TGIF, That Means It’s Almost Monday! Music Education by Joel Wagner - January 22, 2009June 30, 20108 Please don’t tell me this picture represents your views! As a teacher, and specifically as a band director, I am not a big fan of Mondays. As a worker, I really love Monday. Why? Great question. Why I don’t like Mondays Kids generally don’t practice over the weekend. This means that part of Monday is spent recovering and getting the band to sound the way I want it to sound again. Anecdotally, I find that the students are less focused on Mondays than they are on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Those days seem to be the best teaching days of the week. Often, I will plan my schedule with that assumption. More on that later. This week we didn’t have school on Monday. I walked into my office aftyer first period and announced to whoever would listen, “It sure is a Monday today!” Interestingly enough, I did the same thing after third period on Thursday. Go figure. Why I love Mondays Mondays are so full of promise. There are so many things that can be accomplished this week. Sure, I know that there will be a longer period of time warming up on Mondays and getting the chops back into playing condition, but I also know that we can already begin working toward the goals that I have in mind for the week. So how do I use that to my advantage? I think the best way to structure a week (at least with a middle school non-varsity band) is to spend Monday working primarily on long tones and technical exercises. These could be specific areas of concert music as well as scale or arpeggio studies. I also find that Fridays are somewhat unfocused, and I use them for running through larger sections of the music, and often will record full performances on Fridays. The more the kids are actively engaged, the better they behave! As I’ve written before, one of my mentors was fond of saying, “If you look forward to Monday more than you do to Friday, you run the risk of success.” What about you? Share some of your “it sure is Monday today” stories in the comments. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.