Rant

musicteach

New member
I wanted to rant about something. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my job to a T. However, it is incredibly frustrated some days! One of those days was today.

We had a scheduled practice for today, and I had booked the field so we could have it all day. I showed up (my customary ten minutes early) to find that the football team is holding practice. So I went to the Coach who politely informed me he didn't give a rat's rear end about the marching band, the football team was there first and we would just have to find somewhere else to practice.

Fine, so off I went to find somewhere else for us to practice. It was suggested the auditorium. So I fumbled with my keys and finally got it unlocked to discover the theatre club was already practicing.

The band room was off limits, because they were shampooing the carpet. I mean...really? Couldn't that have been done sometime else?

Finally I went into my band director bag of tricks and designated a parking lot for practice, which has it's advantages as well. It makes learning drill a bit easier because you can line up a set, have them mark where they are, run it again and they can see exactly where they should have been, and exactly how far off they are.

Half an hour later (after me hiking all over and getting moved and set up) the band got stretched and warmed up and we FINALLY ran the show an hour later. An hour late. Unbelievable. Had a tuba player drop his instrument down a flight of stairs. Had two flutists engage in a sword fight with their instruments. Had to unstick 13 mouthpieces--which in all seriousness isn't anything too awfully new. Band directors eventually learn to have a mouth piece separator handy during practices because no matter how experienced, brass players have a bad habit of getting their mouthpiece stuck in their instruments.


Also incase you don't know a mouthpiece separator is a device used to separate the mouthpiece from the lead pipe by force. It's almost like a vice grip, in that you put the separator onto the instrument, the mouthpiece sitting in the curved groove. You tighten the pieces that hold it in place, then tighten the screws equally which pries the mouthpiece away.
 

teddy

Duckmeister
Life is full of frustrations MT. It is made worse when dealing with an AH, or possible several of then. I bet you thought or a few new places to stick a trombone.

teddy
 

musicteach

New member
Apparently. That's alright, if they want to play that game, I can play that game ;) See that's the thing, at today's Blacksmith Festival, they had an excellent performance.
 

Krummhorn

Administrator
Staff member
Sometimes our efforts as instructors of music seem frustrating. The school football coach has absolutely no concept of what your job entails to produce suitable music on the open field - he/she is stuck inside that goofy little thing called a football - I've oft wondered why they call it a "foot" ball anyway.

When my son was in high school I was the president of the band boosters - we were a very very proactive group, always helping out with all events and going to all the games whether they were home or away. We also went on all the competition events as well as being able to consistently raise money for things that the school district budget would not cover (uniform cleaning, replacing plumes, etc).

The coaches seemed as if to not care a hoot about the bands part preparing for the coming game and/or the field drills for competitions and the game half time show, but were the first ones to congratulate our bands efforts when we won the awards at various shows and competitions. So, I really think, deep down, they do realize that the whole issue of band and football go hand in hand.

I saw what our director had to go through during rehearsals too ... same routine as you describe above adding that the bone players liked to extend their slides into the student in front of them at times. But in the end, it's all about the kids - and I laud your efforts. Maybe at some point that errant football coach will realize that your part and the bands efforts are about as important as what the players on the field do too.

It was lots of fun being part of the band boosters, and leading that group for 4 years. Lots of fond memories.

Kh ♫
 

musicteach

New member
Oh don't get me wrong, Krom, I absolutely love my job and I love what I do, even if the football coach apparently doesn't like me. Don't worry though, this band has a long history of coming in third place second place. They have ONE first place trophy--I counted. I intend to up that number. I love competitive marching band, and I know the students do as well. It's a lot of hard work to get ready for one, but it's usually worth it in the end. I love my band parents. They do so much more than I possibly could and make it better. I am one person, I can only do so much. I accept this, but when you've got a whole team of one persons, a lot can get done. And trust me...budgeting is only 1/10 of the battle!

edit:
Can someone PLEASE bring magic back into existance?
272-Wizarding-Spells-for-Band-Directors-Part-1.jpg


Taken from Tone Deaf Comics
 
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musicteach

New member
I wanted to update this thread because I have a new rant...and some good news I should think. Since getting to the new school, I've been helping one of my senior students get ready for an audition with the United States Marine Corps Music Program. He had an audition two weeks ago, which he decided not to go to because he was nervous and froze up yada yada ya. Yeah, I understand nerves are a HUGE part of auditioning for anything as a professional musician. And this is just me being a little selfish but to a teacher, that is the greatest insult in existence. It's one thing if you go and you do horrible but at least you tried, you did your best. But when you don't even try? It's basically saying to us "Oh hey, by the way, your time is worth nothing to me". So him and I hashed it out, and I told him if I could get him a second audition, and if I went with him, would he go and try. Which he agreed to, so I went with him today, took a french horn I grabbed out of the locker room helped him warm up etc. And I honestly cannot wait to see how he did!
 
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