ReBand…A New School Year, A New Gig

October 13, 2008

Trying not to be Bored

Filed under: Uncategorized — reband @ 9:02 pm
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It’s been a little while since I checked in and it seems that everything has pretty much calmed down for the moment, at least as much as it can in middle school.  A routine is starting to set in for the different groups. I’m starting the beginners on the EE2000 book 1 and we’re on #12 after about 12 days. Lots of review, lots of checking to see if pitches are right (and they are not) and lots of checking posture, hand positions, embouchure, etc. I’m hopeful to get to play Merrily We Roll along soon before getting to gasp! half notes. I like that EE doesn’t really start the kids on whole notes that last 4 beats, but instead as long as the director says so. I still haven’t got many of the kids onto SmartMusic. I think it could really help. I miss the art in the music that I have been used to with working high schools. Not that I’d get a lot into music in the HSs at this time with marching band and all, but the monotony of fundamentals is something I am struggling with a bit. I understand that this sounds bad to say out loud (or write) but it’s the way I’m feeling now.

It probably does not speak well at all about my high school teaching that I don’t really like teaching fundamentals, but there is a big difference (at least the way I’m feeling) in fundamentals at different levels. This is the first time that some of these students are being introduced to concepts that I am or in some cases certainly not familiar with teaching. I’ve never at the HS level really had to show a student how to hold a bassoon. I’ve never had to place fingers on a sax or flute. I’ve never had to show a student how to hold a trombone. It seems so elementary to me…and I know that it is and that’s why it’s so important. I suppose I just don’t like the pacing and the continual review for non musical aspects. At the HS level the vast majority of the fundamentals that I have done were review and usually handled fairly quickly. I’m certainly not feeling challenged as a musician at this point, only as a teacher. I think what I miss it the chance to be both a teacher and musician at the same time. I’m sure that it will get better as students grow musically. I simply must be more patient and focus on the things that I want to accomplish with this students.

In other news, for the 8th graders, a Veteran’s Day assembly is on the horizon. We have a piece ready for it with a month to spare so I can move on to Christmas and winter music with them and the 7th graders. I need to spend more time with the 7th graders in their EE 2000 book 2 book to try to reinforce some things that they have been lax on, because I let them get away with it. Some embushures need work in their and some hand positions too. I’m trying to get music ordered that in on SmartMusic so the ones that have it can practice that way. I hope that’s a good idea. I also need to look ahead to the spring and see about possible pieces there. Once the Christmas music is out, I should have planning time to investigate that a little more. Here’s to dedicating myself to productive planning. On the upside a few of us are finally eating out of the cafeteria and eating somewhere a little more enjoyable.

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