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How do you get your band to listen to you?


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#1 Bclarsax

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 02:04 PM

A friend of mine is just starting beginning band and none of the students listen to her.

The drummers keep playing over her instructions along with the other instruments. She also has students who do not wish to play at all and talk the whole time.

She has tried alternate assignments and asking the guidance counselor to remove them from the program with no avail.

Do you have any suggestions for her? I'm all out as she has already exhausted my little bag of tricks.

PS. the teacher before her didn't really teach so that doesn't help either.

Thanks!

#2 joshg357

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 11:16 AM

I responded to the same topic down toward the bottom of the forum page under the heading "advice from vetaran teachers."

#3 Guest_Richard Bresowar_*

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 03:48 PM

You want to rehearse the procedure for class until they can do it. You play NO MUSIC at all until everyone can follow the procedure for cutting off and getting quiet when you are teaching. At the beginning of the year, I will take a whole rehearsal and just work on learning what is expected as far as playing or talking while I am talking. When they backslide, you go right back to the lesson on procedures. Never teach over talking or playing!! A good book to get if you have problems with this is called The First Day of School by Harry Wong. That book changed my life.

Richard Bresowar

#4 Guest_Jrblack_*

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 03:15 AM

Richard is right. The students must be trained how to rehearse. It will mean sacrificing time to teach the procedure. Unfortunately not all teachers can recover from poorly established discipline.

#5 Meldog

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 04:11 PM

I agree with the above mentioned things. It will take time away from rehearsal but the benefits down the road will be so much better. They need to realize there is a time for messing around and a time for getting down to business and when you stand on the podium it is time for business.

As far as percussionist, many times they act up because they have nothing to do. Some things to help with that is make sure they are all doing something with the band when warming up. Have a few drummers on snares playing some rudiments you give while the band is playing scales or what not. Have mallets playing along with the band and have your timpani player outline the chords. While the band is tuning have the song order on the board and tell the percussion to get set up so they can go from song to song without a huge set-up wait in between.

Also percussion music tends to be easier because they can usually play more complex rhythms then most your wind players. Maybe once a week have a percussionist in the area come in and work with them in a different room on some percussion ensemble pieces that they can play in your concert. Most of the time percussionists are cting up out of boredom. Keep em' busy and you will take care of that issue.
Adam W. Metzler
Central Aroostook High School & Fort Street Elementary School Instrumental Music Teacher

#6 Guest_BandNerd_*

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 02:33 PM

I have been using a couple of things to keep my beginners on task that have been working well.
One is the EARLY method. Write the word EARLY really huge on the board. When you have a problem with behavior, go erase a letter. Each letter remaining equals one minute dismissal at the end of the class. If all the letters are erased, we rehearse right up to the bell and no late passes are given. All I have to do is look at that board and they hush.
We do Friday afternoon band detention for 30 minutes. This works pretty well.
I also do the "100" club that allows special treats for students who make a 100 on their playing test for the week and make a 100 on their behavior grade. Their names are posted on a bulletin board in the room and they are recognized at the Spring Concert. All members of the "club" get a pizza party at the end of the year.
Bribes, yes.
Good rehearsals, yes
Superior ratings, YES!
BandNerd

#7 Len Allman

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 10:09 PM

Hello

After School Detentions. Students sit and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for 15 minutes the first time. 30 minutes the next time. 45 minutes the next, etc. No talking, no homework, no iPod, nothing.

If they don't show, double the time. Call parents and make sure you have administration support.

Keep Smilin'
Len Allman

#8 ArtsSchoolBandMan

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 06:57 PM

Band directors, like all good teachers, need classroom management skills that enable students to work towards a goal. together and with the director - not against them. I happen to think its got nothing to do with each student's personal attachment to music. Its got everything to do with class management that works for control of student behavior, complimenting appropriate behavior and attacking inappropriate behavior with strong and firm repercussions. Success will reaffirm positive, productive behavior. This does not happen in any program overnight. Matter of fact - it is something all teachers manage everyday in every class.

#9 willaalgone

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#10 DEV51

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 03:41 PM

Part of my personal philosophy is based on the idea that the students should be playing, clapping, singing, or some sort of activity for most of the class. Students should be making music approximately 85% of the class for elementary school, and 75% of the class for middle and high school.

If your friend's students keep playing their instruments over her instructions it may be because she is talking for too long between instructions. For example, if a measure consists of the tonal pattern "B-A-G" DON'T take 60 seconds to explain the fingerings and what lines or spaces the note is on. Instead, quickly teach the pattern by rote by simply saying "Everyone play B-A-G (and the transcriptions as needed)." Have them repeat that three or four times. Then go around to each section (Flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, etc) and have each section play the tonal pattern. Spend no more than 15 SECONDS on each section. If at least 75% of each section can play the tonal pattern then move on. Odds are they will figure it out by observing the members of their section that can play the tonal pattern.

I know this doesn't guarantee that the students will remember or comprehend the tonal pattern. Since the students can already play the tonal pattern without notation, create a small 5 minute warm up that focuses on reading concert B-A-G with different rhythms to start the next class.

As for students who continue to talk take their instrument away from them when they start to disrupt class. I feel that students join band because they really want to play music. Hopefully, if they see that most of their other classmates have their instruments they will feel left out and will behave next class so that they can have their instrument.

Of course, this is just my opinion. I hope it helps.