ReBand…A New School Year, A New Gig

November 15, 2008

Playing Catch Up

Filed under: Uncategorized — reband @ 2:40 pm
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Welcome back, did you miss me? I’ve been taking more time to spend with the family and wrapping up some other stuff over the last month so I haven’t taken time to write. I know that when I look back, I’ll regret not journaling about all that has been happening. It’s been a while so here are the highlights, lowlights, all the lights that have been happening in the last month.

Concerts: I gone through a concert with my 8th and 7th grade bands, both went fairly well. Each group played as well as they had practiced, no worse, so I guess there isn’t too much more than I can expect. Our concerts take place in a gym, so all the reverb “mixes” our sounds a little more, sometimes helping with making our mistakes not as noticeable to the average listener. Good things came out of the concerts. I have at least two kids who were planning on quitting at the quarter do a u-turn (one them, one their parents) on that decision. Each is a fairly poor player now, but they are doing better with trying. I got very good comments from parents and administrators overall and only one complaint. The complaint was that some of the band kids who were not playing while the other group was playing were talking. I’m not happy about that, but I’m not surprised either. Oh well. (more…)

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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. (more…)

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. (more…)

August 26, 2008

OK, Now what

Filed under: Uncategorized — reband @ 9:06 pm
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Day two came to a good conclusion, sort of. I’m starting to get multiple questions from students and a few from from parents who want to know if their kids can change instruments and almost all of them are to go to (say it with me) drums! I’m sure that this will work it’s way out. After all I am a new teacher at this school and people are testing me out and seeing about limits and such.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to start instrument introductions for the beginners. Hopefully I can do a good job. Then it will be time for testing. I’m thinking about calling in the reserves for that and contacting a retired band director to come in and help me with that. My fellow MS band directors in the area have been very helpful to this point and I’m sure that they will continue to be. I’m sure grateful for that.

With the rest of the band, I’m hoping to get started playing a little tomorrow. That is if I’m able to get donations receipted and get school owned instruments assigned. I suppose that if I don’t get to it tomorrow, I’ll get it Thursday. I really need to see if I’m going to like this job.

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