, 2005

    If I were you I just wouldn't do it, my bet is that most people won't anyway, and if he notices that no one is doing it then he will forget about the idea.
  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!

    And when you get into the "real world" and your boss requests something of you... are you going to do it? Or just say "ahhh, fagedaboutdit... ain't worth my time"? Want to take any guesses at what will happen next?

    Let's say you join the military and your CO assigns you to wash a vehicle...and you don't feel like doing it (maybe you had plans to go practice parade drill!). What you think comes next?

    The point is that your schooling/education is just that... preparation for life as an adult. At times we are asked to do things that we don't necessarily agree with by those in a position of authority over us; ALWAYS remember who is signing your paycheck.... or assigning your marks! You should stop to consider that just perhaps the person making the assignment has a very good reason for their request of which you have no knowledge whatsoever.

    You weren't asked whether or not you agree... you were asked to do something. Are you ready to join the adult world or not?
  5. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    He will not forget. Your grade will take a bad hit. Not to mention that is insubordination. Collin, I am afraid I have to disagree with you here big time. That's like telling a kid not to do his homework (wait a minute...it is!) becuase you think it's a dumb assignment. Wrong message. Do the assignment.

    Eat your musical broccoli!
  6. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    Sometimes these ideas get a mind of their own. By that I mean, one person doesn't like the new show and he tells someone else and it goes on and on. The same with the fee. If a couple of core people in the band talked up the ideas others would go along. Change is a good thing, especially when your learning. I personally think Marching band isn't a learning situation. It is a lot of fun but what are you actually learning? Doing a new stile is learning. That's what your there to do. The papers might be a little much but I bet it's a little less then you think it is.

    It's up to the members what you get from band so YOU go to school and talk it up and make it good for everybody.

    One thing to remember:
    People love misery. It's easy to rip something apart and hard to be happy and bring others up. A few key people can change the thinking of the whole band either way.
  7. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    In the system I teach at there have been radical budget cuts. All arts teachers and athletic teachers are paid from special fees.
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Wow - interesting thread and interesting responses.

    Question: after this year, do you have any stake in the program? (eg. little sister/brother/neice/nephew) If not, I wouldn't waste a lot of energy worrying about it - finish your time and move on to other things, and even if you do have a stake in it, again, finish your time and move on to other things because ultimately it won't be your problem anymore.

    The one thing that never changes is that nothing ever stays the same. ;-)

    The director obviously wants to make some changes to the program, but have you really tried to examine what his motivations are? How large is the program? If the program is large, it could be that he is making these changes as a means to downsize and cull anyone who isn't extremely dedicated to being a musician there in an effort to get a smaller, more select group. It could be that HE is the one who really needs the change because he feels that he is stagnating as a teacher and is growing to despise the status quo. The bottom line is that it doesn't matter if you agree or not - change is going to happen on some level, so again, it's better to move on and stop wasting time and energy worrying about it.

    To readdress my statement about how things never stay the same, that has been an underlying theme in every band or ensemble I have ever been a part of. Everything has an ebb and flow of change - sometimes the change is for the better, sometimes for the worse, but it always changes. Even if nothing appears to change, it changes because things will stagnate to a point where an actual change eventually becomes necessary. In the ensembles I have been a part of, only one of them has stood the test of time past 3 years in a positive way with positive changes.

    So I guess to summarize, changes are going to occur for better or for worse - the trick is how you deal with them, how the student body deals with them, how the director deals with them, and what lessons are learned in the process.

    Last of all, I'd like to pass along a saying as advice that was given to me a few years ago by my former boss when the person buying my old home made a real mess of the home settlements when their lender dropped the ball on their home loan:

    "This too shall pass"

    The point he made was while everything seemed to be falling apart around my new home settlement due to my buyer's botched loan work that one way or another, eventually it would all pass and a balance of sorts and a state of normality, whatever it may wind up being, would resume. He was right - within two weeks everything had been corrected, settled, and we were moved into our new home. The situation with you and the band program may take longer than two weeks to resolve, but "this too shall pass." :-)
  9. trjeam

    trjeam Pianissimo User

    Dec 5, 2003
    When I was in H.S. Marching Band was a extra curricular activity and if we couldn't afford a trip we would find an alternative.

    This happens all the time. I remember when I was in H.S. we did plenty of shows we thought we wouldn't like. Once we did them we liked them...

    IMO that's not too much to ask for. 1 hour to 45 minutes a day? I knew kids that would spend 4 - 6 hours a day doing homework and still extra curricular activities.

    I hope you're not looking to be a music major... If you can't keep up with a H.S. band director, some changes and some assignments then college is going to be tough... Also in the gigging world I've had to do gigs that I didn't like. Both for musical reasons and personal reasons.

    What I had to learn in H.S. was that my band director knew more then me... She had been doing her job for 12 years and no matter how bad the situation looked I learned to trust her because she had been through it before....

    No matter how much you think you know, your band director is going to do what's best for the music program. After all, it is his job and unless he really hates it I don't think he would jeopardise it.

    And finally, if the situation with the band, and the director and the band booster really bothers you so much then you should talk with them or write a letter expressing the band's feelings and have everyone sign it...

    I was never much a complainer in H.S. I always took action. I was fortunate to have a great band director that saw a passion in me to be a teacher someday and she exposed me to a lot of the "behind the scene" stuff.

    Trust me, kids only see what's on the outside they don't see all the politics that affect many of the decisions a director might make... So just have some consideration for your band director... Remember, you're watching from the outside in your not that actually "in"...
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Jorge, what are you, like a whole 2 years older than he is? Such is the state of mind of many college students though - they get a year or two of college under their belts and they consider themselves seasoned veterans. I'm not trying to devalue the content of your post, but your delivery was a bit condescending unless you know firsthand what he's dealing with, not to mention that you are just a kid yourself.

    I also have to take issue with your comments about the band director knowing what's best for the music program. Out of 5 band dirctors I had in 4 years of high school, 3 were losers who hurt the program and one (they guy they hired on when I was a Senior) was a serious loser who completely wrecked the program and the school had to fight to get rid of him. I thought I knew more than he did at the time and do you know what? I DID! I say this looking back on it as an experienced adult. Just because a guy has a college degree and teaching certificate that says they are "qualified" to teach and direct a high school band, it doesn't mean that they actually know how to do it or will be good at it and even the ones who are good directors can burn out over time. The guy I'm talking to was a serious moron who probably should never have been allowed to pick up a conductor's baton, nor been given a teaching certificate.

    It's never good to simply go with the flow, blithely trusting those around you when your instincts are telling you something is amiss.

    From my perspective it looks like the band director is trying to do a major shake up and rejuvination of his program - a shake up which will cull anyone who either can't handle it, or doesn't want to handle it, and the end result (4-5 years time) will probably be a good one. But again, it's not going to be his problem after then end of the year, so why should he waste time worrying about it?

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