Festiv’us for the Rest of Us

It is time to bring concert band versus concert band and see who the ultimate indoor band truly is. If only that’s how Area Festival worked. In reality I feel that there are more rules for how an indoor concert band should perform than there are for the Marching Arts and the crazy stuff they do. Something that I find very interesting as I am very into the marching field and yet there is so much more that I feel is more concrete about the concert festivals. Should they not be viewed similarly? Or are we inadvertently placing a l limit on how we educationally approach teaching withing the classroom?

So my ‘Final’ at my High School student teaching (given to me via my mentor) is to program my own festival pieces following the rules that will be in effect next school year. I have to choose between a grade 3-4 and give reasons as to why I chose these pieces and what educational value I can find within each piece and what musical educational items I can teach as well. I think that is great so far as it is something that is 100% never covered in college (or at least my college education).  I have chosen a few pieces so far Solas Ane’ by Samuel Hazo and Shortcut Home by Dana Wilson with a TBD march. I gave my reasoning to my mentor and then he informed of something that threw a wrench into my plan. They had performed Solas two years prior and while it is a great piece and holds great educational value, he would refrain from doing this piece again so soon.  So that has put me backtracking but overall gives me hope because I was told that 2/3 of my program was going to be something that my mentor would possibly consider.

At my time throughout Dobson I haven’t really added any new discipline tactics to my personal bag, by rehearsal techniques I have added at this time have been quite the handful. From beat-boxing a rhythm to help an ensemble groove better together, moving the ensemble’s arraignment based upon the style of the piece they will be working on. To even how to get students to engage more actively while I am breaking larger sections down for students. All of these have helped me, the problem is that I sometimes have trouble keeping track of everything that I have to pull from that I sometimes miss the obvious and it leads to sadly lost educational instruction.

Overall, I am sad to see that my time here at Dobson is coming to a close within the next 3 weeks means that I am past the halfway mark of my first placement. Time has truly been passing much faster when I am teaching rather than when I was going in once a week or even just attending classes. This excites me and greatly makes me ready to have my own program to mold and shape.


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