Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer School Vol. 2

I miss my band!
Ok, now that I have that out of the way.

I've been working as much as possible to prepare for the fall. These students have nearly no experience, especially with marching. I'm researching mottos, chants, and anything fun and motivational. I've spent hours and hours reading through games and motivational teaching methods. I've also been teaching summer lessons to a few kids. Hopefully this all works out to be helpful.
This weekend I have spoken to a few parents about the program. They say the kids enjoy me teaching, but that they aren't really excited because they are starting to realize that the success we've discussed won't come without hard work.
I've thought a lot about doing a lesson on a motto. Pius always said in unison "With one, as one, for one" at the end of rehearsals. The meanings of this are somewhat specific given the catholic school environment. But I'm thinking that might also work in the public schools, but I need to decide on how I'd like to approach the meaning of the statement.
I also know a school that says "Every note, every step, every member, every time." 
I don't know what to do. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I specifically want a motto/chant that they can literally say together to promote unity and hard work. Those of you who read this. Let me know what you have done in the past please.

I am also going to run an idea by my leadership in the fall: I'd like to let the local and very active Chamber of Commerce know that we could put together something for business openings or community activities.

I'm also planning a community pep band for football season, maybe homecoming, maybe not. I can't help but invite community members to play a piece or two at the christmas concert. There are TONS of adults around here who have told me they still have that trumpflutsaxinet laying around and would love to play again.

Ugh. I want school to start again.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer School

This summer I am not teaching, but I have several band camps, my own band camp, lessons, and a job painting for the school. Plus the garden and the seemingly endless honey-do list.
So I was walking home from school the other day and feeling helpless about getting the program where I'd like it. It just seems so far off in the future.
Then it hit me. My band is off balance, but it is actually bottom heavy. I have between 95% and 100% retention for the fall. Finally, although the HS band is tough, the MS band often has that certain glint in their eyes that lets me know they're "getting it." They read the movements of my baton and react, albeit reactive acting. I have a band. That long-term goal to actually have a band room and students to teach.
I'm pretty lucky.
I dropped a student off at the Nebraska Masonic All-Star Marching Band Camp at UNL and ran into a number of classmates from college. The conversation went something like this:

Classmate: What are you doing here?
Me: I brought one of my kids to camp.
Classmate: Isn't your baby due in August? She's a little young for band camp!
Me: No, a student of mine.
Classmate: Oh, so you have a studio now.
Me: No, I'm a band director now. I got the BME remember.
Classmate: Whoa, wait. You're like a teacher? But you just graduated.
Me: Yep, in Franklin. It's like an hour south of Kearney.
Classmate: How is the band.
Me: Well....blah blah blah etc.

It's so cool to be counted among the band teachers. I just hope I am a good one.