Concert Band Parents (and students) – It is very important to read this letter regarding audition results and my educational philosophy. It is a bit longer, but I ask that you please read it. Thank you.
Today was the last day of official auditions! We start actual rehearsals (including after school until 6, Tuesdays and Thursdays) tomorrow! I was very pleased with the majority of auditions but sorely disappointed by some who very clearly did not prepare (despite having a month or more to prepare). It is important to understand that participation in high school band requires a minimal standard of ability which was to be developed in the first three years of band participation before high school. It is not fair for those who don’t contribute fairly (by developing the minimal standard of necessary skills; or even those who have natural talent but don’t do anything to develop it), to enjoy the fruits of music performance beside those who do. (Students are constantly being taught HOW to practice and WHAT they should be working on in their individual instrumental study.)
Something else I strive to teach our students that is very important to realize about the real world, an honest society, and just about every activity in LIFE is that equal opportunity does not mean equal gain. You get out what you put in. Those who are good at something tend to be those who WORK at it… Those who are happy, tend to smile and are kind. Those who are not happy, tend to be grumpy and unkind. I teach our students that we must choose not to be a “victim of circumstance”. Sure we all have different obstacles – physical, mental, emotional, etc. – but we can work to improve our situation, help each other, and enjoy the process – or complain about our circumstance, wallow in it, and place the responsibility for change on someone else. Either way, we (individually) choose who and how and what we want to be. This is what band is about, at its core. This is what life is about, at its core.
Lastly, you should not accept me as your students’ music education teacher if I just gave students what they did not earn. The nature of band is that students learn that the process, while sometimes delayed in its gratification (not always fun), is incredibly rewarding and enjoyable like anything else we work for in this life. “If it was easy, it would not be worth it.”
**Playing tests will be administered throughout the semester, so a regular practice schedule – 30-45 minutes 2-3 times a week at the minimum will be evident in students’ assessments.
I am very anxious and excited to begin our study of exciting music literature as we prepare for “Music Performance Assessment” in March (more info later). I am glad to get to teach and learn with your students!
With all of that said, please see the attached document of results and please read the important information at the top of the document.
**Students who did not show up for their audition (on their scheduled day) must come to me within a week to make up their audition for partial credit (unless there was an extenuating circumstance communicated by the parent, no later than the day of their audition – for which they may receive full credit within a week) – this is to maintain fairness.