ReBand…A New School Year, A New Gig

September 13, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust (and other Queen references)

Weekends come and go, but I’m glad I have this one. After not posting for the week, I’ll lay it all out. Going into this new week (week 4) I’m a bit more prepared and am looking forward to getting things going, after all The Show Must Go On and in some cases just begin. I was hopeful that this week would see some progress in playing, great progress in the instrument testing process for beginning band students, and a bit better mindset than what I left the last week with. To some degree all of those things have happened.

The playing progress is probably happening, but sometimes I feel like I’m Going Slightly Mad. The 8th graders now have all the tunes that they need to have to play at pep rallies and the football games that they have to play for. They aren’t good at them yet, but for this point in our schedule for needing to know them, we’ll be OK. We have a pep rally on Wednesday and I really don’t have much of an idea of what to expect from a MS pep rally.

The 7th graders are struggling as they are going through the book that some of them used last year to review (and teach) some of the kids the notes that they will need to know. I’m afraid that the kids who really don’t need the review are getting really bored with all of this and are going to be discouraged. In My Defense I have passed out a piece of music to them and hope that it will spark some interest. I am planning to get a pro-SmartMusic letter home to parents to try to get some more kids set up. I think that this program will be very helpful if I can get the kids involved.

The 6th graders have continued their testing process and it’s going pretty well, but painfully slowly. At this rate, It’ll be A Kind Of Magic to be done by the date that I had hoped that they would be playing their first in class notes. I’ve finished all woodwinds and have gone to percussion and will finish with brass. It seems that lots of kids want to try percussion. I’m sooooooooo surprised. Anyway, hopefully this will go by quicker than what I’ve had so far and I’ll get to brass by the end of the week. Also this week I have a instrument information night for the beginning banders’ parents to get them info on getting instruments for their little ones. Unfortunately I’m not going to have the information on what the kids are playing by that time. This might be wonderful or really a problem. I suppose that this will at least give me a chance to talk to the parents about how I’m deciding what the kids are going to play. Like I said, this could be good or bad.

As far as my mindset, I am doing better than what I started last week with, but not as good as the middle. Students are still changing schedules around. Perhaps this is normal think in middle schools, but I’m certainly not accustomed to it. Wherever I have been, once the first week of classes is in, the schedule is locked. Here it seems that all you need is a parent note/email/call and this school is willing to put a kid anywhere they want to be. Anyway Another One Bites the Dust in 8th grade band, a solid alto sax player. And another one is gone in 6th as well. No loss in 6th grade, but still, we’re going into the forth week! This kind of got me bummed out in the mid week, but things were improving a bit toward the end of the week.

As I go back in tomorrow I’m hoping to finish lots of perc tests, have the 8th graders make some good progress on one of the two songs I have out for them, let the 7th graders have a shot at the pep music and start to get info out about district and all-state auditions. I need to have the last one done to hand out by Wednesday. I guess I know what I’ll be doing during my planning. Well enough of My Melancholy Blues. Here is another start to a week. Hopefully it will be a great one. Even though it’s not a Queen tune, I suppose Only Time Will Tell. Thanks Asia.


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