I am very excited about my stumbling across this board, and look forward to learning all I can from atleast the few fellow colleagues willing to share knowledge and experience.
I am a brand new band director in Maryland, in a region where unfortunately Marching Band is not held in the highest regard. I am just walking into a school that is full to capacity of about 1600 students, but with a band only scratching the 60-member mark. This is a building process that will take years, and I am bracing myself right now with the patience needed to see this thing through!
The Band program is relatively small as compared with the population of the school, and has only a symphonic band. I am actually envisioning a larger program of course, with a couple of concert bands, a jazz band, a jazz combo, and of course...last and certainly not least...a MARCHING BAND! The great thing is that I am starting from scratch almost in that they have not fielded a band in over 4 years, and there is no legacy that I have to follow, nor any reigning parental support or board of parents that quietly make up the politics of the band program.
The only thing I am contesting against is that very giant I just described---new territory. Many of these kids are absolutely used to simply having fun, working all year on a grade 3 program, doing the state adjudication and calling it a year. No fees, funds, fundraisers, marching programs, pep bands, etc...
I refuse to see that as a bad thing though, and would take this over spending 10 years to get rid of a legacy of someone before me.
I guess what I am saying is that I am incredibly excited about this whole thing and I beg of your support and encouragement as well as information that will help me along this process. I am not new to discussion boards, so I will be through this area giving updates as well as asking more questions. Please help me out, thank you so much.
My first question deals with developing a rapport with your Administration, which will help you get the funding!
How do you go abou this? And what are some techniques or routines that have proven successful?
The Incredible, Much Anticipated First Day!
2 replies to this topic
Posted 07 October 2004 - 09:20 PM
Hi there! That's cool that this is your first year and everything. I can really understand your situation at that school- my band is about 38 people with 1300 (roughly) enrolled students. That's just marching band, for concert we'll probably have some more, considering it's easier in many kids' minds than marching band. Hopefully you do well! fundraising is always interesting, we usually have our band boosters do that, so quite honestly, i'm not sure how to help you there, sorry! Anything different is fun, but the kids have to be willing to sell in order to gain anything. Well, good luck this year and have fun!!
Posted 15 October 2004 - 04:30 PM
Maybe you could get your band students to play up the "band is cool" appeal; I'm sure the die-hard kids would help. Or maybe you could have a sort of "open house" around the time when the kids are signing up for classes; if you let them see all of the stuff, if can look pretty cool, so maybe that'd help. You could get the drumline to cadence, I know all the crowds that I've been around have been really into that-maybe it could inspire a few kids to join. I'm pretty young, so I don't know if this is exactly possible, but I'd say that you should do as much fund-raising as possible. Like, car washes every other weekend at the beginning of the year, when it's warmer outside, or band banquets where guests would have to pay three or five dollars, or keep 'em selling fruit, pizza, etc. all year long. You could also give the youngin's private lessons and use the money to forward the band. I know that the school where I used to go to, the directors got together with a lot of other directors in the area and created a more real band camp, where the kids would be up there four-five days a week working in a group with college kids who specialized on their instrument. This was great because it let college kids who were interested in teaching get a chance to do some field work. The college people were doing it for free. And the schools were charging quite a bit for this, so maybe that's something that you could consider. All of the directors had to split the profit, but they played it up like it was a great thing to do and they had a lot of takers.