Greg recently commented on an article my site. As I typically do, I went to look at his blog Total Music Education and see what he’s all about.
His blog intrigues me. I didn’t have time to read through his entire site, but what I can gather is that he is a music education student in Minnesota. He’s still in school but is getting an opportunity to teach a local summer band camp. With the exception of his observation of the horn section in the camp, I haven’t found anything on his blog that is offensive. Haha.
Nevertheless, reading some of his experiences helped remind me how differently I see teaching beginning band now than I did when I was first starting out. My first experiences with beginners were teaching private lessons. Private lessons are way different than actually teaching classes. So I wrote a response to his latest post that I felt would be beneficial to some of my music educator readers as well. Even if you don’t teach band, feel free to take what you can out of this.
For what it’s worth, I disagree with your advisers who have told you that it’s over if the kids like you before Christmas. I think You better smile before Christmas!
This is especially important as elective teachers. There are always other choices out there.
The successful beginning band student needs to make it through the year with these three essentials.
- Rehearsal behavior skills
- As much band weenieness as possible
- Characteristic sound on the horn
In that order.
The first comes from your enforcing rules.
The third comes from your entertainment value. Once their behavior is under control, make them enjoy being around you. When they misbehave, they will miss the happy
The third comes from your spending tons of time in class on long tones. They won’t practice at home. Accept it and move on. :-)
So there you have it. My entire Beginning Band philosophy boiled down into three bullet points.