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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Section Leader/Instructor Problems in the General forums; Im not entirely sure where to put this but if the moderator knows where they can pm me or move ...
  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
    Fall River, Massachusetts

    Section Leader/Instructor Problems

    Im not entirely sure where to put this but if the moderator knows where they can pm me or move it to the appropriate catagory. My school's band has been with out a brass instructor since 2008 due to lack of funding and volunteers. During class hours we have managed to get teachers in to help guide sectionals, but only on certain days.Afterschool, the section leaders of all of the sections are the ones who guide the sectionals. It is particularly difficult with me because I have a section of trumpets who need work but constant interuptions by other members prevent much work from getting done. I feel like I am failing my section by not able to get them to the level they should be at. Another note is that barely any of them take private lessons or practice due to lack of time and money. I need recommmendations from both teachers and section leaders in the same situation on what to do for this often distracted section with a few immature members disrupting the process.
    Also I should let you all know that kicking them out is not an option because my director won't go for it.

  2. #2
    Piano User Satchmo Brecker's Avatar
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    Jul 2010

    Re: Section Leader/Instructor Problems

    I'm assuming you're talking about high school. If that's the case and you're complaining about not having a brass instructor on staff...stop complaining right now. Many schools barely have a band program yet alone individual specialty staff.

    As for the rest, my advice would be lead by example making extra sure you are not being cocky, that your director doesn't give you special treatment, and that you don't hog all the good parts because you can.

    And one of the best ways you can accomplish these things IMO, aside from practicing and getting good, is to watch Maynard videos on youtube. Even though he was "the star" he was never afraid to let others shine, never put others down, etc.
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  3. #3
    Forte User Bob Grier's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Greensboro, NC

    Re: Section Leader/Instructor Problems

    Have you tied taking the names of the students who are interupting the session and giving the list to the director? it's his job to deal with discipline problems. also give him feedback on the lack of completeing assignments. ie. learing their part. this is your job. I know in high school it can be hard to "tell" on another student. Of course you should tell them what youmare going to do. otherwise it's a waste of time.
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  4. #4
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Section Leader/Instructor Problems

    Although what you do is admirable, I have a problem with the deaf leading the blind.

    That being said, the real issue is respect and not "control", and that cannot be "delegated", it has to be earned. If you do not have authority, then you only reach those that really want to cooperate anyway. Highschool band programs often need more mass than only "the interested" can supply.

    Cooperation is actually a concept that many do not understand. In only works when both parties accept that they have a common goal but complementary talents. You need to think about what they have that you need, and what you can offer in trade, for helping them.

    Motivational things that students can also swing:

    special ensembles
    a higher seat in the section
    passing around solos

    Forget any type of disciplinary work. A pissed off parent can blow you and the teacher out of the water. I've seen it happen often enough - even when the parent is wrong.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2011
    Fall River, Massachusetts

    Re: Section Leader/Instructor Problems

    I agree with all of you're responses, however i want to clear something up that satchmo reminded me to touch on. First off, I understand that a lot of places barely have a program, and we've almost lost ours if it weren't for the dedication of the parent organization for both the band and orchestra to "put us out there" and play for the mayor's inaugurations. And as far as parts, I wanted the position so people could get the chance to play the solos and the first parts but I know Its the dumbest idea to put all the good players on 1st. And either way I tested giving it to a player who needed improvement, and he just turned into a cocky big shot when, to be honest, he is severely below the bar for the amount of years he has been playing, bringing me to believe that he picked up the instrument to look cool and now wants SL for the title. but I digress. My problem is that Im starting to think that I got my postion by seniority, not by my abilities as a player and mentor. Right now my ASL, the section leader of Saxes (phenomenal musician, counducted a three movement piece better than some high school band conductors could, and has helped the sax section become one of the most well balanced sections in almost 4 years) and i have been collaborating to find out a way that can reverse the process that the section leaders in the past have let slide, such as rehearsal behavior (honestly I feel like I'm in a cafeteria between pieces, the continue on after the cutoff for at least 5 seconds for the heck of it) using the time effectively. Let me just make it clear that I have no problem with not having a brass instructor; ever since I knew I had a goal to meet back in my freshmen year (when i decided to work to become a music major) I started trying to find out as much as possible about my instrument because I knew that I would need the knowledge for any player with a question, and I wasn't about to not answer, or answer with "google it".

  6. #6
    Utimate User coolerdave's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    San Pedro

    Re: Section Leader/Instructor Problems

    here are my thoughts..
    if you get them stop 5 seconds after a cutoff.. high school sectional... you are doing pretty good .... at least they stop.
    .... you seem to take this pretty seriously .... if you are looking for validation or sympathy you won't get any here... because like you we are trumpet players... and will tell it to you staight IMHO
    Everyone has different reasons for joining band and most just want to be apart of it .. and then put it away until next class ... just the way it is .... see it for what it is.. do your best.. be kind ( as you can although you are a trumpet player), don't try to make a name for yourself at their expense ... and enjoy it.
    and finally
    get that ASL to run your rehearsals too.
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