As my time here at Dobson starts to come to a close. I have started to realize how much it can feel like home. There is something about being so quickly accepted into the fold as another one of their educators. The students have looked to me not as just some temporary person, but as somebody who has opened his heart but has given them a new view on music.
Looking back it has become quite clear that I have refined what I was doing during my past internships. I have added to my bag of tricks. I now know that having students beat box over rhythms is fun for them and not too cheesy at all. I know that you can have students listen to each other and give feedback, even if they repeat the same opinion over and over again. I am able to now teach a theory class, manage a concert even help travel and successfully attend a festival. There is much I still do not know; but when it comes time to cross that bridge, I feel confident that I know where to look for an answer.
Today we went to Area Festival and had a good performance. Today I learned that bus can show up with 15 rows, or as little as 10. How to deal with a rouge bus driver who thinks they better than you, and all what not to go program together for festival. It also created great talk with students about what is an is not appropriate to perform at festival. When the march Stars and Stripes was mentioned as an option, a staggering 2/3s of the class said this is not something you should bring to festival siting it is too cheesy, popular, and over played. Interesting view given how Arizona recently made mandatory a march for all concert festival performances. If students feel that this piece holds not place in festival have we taught them wrong, or are they looking at this piece no longer as just a march?
Also while at festival it was nice to talk with some other educators and catch up with them as I haven’t spoken with them in about a year. They gave me some insight as to where they taught the pros and cons of those jobs and things to look out for when I get my first set of keys. Some people pointed out how I need to practice choosing literature since that is one of the largest deficiencies that any music school education provides. That can sometimes make or break those first years as you try to establish yourself in the program. All I know is that it is good to hear that people have faith in me that I will not fall into traps that other new directors tend to fall into.