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snarescience.com • Trying to get my foot in the tech door!
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Trying to get my foot in the tech door!

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:34 pm
by Beardedbeats
I am a student currently attending college with an education path towards majoring in Music composition, education and performance with a specialty in marching percussion. I want to become a drum line tech for a competitive drumline whether it is WGI, DCI, or highschool. Unfortunately I am not experienced enough, nor do I have the connections to know how to start. Since this is the instructors thread (I think) I ask for help from the experts. I have experience in marching both WGI and DCI along with experience in competitive high school marching band.
HELP! I need somebody! THANKS!

Re: Trying to get my foot in the tech door!

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:59 pm
by FerreusOpus
If you've marched in DCI and WGI then you'd be hard pressed to not have any connections unless you just didn't talk to anyone the whole time and even then, that experience alone is sometimes enough for you to get gigs by just sending emails out to people.

Re:

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:04 pm
by Beardedbeats
Thank you for the reply. I had good relations with the ones I marched with and who taught me, but after I did a four year stint in the military I lost contact with many of those whom I marched with. I sent a few emails to the local schools. Is there anything else I should do in order to "sweeten" the chance of getting a position? Are there any resources I can use to find DCI/WGI/highschool tech openings? Or is emailing king of the streets?

Re: Re:

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:16 pm
by FerreusOpus
Beardedbeats wrote:Thank you for the reply. I had good relations with the ones I marched with and who taught me, but after I did a four year stint in the military I lost contact with many of those whom I marched with. I sent a few emails to the local schools. Is there anything else I should do in order to "sweeten" the chance of getting a position? Are there any resources I can use to find DCI/WGI/highschool tech openings? Or is emailing king of the streets?
Hmm, well my best advice would be to get back into the activity at all to start with. Even if you have to volunteer for a group or do a little work for free, getting in there and forming connections with the people who can get you in is what you need to do. Knowing (the right) people and having a good relationship with them is everything. It's all about people.

In our activity, at least on the pro level, it's an everyone-knows-everyone type of thing, so knowing people is how you find out about openings and all that.

Re:

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:58 pm
by Spiritsnare80
I would send out a resume to the schools in your area and tell them what you are looking for.
Approach it from the standpoint of "what can I do to help your program". Let the directors
know you are a music major with DCI/WGI experience and you are wanting to gain experience
teaching a line or maybe even private lessons or both. As a veteran band director, I can tell
you that the amount of e-mails teachers receive is staggering, so sending a hard copy of your
resume would be much better in my opinion. Include a picture and make sure you are smiling
in the picture. Never underestimate a good smile.

Keep us posted.

Re: Re:

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:58 pm
by FerreusOpus
Spiritsnare80 wrote:Include a picture and make sure you are smiling
in the picture. Never underestimate a good smile.

Keep us posted.
That's good. I think I'll take that advice for myself!

Re:

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:26 pm
by Beardedbeats
Thank you for the advice! Very solid, I'll keep posted

Re: Trying to get my foot in the tech door!

Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:37 pm
by squirrelqueen
I agree with all of the ideas people have already suggested. From my experiences getting gigs, another thing you could try doing is asking if the band directors want any help with their percussion ensembles (or if they don't have one, if they'd be interested in starting one). Most band directors aren't percussionists and would kill to have someone who knows that they're doing help them out. After seeing what you're able to do in the concert realm, they might end up offering you a teching gig for outdoor.

If you haven't already, try contacting band programs at private schools in addition to public schools. Although their programs are usually smaller it's still a place to start teaching.

Also, from what I've observed April/May is a really good time to find new high school band gigs because that's when staff from previous years usually decide whether or not they're going to return. Ditto to July because that will be when band directors are desperate to fill any open positions they have left.

I've also noticed there tend to be way more open front ensemble gigs than battery gigs (at least in my area, yours might be different), so even if it isn't exactly what you want to do take the job so you have a foot in the door. Even if it doesn't lead to opportunities within the same program it might help you get a gig somewhere else down the line.

Final thing: check out www.bandjobs.org. Nothing posted is relevant to where I live, but there might be something near you!

Re: Trying to get my foot in the tech door!

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:40 pm
by NGPercussion
Volunteer. And ask your contacts, including your college teachers, for anyone they know of that needs or may want help. I had one volunteer drumline job in summer 2011, which turned into seven jobs in 2012, six of which paid me (the seventh was the volunteer one from the year prior), which in turn has transformed into eight in 2013, all of which paid, and then nine this past summer, all paying, making me a full time percussion teacher. I have just graduated with my BME in December, and have already started outlining my summer schedule, while looking for a full time position in a school for next year.

Great posts above, but if you are a good teacher, then your reputation will spread amongst the music network in your area, who do know each other like someone mentioned above.

Best of luck!

Re: Trying to get my foot in the tech door!

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:24 pm
by hurt-a
NGPercussion wrote:Volunteer. And ask your contacts, including your college teachers, for anyone they know of that needs or may want help. I had one volunteer drumline job in summer 2011, which turned into seven jobs in 2012, six of which paid me (the seventh was the volunteer one from the year prior), which in turn has transformed into eight in 2013, all of which paid, and then nine this past summer, all paying, making me a full time percussion teacher. I have just graduated with my BME in December, and have already started outlining my summer schedule, while looking for a full time position in a school for next year.

Great posts above, but if you are a good teacher, then your reputation will spread amongst the music network in your area, who do know each other like someone mentioned above.

Best of luck!
How do you commit so much time and energy into so many schools? I would imagine your quality of instruction per school would decrease as you add more places that you're involved with, just because you can't commit as much time to one program.

Re: Trying to get my foot in the tech door!

Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:31 pm
by NGPercussion
You'd be correct if I was doing all of them full time. But I only did one full time in the summer, and one full time in the fall. The rest were just tech jobs.