On the Edge

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TheDrummingSquirrel Offline
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On the Edge

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:58 pm



I could not find a post like this, I apologize if there is one.

Recently, I have been teaching at a local high school in my area. Now, to be quite blunt, they aren't very good. The snares have no uniform technique, the basses splits sound choppy, and the tenors...eh.

My high school has been in competition atleast two times every year (we are in two different circuits) but everytime we are, my drumline beats them by 30 points. (local system: 100) It's pretty embarrassing for them, and of course, I wanted to change that and teach them to make them better, since their is potential.

However, I can't see any form of commitment, or dedication in any of them. Some of them make half ass excuses not to show up to practice, they never practice (they even say it to my face and the band director's face) and plain out don't care about anything I have to say or want to change.

There is no form of discipline, or any leadership from the "section leader", and it angers me greatly. I am just a tech under the main instructor, who doesn't give any form of punishment whatsoever like I have received. The band director is more of a buddy type than a angry teacher. (I do respect the band director though.) The reason why is because the school is fairly small, and getting members to stay in the band is hard, so he has to be nice.

I am on the verge of just giving up on them. No matter what I say, do, or try, I'm just ignored by them. And this upcoming season they will be beat, again, because of the lack of commitment.

If anyone can give me any form of advice, that would be great, because I have no clue what to do anymore.
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Buranri Offline
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Re: On the Edge

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:03 pm



I'm in the same place with my high school band. No discipline, no desire to be good. I've essentially just given up and decided to focus on my own playing for my last year and a half of high school.
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Wagsdrummer92 Offline
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Re: On the Edge

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:30 pm



take them to a DCI or WGI show. let them see how good they can be. make sure they know that all of the members near their ages.
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extrikate Offline
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Re: On the Edge

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:50 pm



"I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend." :wink:

Have you taken the time to assess whether your goals are the same as those of the director, lead instructor, and members? I ask this only because, while you came from a competitive background, some groups are satisfied with being Friday Night Popcorn bands. I commend you for wanting to develop the program and think you should. However, depending on the goals and desires of those involved, it could take a while for a change to occur as the more complacent students graduate/move on.

That said, try exposing them to DCI/WGI and the local competitive circuit (as spectators). Ensure that they have a strong foundation in place that focuses on fundamentals and evolves with their ability. If the bar is set too high they will be more likely to reject the new system if it seems unobtainable.

Best of luck and stay the course. Just realize that you had the benefit of coming up in a strong program, it will take time to establish the like with a group who was not as fortunate.
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sxetnrdrmr Offline
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Re:

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:46 am



the biggest thing is to do what extrikate mentioned in finding what motivates them. If they don't compete - at all, or very much - there might not be any real motivation to be perfect...making just enough noise to get the crowd moving might be their reward.

AS far as the discipline thing, you have to remember that change in this area has to be well paced, and well thought out. Just yelling and threatening will turn them even more "off". Pick small battles, and create a goal system that starts big, and funnels down to detailed. Showing them DCI/WGI stuff is a good start because it will show them the end result. When I had to "fix" my group - 17 years ago - the number one thing I did with discipline was define 3 expectations:

1. attendance
2. quiet
3. respect

1. Attendance: basically, I told them if they missed more than 2 rehearsals they were gone. I als odefined what being late was, preparation time etc. I sent a letter home to the parents outlinging the attendance policy and why drumline was an activity that was just as important as anything else. Getting the parents involved was a big help. Did I lose people? Of course. But we founf out they were dead weight anyways. 99% of the attitude problem left just due to this change alone

2. Quiet: being a shorter word for "rehersal etiquette". Having the ability to be able to stand still and shut up...I related it to maturity. I defined the expectations for how we were going to act at practice, and then actually practiced them. Alot! We still spend a good hour just practicing set position, ready set, relax. Physical projection at set. What we do with our sticks...all that stuff. I ALWAYS start rehearsal with practicing this stuff. I also lways show my new kids DCI/WGI rehearsal footage first, and say "See that? Copy it". Having all of the high school kids on board helps too, and the yall keep each other in check

3. I just talk about general ideas of what this is. Repsect is when you listen to somebody else. Respect is when you consider something or someone else before yourself. I use examples in everyday life that happens to them as examples of disrepect and compare it to what the ydo to me, the equipment, each other etc. I always use the phrase " You don't like to be dissed right? Why would yo do it to somebody else?"

Now, this is a life long process, but if you are consistent, and lcear about your expectations, and reinforcing them. People will come around. PM me if you want more detailed advice.
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Kaitou Offline
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Re: Re:

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:19 pm



sxetnrdrmr wrote:the biggest thing is to do what extrikate mentioned in finding what motivates them. If they don't compete - at all, or very much - there might not be any real motivation to be perfect...making just enough noise to get the crowd moving might be their reward.

AS far as the discipline thing, you have to remember that change in this area has to be well paced, and well thought out. Just yelling and threatening will turn them even more "off". Pick small battles, and create a goal system that starts big, and funnels down to detailed. Showing them DCI/WGI stuff is a good start because it will show them the end result. When I had to "fix" my group - 17 years ago - the number one thing I did with discipline was define 3 expectations:

1. attendance
2. quiet
3. respect

1. Attendance: basically, I told them if they missed more than 2 rehearsals they were gone. I als odefined what being late was, preparation time etc. I sent a letter home to the parents outlinging the attendance policy and why drumline was an activity that was just as important as anything else. Getting the parents involved was a big help. Did I lose people? Of course. But we founf out they were dead weight anyways. 99% of the attitude problem left just due to this change alone

2. Quiet: being a shorter word for "rehersal etiquette". Having the ability to be able to stand still and shut up...I related it to maturity. I defined the expectations for how we were going to act at practice, and then actually practiced them. Alot! We still spend a good hour just practicing set position, ready set, relax. Physical projection at set. What we do with our sticks...all that stuff. I ALWAYS start rehearsal with practicing this stuff. I also lways show my new kids DCI/WGI rehearsal footage first, and say "See that? Copy it". Having all of the high school kids on board helps too, and the yall keep each other in check

3. I just talk about general ideas of what this is. Repsect is when you listen to somebody else. Respect is when you consider something or someone else before yourself. I use examples in everyday life that happens to them as examples of disrepect and compare it to what the ydo to me, the equipment, each other etc. I always use the phrase " You don't like to be dissed right? Why would yo do it to somebody else?"

Now, this is a life long process, but if you are consistent, and lcear about your expectations, and reinforcing them. People will come around. PM me if you want more detailed advice.
This is good..thanks for the insight
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FutureBDCenter Offline
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Re: On the Edge

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:33 pm



TheDrummingSquirrel wrote:Now, to be quite blunt, they aren't very good. The snares have no uniform technique, the basses splits sound choppy, and the tenors



YEAH. So... that's your fault. Ya' Heard, Perd?

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